An American company which qualifies as a Treaty Investor (E-2) or Treaty Trader (E-1) can bring a national of a treaty country as an essential skilled worker (essential employee) or as an executive or supervisor/manager position. In either case, the employer must qualify as either an investor or trader.
The Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa is for a national of a country with which the United States (U.S.) maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. For a list of treaty countries, please visit the Department of State website.
The E-2 visa is granted to a foreign national who invests in the creation or purchase of an existing business in the United States, whereas the E-1 visa allows a foreign national to trade goods or services between his/her country of citizenship and the United States from the American soil.
To learn more about those visas, please refer to our specific page: investment visas
As an E-1 or E-2 employee, one can come as:
1) An executive or supervisory employee; or
2) An essential employee with specialized skills
- Employee must be a national of the same country as the employer;
- Employer, is not resident abroad, must maintain E status in the United States.
Executive and Supervisory Employee
In evaluating the executive or supervisory aspect of the future position of the essential employee, the adjudicating officer will mainly look at the title, job description with detailed duties, its place within the company’s organizational structure, the number and skill levels of the employees the essential employee will supervise, the salary offered, and prior experience of the applicant at an executive or supervisory level. Further, the officer will examine the true nature of the position, whether it is primarily an executive or supervisory position or incidental function.
The essential employee applicant must prove that he or she possesses specialized skills and that his or her skills are needed and essential to the efficient operation of the U.S. company. Several factors such as: the degree of expertise and experience in the specialized field; the uniqueness of the skills; the future job duties; and salary expected for the position to be filled are taken into account.
The duration of the essentiality may vary from business to business and the applicant will have to prove that a U.S. worker cannot be trained for this particular position within the requested visa period.