Does “trade” include only international exchange of goods for purposes of E-1 visa?

E-1 visa requires (a) a treaty, (b) the individual or business possess the nationality of the treaty country, (c) the activities the applicant will engage in constitute “trade”, (d) the trade is substantial and (e) principally between the US and the treaty country, (f) if an employee is the applicant, (s)he is destined to an executive or supervisory position or possesses essential skills to the US operation and (g) intends to depart the US when the E-1 status terminates.

The items of “trade” include but are not limited to goods, services, international banking, insurance monies, transportation, communications, data processing, advertising, accounting, design and engineering, management consulting, tourism, technology and its transfer, and some news-gathering activities.   As you can see, it does not have to be only physical goods.  Here is an example.

My client owns a Canadian franchised custom home building and renovation company that offers its clients the home building and renovation services through the company’s network of franchisees. My client formed a US company to engage in the business of offering and granting franchises in the United States.  The Canadian company provides accounting, legal, broker, marketing and training services to the US company.  There is an actual exchange of services and moneys that create transactions considered “trade”.   E-1 visa was approved quickly.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline one aspect of E-1 visa.   If you would like us to discuss if you qualify for E-1 visa and help us get you an E-1 visa, call our experienced E-1 visa attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online