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Traders or Merchants (E-1)


About the E-1 Visa

The E-1 visa is available to nationals of countries that hold trade treaties with the United States (such as Colombia). This visa allow the foreigner, the spouse and minor children to travel to the United States to develop a business that engages in substantial trade with the U.S.  NOTE: The words "merchant" or "trader" have a very broad definition. Engineers, Architects, etc., may fall within the definition of a "trader" for purposes of this visa.  


Basic Requirements

  1. The nature of the business must justify the applicant's presence in the U.S. 

  2. More than 50% of the business activities of the entity must be between the U.S. and the applicant's home country. 



  • Unlike investor visas, the E1 does not require the availability of a certain amount of capital. Instead, past business transactions may be adequate proof. 

  • Do not be discouraged by the name of the visa. Many businesspeople who would not consider themselves as "business traders" may nevertheless be eligible for this visa. 


If you would like assistance with your E-1 Visa, please contact our team of skilled lawyers with offices in the United States and Colombia. 

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