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Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors Visas

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Overview

     Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) visas are for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation. Poland is one of these countries. For a list of all treaty countries, click here.
     To qualify for Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) visas applicants must be coming to the United States either to engage in substantial trade, including trade in service or technology, in qualifying activities, which is principally between the United States and the treaty country, or to develop and direct the operation of an enterprise in which the applicant has invested a substantial amount of capital. Holders of E visas must intend to depart the United States upon the termination of their E status.
     The spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of treaty traders, treaty investors, or employees of enterprises may receive dependent E visas in order to accompany or follow to join their spouse or parent. They are not required to have the same nationality as the principal applicant to obtain an E visa.
     E visas permit the investor/trader and his or her family to live in the United States during the period of stay authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). E visas are nonimmigrant visas; consequently, visa holders are allowed to live in the United States only so long as the conditions under which the visa was granted remain valid. Dependents are not authorized to work in the U.S. unless they receive explicit authorization to do so from DHS-USCIS in the United States. Dependents of treaty traders/investors may apply for work authorization after their arrival in the United States.

Qualifications for Treaty Trader (E-1)

  • The applicant must be a citizen of a treaty country;
  • The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the United States must have the nationality of the treaty country, meaning persons with the treaty country’s nationality must own at least 50 percent of the enterprise;
  • The international trade must be "substantial". There must be a sizeable and continuing volume of trade (trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology). Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other;
  • The trade of the U.S. enterprise must be principally between the U.S. and the treaty country. More than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the U.S. and the country of the applicant's nationality;
  • The applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skill essential to the efficient operation of the firm. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify. Please note that a detailed explanation of why the applicant's skills are essential for the enterprise in the U.S. may be required;
  • The applicant must intend to depart the U.S. when his/her E-1 status ends.

Qualifications for Treaty Investor (E-2)

  • The investor, either a person, partnership or a corporate entity, must have the citizenship of the treaty country. If a business, at least 50 percent of the business must be owned by persons with the treaty country’s nationality;
  • The investment must be substantial and the funds have to be "irrevocably" committed. The investment must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise;
  • The investment must be in a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or mere ownership of undeveloped land are not considered an investment;
  • The investment may not be marginal. Based on 9 Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) 402.9, the enterprise must either show a financial return that significantly exceeds what is necessary to support a living for the investor or else the enterprise must have the capacity, present or future, to make a significant economic contribution;
  • The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in a commercial sense. If the funds are not subject to partial or total loss if business fortunes reverse, then the investment is not an investment in the sense intended by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 101(a)(15)(E) and in 9 FAM 402.9. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise do not qualify;
  • The investor must be coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify. Please note that a detailed explanation of why the applicant's skills are essential for the enterprise in the U.S. or why the applicant possesses qualifying “executive or supervisory: experience may be required;
  • The applicant must intend to depart the U.S. when his/her E-2 status ends.

 How to Apply

An E visa applicant must schedule an appointment using the online appointment system. Please follow the steps belwo to make an appointment:

Please follow the steps below to make an appointment:

Step 1
Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

Step 2
Pay the visa application fee. The visa fee page lists the visa types and correlating visa fee in U.S. dollars and local currency. The visa fee MUST be paid IN ZLOTYCH accordingly to the amount in the table.

To pay your visa fee, read the Payment Options/Pay My Visa Fee page. This page explains how to make your visa fee payment. You will create a profile and must keep your receipt number to book your visa appointment.

Step 3
Register to schedule your appointment on this web page. You will need the following information:

  • Your passport number 
  • The number from your Visa Fee receipt. Click here if you need help finding this number. 
  • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page 

You will receive a confirmation message after successfully entering this information. Before your request can be reviewed, you must proceed to the next step to submit support documents. Do not wait for an e-mail to submit your documents.

Step 4

Submit the following documents for review, either in person or by courier:

  • A photocopy of your passport (s) (do not to mail passports);
  • The DS-160 confirmation page:
  • Form DS-156E and
  • Additional documents that establish your qualifications for the visa, based on the requirements listed above. Review of documents will be faster if they are in English. For example, such additional documents could include, but are not limited to:
    • A cover letter describing the enterprise and visa applicant’s role. This letter should directly address the requirements of E visa eligibility;
    • Articles of incorporation or organization;
    • Business plan;
    • Invoices showing qualifying trade between the nations or that indicate uses of the money invested;
    • Business licenses;
    • Contracts, business correspondence, or other agreements showing the activities of the enterprise;
    • Tax and employment documents;
    • Purchase agreements, leases, franchise agreements, escrow accounts, or other documents central to the operation of the enterprise; and
    • Legal Representative Form (DHS Form G-28), if applicable.

Documents can be submitted to:

  • U.S Embassy in Warsaw: personally to the information window at Piękna 12 street in working days from 10:00 to 11:00 AM or send by any courier company at your expense to the following address: Ambasada USA, Non-Immigrant Section, Al. Ujazdowskie 29/31, 00-540 Warszawa
  • Consulate General in Cracow: personally to the consulate by appointment (please write an e-mail to the following address: krakowniv@state.gov) or send by any courier company at your expense to the following address: Konsulat Generalny USA, Non-Immigrant Section, ul. Stolarska 9, 31-043 Krakow.

Step 5

You will receive an email once once your documents are reviewed and your request is approved. Please log back into your profile on www.ustraveldocs.com/pl and select “Continue” to schedule the appointment (on the left side of the screen).

Step 6

Visit the U.S. Embassy on the date and time of your visa interview. You will need to bring a printed copy of your appointment confirmation letter and your passport.

Supporting Documents

Supporting documents are only one of many factors a consular officer will consider in your interview. Consular officers look at each application individually and consider professional, social, cultural and other factors during adjudication. Consular officers may look at your specific intentions, family situation, and your long-range plans and prospects within your country of residence. Each case is examined individually and is accorded every consideration under the law.

Caution: Do not present false documents. Fraud or misrepresentation can result in permanent visa ineligibility. If confidentiality is a concern, you should bring your documents to the U.S. Embassy in a sealed envelope. The U.S. Embassy will not make your information available to anyone and will respect the confidentiality of your information.

You should present the following documents to your interview.

More Information

For more information about visas for religious workers, visit the Department of State's website.