How long does approval of an E-1 application take?
Processing can take up to 6 months. If you are in a rush, you may also opt for premium processing (see below).
How much does an E-1 cost?
The normal filing fee is $460. The premium processing fee, which guarantees a response (one way or the other) within 15 calendar days, is $2,960.
Can I remain eligible for an E-1 treaty trader visa if I apply for a green card in another status?
In other words, “Is the E-1 a dual intent visa?” Although the E-1’s “sister visa”, the E2 visa, is certainly a dual intent visa, the E-1 is unique in this regard. The USCIS, which handles domestic applications for changes in immigration status, believes it to be a dual intent visa. The State Department, which handles E-1 petitions from overseas, believes it is not.
This means that if you have a green card petition pending, you can still extend your E-1 within the US. If you seek an E-1 visa at a US embassy or consulate abroad, however, it will likely be denied if you have a green card petition pending, because the State Department expects you to intend to depart the United States as soon as your E-1 status ends.
Will my work activities be restricted?
Yes, your work activities will be restricted to the activities that have been approved under your E-1 visa. Employees, however, may under certain circumstances work for the parent company of their employer. Separate USCIS approval of the continuing validity of your E-1 visa may be required if, for example, your company merges with another company.
Can I change immigration status on an E-1?
Yes, you can, although you may be subject to certain limitations based on what type of visa you qualify for. You will need to file Form I-129 or Form I-539 with the USCIS.
Can I study on an E-1 visa?
Yes, as long as your studies don’t interfere with your work. To this end, you are permitted to study only part-time.
Can I bring an employee (such as a maid) to the US with me?
Yes, you can bring an employee, as long as you can demonstrate that your employee’s act of accompanying you to the US does not constitute an abandonment of their residence abroad. You will also have to show that they have been employed by you for no less than a year before accompanying you to the US.
Can my children work on an E-1 visa?
No, your children cannot work while under the E-1 visa. Your spouse can do so, but only after applying for and receiving an employment authorization document (EAD).
Can my family members study on E-1 visas?
While your children cannot work under E-1 visas, they may attend primary school. middle school, high school, college, or university. They are not required to apply for separate student visas (e.g. F-1 visas).
Will my children have to leave the United States if they turn 21 or get married?
Perhaps, but not necessarily. While your children’s E-1 visas will no longer be extended once they turn 21 or get married, you children may qualify to stay in the US under another visa status — an F-1 student visa, for example, an H-1B specialty occupation visa or, if your child married a US citizen, permanent residence based on family relationship. One plan might be for your child to graduate from a US university in F-1 status, and then work in the US after graduation.