The primary purpose of an E-1 visa is to allow certain qualifying individuals the opportunity to conduct business in the United States. These visas are temporary and only allow the visa holder to conduct business in the country for a specified period of time. Additionally, these visas only apply to individuals who come from certain countries and who are employed in specific fields.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has the discretion to award an E-1 visa, and this process can be long and confusing. Fortunately, a St. Louis E-1 visa lawyer could determine whether or not you are eligible for this visa, help you file the necessary paperwork, and assist you with meeting all of the requirements in a timely and efficient manner.

Eligibility for an E-1 Visa in St. Louis

To obtain an E-1 visa, the applicant must first be able to demonstrate eligibility for one. If the applicant is eligible, then they may be able to gain admission to the United States in order to be involved with international trade. The basic elements of eligibility include:

  • That the applicant is a citizen of a country that already has a trade agreement in place with the United States
  • That the applicant actually takes an active role in conducting substantial amounts of trade
  • That the amount of the applicant’s principal trade falls between that of the United States and the qualifying country of which the applicant is a citizen

For purposes of obtaining an E-1 visa, a qualifying trade may include goods, tourism, services, news gathering, transportation, insurance, or banking. A “substantial trade” is one which continues for the life of the visa. To deem a trade “substantial,” no minimum amount of money is necessary. A lawyer in St. Louis could help someone determine if they are eligible for an E-1 visa.

Duration of an E-1 Visa

An E-1 visa lasts for two years with the option for the government to renew the visa at the end of this period. There is no limitation on the number of extensions that USCIS may grant. Individuals who successfully obtain an E-1 visa can also file a petition for the government to allow their spouse and any of their minor children to gain admission to the United States.

Applying for an E-1 Visa

To apply for an E-1 visa, immigrants who are legally in the United States may be able to ask their employer to complete an I-129 form for them. If an individual applies from outside of the United States, the applicant must complete a Form DS-160 online. Applicants must save their confirmation page, take and upload a photo of themselves, and submit their application fee. The applicant may also need to request an interview. The United States Department of State then processes the application. An attorney in St. Louis could help someone with the E-1 visa application process and handle any obstacles that may arise.

Hire a St. Louis E-1 Visa Attorney

If you are contemplating applying for an E-1 visa for employment purposes in the United States, you should have a lawyer on board who understands your situation. A St. Louis E-1 visa lawyer could help streamline this process for you while ensuring that you attach all the necessary and relevant documentation. For more information about how we could help you with this immigration process, call our office today.

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