Have you heard of the E1 VISA-MERCHANT VISA? Do you dedicate yourself to import and export, and do you want to immigrate to the United States with your business?

The United States of America, through its Immigration policies, seeks to support international traders and investors, generating an opening of the markets. In previous blogs we have talked about the E2 Visa- Investor Visa and what were the businesses for an E2 Investor visa. Today we want to tell you about what an E1 Visa- Merchant Visa is, and how you can obtain it.

To apply for the E2 Visa, to be eligible for an E1 Visa – Merchant Visa, it is necessary to meet certain requirements.

The first of these is to demonstrate that you are a citizen of a country with which the United States has a trade and navigation treaty or agreement, or maintains a qualified international agreement, or that has been considered a qualified country by law (you can consult the list update of the countries that classify, entering the following Link).

The second and third requirements refer to the fact that the trade that is being carried out is substantial and that it is mainly between the United States (51% of commercial transactions) and the country of which you are a citizen.


How long will an E1 Visa be granted for?

Staying times are super important and especially for those who have to run a business in different countries. The E1 Visa- Merchant Visa has a maximum stay of 2 years with the obligation that the merchant maintains the intention to leave the United States when said status ends.

It is important to know your status whenever you enter the United States in order to schedule your departure and thus minimize any risk in entering the United States.

Nobody wants to have to live a situation of exhaustive control in migrations for periods of stay that they did not forsee. It is for this reason that we always recommend our clients to consult, through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, your Form I-94. If you cannot obtain it, you can contact us so that the Immigration Lawyer can help you.

The E1 Visa- Merchant Visa, if all the requirements are met, is granted for a period of 5 years with the possibility of being renewed as long as the treaty between the countries is in force, and that the trade for which it was granted continue to be substantially and principally with the United States and the country of the merchant.


What is the processing time for an E1 Visa?

The processing time for an E1 Visa- Trader Visa can vary between 2 and 5 weeks from the time the application is submitted. However, this may differ depending on the consulate in which you apply.


Where can I apply?

If you are a merchant and are strategically located in the United States, in certain cases you can request a change of status to E1 through Form I-129 and present it to the corresponding Immigration Offices. It is important to note that to apply in the United States you must be within the country.

Filing the application in the United States is usually the option most chosen by our clients. This is because there is the possibility of choosing a Premium Procedure, obtaining a response in 15 calendar days.

Another way to apply is at the US Embassy in your home country. To apply in this way for an E1 Visa- Merchant Visa, you must follow the requirements established by each embassy. But do not be alarmed, we take care of preparing everything required to make the corresponding presentation.

Currently the E1 Visa- Merchant processing times have been affected by the pandemic. There are consulates assigning interviews in 1 or 2 months and others that are not giving interview dates, in these cases contact us and our Immigration Lawyer will tell you which other embassy you can apply to.

It is important to keep in mind that a badly submitted application can significantly extend processing times, so it is always good to have the legal assistance of an Immigration Lawyer to avoid mistakes.

Can my family members qualify for an E1 Visa?

In most cases, yes. Both the spouse and the unmarried children under the age of 21 can qualify for an E-1 Visa – Merchant Visa as dependents. Currently, the spouse of the main applicant can work in the United States from the moment the E-1 Visa – Merchant Visa is approved, either by change of status or by consular processing.

The requirements to prove that you and your business meet what is necessary to obtain an E-1 Visa – Business Visa can be a bit rigid, but with the necessary help from an Immigration Lawyer, you can ensure that your application will adequately reflect your abilities to apply for it.

We invite you to contact us, coordinate an appointment and tell us about your project so we can help you make it possible.

Our Immigration Lawyer office in the United States is here to advise you from the beginning to the end of your immigration process. We have an immigration attorney office in Miami, Orlando and Por St. Lucie. If you are outside the United States, we offer Zoom appointments so that we can meet despite the distances.

Contact us through our WEB or write to us directly to our WHATSAPP and let’s coordinate your appointment today.

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