Treaty Trader & Investor Visas

Treaty Trader visas (E-1) and Treaty Investor visas (E-2) are nonimmigrant visas for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation (9 FAM 402.9-10).  The applicant must be coming to the United States to engage in substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, in qualifying activities, principally between the United States and the treaty country (E-1); or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the applicant has invested or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital (E-2). Check here for the detailed list of visa requirements.

The Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor visas were established to facilitate and enhance economic interaction between the United States and other treaty countries. They were not intended to serve as a means for foreigners to retire or merely reside in the United States.  U.S. law (see paragraph 101(a)(15)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act) explicitly states that E-1 visa holders must enter “solely to carry on substantial trade” and E-2 holders “solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise” in which he or she has invested. Moreover, these visas are nonimmigrant visas and thus temporary. Treaty trader/investor visas can be renewed or extended only if the investment or trade continues to meet all applicable requirements of U.S. immigration laws and regulations. Persons wishing to remain indefinitely in the United States should apply for the appropriate immigrant visa.

The Treaty

The Treaty with the Netherlands which entered into force December 05, 1957, was made applicable to Suriname on February 10, 1963.

Where can I apply?

For E-1 visas and E-2 visas, you may apply at the U.S. Embassy in Paramaribo.

Length of Visa

The maximum length for which an E-1 or E-2 visa can be issued to a principal applicant who is a citizen of Suriname is 5 years.

Change of Status.

Investors who have changed status in the United States with USCIS must follow the steps for all first-time investors. Such a change of status remains valid only while the applicant remains in the United States. Once the applicant has left the United States, he or she requires an E –visa to return and resume the running of his or her business. Change of status does not guarantee the issuance of a visa nor does it exempt the investor from the normal process of filing documents in advance with the appropriate consulate.

Proper Use of B1/B2 Visas and Visa Waiver Travel for Investors

Potential investors may seek out investment opportunities, sign contracts, and take other steps to purchase or establish a business while traveling on B1/B2 status or on the Visa Waiver Program. However, applicants may not develop and direct a business while in such status. State Department regulations state (9 FAM 402.2-5(C)(7)), “Applicants seeking investment, like all B-1/B-2 travelers, are precluded from performing productive labor or from actively participating in the management of the business while in the United States in B status.”

Such actions are impermissible whether or not the investor receives any payment for his work.

For guidance on the procedures and requirements for obtaining an E visa, please click on the appropriate link below: