E1 Visa Application Process

E1 Visa Application Process

Application for an E1 can be processed either from within the US through USCIS or from outside the US through a US Consulate.

Applying for E1 Visa at US Consulate

If you are outside the US, you will have to apply for an E1 visa at a consulate or embassy abroad. Please be aware that different consulates have different requirements on the types of documentation required and how the documentation is to be organized and presented. Make sure to check the consulate website to ensure your paperwork is submitted correctly. Additionally, please be aware that most consulates do not accept third country nationals and you may likely need to go through your national country’s consulate.

Once all of the necessary documentation is assembled, your attorney will complete the Form DS-160 on your behalf. The Form DS-160: Form DS-160 is the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. The information on this document helps consular officers determine if you are eligible for a nonimmigrant visa, such as the E1 visa.

You also need to submit a Form DS-165E. The Form DS-165E is the Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Investor Application. In this form, you provide information about the company and yourself. This document also helps consular officers determine if you should be granted an E1 visa.

At the appropriate time, you will then schedule a personal interview with consular officer. Your attorney should prepare you for what to expect at the visa interview.

At the interview, you may be asked various questions about your E1 business, your personal background, immigration plans, etc. Following successful completion of the interview, you should have the E1 visa stamped into your passport within a few days.

With the E1 visa, you will be able to enter the United States based on the terms of the visa. Upon entry to the U.S., you will receive E1 status.  

E1 Change of Status

If you are inside the United States in a valid non-immigrant status, and have maintained continuous nonimmigrant status, you may be eligible to request a change of status to E1 status. This is done by filing a change of status petition with USCIS.

To file a change of status, you should work closely with an experienced immigration lawyer. Your immigration lawyer will work with you to compile all of the necessary documentation required to process the change of status request.

Your lawyer will also complete the Form I-129 on your behalf. The Form I-129 is the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. You must also complete the E-supplement of this form.

In addition, you may wish to file out Form I-907. The Form I-907 is a Request for Premium Processing Services. This document can be filed to request faster processing of your application.

Once all of the documents are compiled and the forms are completed, your attorney will submit the completed application to USCIS, along with a copy of biographic page of passport and a copy of your I-94 card.

Upon approval of your change of status, you will receive E1 status. This is not a visa. Through the approved change of status, you will receive a new I-94 reflecting your new E1 status and the date through which your status is valid.

The entire change of status process takes place from within the U.S.

Documents Required for E1 Application Processing

Applying for an E1 visa is a multistep process. The following will explain the process of applying and documents requirement for an E1 visa.

Personal Documents for E1 treaty Trader

US Company Support Statement:

The US Company support statement comes from your US employer and explains why your services are necessary for the enterprise’s activities;

Documents showing substantial trade


The E1 visa is a special visa for businesspeople from certain treaty countries. The E1 visa allows to work in the US and carry out substantial trade between individuals and firms in the United States and the country of which they are a citizen or national. You should now have a much stronger understanding of the various aspects of the E1 visa, including the E1 visa benefits, the E1 visa requirements, and the E1 visa process.


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