E-1 “Treaty Trader” Visa Applications for Italian Nationals

E-1 Visas for Italian Principals

The E1 “Treaty Trader” program permits Italian Nationals to be lawfully present in the United States for the PRINCIPAL purpose of directing and developing “substantial trade” between Italy and the United States.

Can an E-1 Business Bring Italian Employees to the United States?

Yes, a properly registered E-1 business with Italian ownership can hire Italian Nationals and bring them to the United States. These employees need to fit into one of two categories:

  1. Managers/Executives; or
  2. Staff with specialist skills

What is “Substantial Trade” for E-1 Visa Purposes?

US E-1 Visa Purpose for Italian Nationals

While there is no statutory definition of the meaning of “substantial trade” for E-1 visa purposes the U.S. government does provide written guidance to their consular officers to assist those consular officers determine whether trade is “substantial” or not.

This written guidance directs consular officers to “primarily focus on the volume of trade conducted” between the U.S. and Italy and to also consider the monetary value of each transaction as well. Preference is given to cases involving more numerous transactions of higher value.

The final analysis as to what constitutes “Substantial Trade” is case specific. Our firm has been involved with cases involving the frequent export of clothing and food from Italy to the United States where higher-volume lower value transactions have constituted “substantial trade”. At the same time a lower volume of higher value goods, such as Italian manufactured machinery, has also been held to constitute “substantial trade”.

What are the Downsides of an E-1 Visa?

While there are a number of advantages and disadvantages of the E1 Treaty Trader program over the E2 Treaty Investor program there is one very significant downside to the E1 program:

E-1 treaty traders are be admitted to the United States “solely to carry on substantial trade, including trade in services or trade in technology, principally between the United States and the foreign state of which he is a national.” If an E-1 business changes its trading patterns so that it no longer principally maintains “substantial trade” with the U.S. then E-1 status will come to an end.

In one example, an E-1 business in the U.S. trading with Italy continued trading with Italy but expanded trade with other nations. The increasing trade with the other nations was deemed to violate the requirement that the “substantial trade” be primarily with Italy. In these circumstances the business was no longer E-1 eligible and its Italian employees were “out of status”.

While E-2 visas are subject to the doctrine of “substantial change” a change in or expansion of the trading patterns of an existing E-2 business might not invalidate the E-2 status of employees.

Do I have to leave the United States to Apply for an E1 Visa?

An E-1 visa can only be obtained from a US consulate outside the United States. You can apply for “change of status” to E-1 status from within the United States but you cannot obtain an E-1 visa from within the United States.

What is Davies & Associate’s Record with E-1 Visa Applications?

As of November, 2014 no E-1 visa case filed by our firm has ever been denied.

Where will my E-2 Visa Application be Processed?

E-2 Visa USA for Italy

While “change of status” to E-1 status is processed in the United States, E-1 visa applications are processed in consulates outside the United States.

Every U.S. consulate maintains differing procedures for the submission, processing and adjudication of E-1 visas. It is therefore critical to work with a law firm that not only maintains a U.S. presence but also has a solid understanding and knowledge of the U.S. consulate in Rome. Davies & Associates facilitates this through the firm’s direct presence in Rome.

How Critical is a Business Plan for an E-1 Visa?

Critical Business Plan for E-1 & E-2 Investor Visa

Unlike an E-2 visa an E-1 visa is NOT an investor visa. That said, you do need to demonstrate that you meet the substantial requirements for an E-1 visa. Your business plan is your opportunity to explain how your immediate and long-term business objectives meet the requirements of the E1 “treaty trader” visa program.


U.S. Naturalization for E-1 Visa Holders

There are several ways for an Italian National in E-1 status to apply for U.S. Nationality. These ways include but are not limited to applying as:

US Naturalization for E-1 Visa for Italian Nationals

Our U.S. offices frequently provide clients with advice on these and other processes for obtaining U.S. nationality.

Applying for Italian Nationality:
The only Route to an E-1 Visa?

E-1 Visa for Non treaty Countries

Nationals of non-E1 treaty countries, such as Brazil, are unable to obtain E-1 visas. For applicants from these countries the ability to obtain Italian Nationality can sometimes be the only route to an E-1 visa. A surprisingly large number of Brazilian Nationals do qualify for Italian Nationality.

Through our relationship with Cavalier & Cavalier in Rome our firm can also assist eligible U.S., Brazilian and other Nationals obtain Italian Nationality.

E1 Visa Solutions by Country of Nationality or Residency

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Eranjan Venura Parua
Eranjan Venura Parua
2 months ago

"After finding D&A through an internet search in 2020, my wife and I had several free consultations with David Cantor. Despite our initial attempt at filing for our E2 visa independently ending in failure, we decided to hire D&A for their expertise and support. Over the course of four long years, Verdie and Cristina were incredibly patient as we took our time to prepare for the E2 submission. Verdie became our E2 Attorney in 2021, and from the start, Verdie and Cristina's patience was evident. Despite our intermittent engagement over the years, they always treated us with the utmost attention. Working with Verdie and the D&A team was a pleasure; their professionalism and support were unwavering. Verdie's calm demeanor and succinct communication style made navigating the process much smoother, even during complex discussions. I wholeheartedly recommend Verdie and D&A - Davies & Associates, to anyone seeking an immigration law firm who can efficiently handle their case with precision and without unnecessary fanfare. Their ability to get things done speaks volumes about their dedication to their clients' success."

Jeremy Abernathy
Jeremy Abernathy
4 months ago

I had the pleasure of working with Verdie and Nessa to obtain my E2 Visa. Their in-depth knowledge and experience allowed me to be fully prepared in my application and they were able to answer all questions leading up to the Visa interview.

Saeed Muhammad
Saeed Muhammad
5 months ago

Verdie was an amazing attorney, providing exceptional client care throughout the process. He had a great depth of knowledge in all areas on business visas in the US.

Satyabrat Chowdhury
Satyabrat Chowdhury
8 months ago

I had a great experience with Davies & Associates. They are very thorough in the approach and their have experts in this field who know the domain very well.I would certainly be leaning onto them for any future needs as well.

Christine Envall
Christine Envall
a year ago

Getting my E2 Visa was a very in-depth process that took just over a year from when I committed to it, but 8 months from when I found a business I wanted to purchase. The only reason I'm giving 4 and not 5 stars is because the timeframe was a lot longer than expected from the initial information. Aside from the timing, Verdie and his team led me through the Visa process, providing all the guidance I needed to be successful, including advising me on the RIGHT type of Visa to suit my goals. Within the process I purchased a business and the greater Davies team included lawyer Rinat who helped me put the deal together. One of the biggest parts was my Business Plan which created from my info by Ana Ortiz, who did an incredible job. The process is certainly tedious and Verdie & Christina were always there to answer my questions, provide suggestions and advice and ensure I had all the documents I needed to support my application. I appreciated their patience with my questions and their advice and in the end, the application was so thorough the interview process was quick and easy. I highly recommend Davies & Associates and look forward to working with them again when it's time to renew my Visa.

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