Treaty Trader Visa (E-1)

Applications must be submitted in one hard-back loose-leaf binder. The binder should be no more than three inches (7.6 cm) thick. Binders should be clearly divided into tabs A through E, as per below. If you use plastic sheaths to protect documents, please do not put more than one piece of paper inside each one. Do not include multiple copies of any document. The tabs listed below represent the minimum requirements. Additional documentation may be requested.

If you do not follow the submissions guidelines, your application will be returned.  Applications are processed in the order they are received.  Applications are not placed in the queue until such time as a compliant application packet is received.  Accordingly, failure to comply with these requirements will lead to delays in processing of your case.  Standardized application formats will allow consular staff to review cases more quickly, decreasing delays.

Please note that documents marked with * must be submitted in English or be accompanied by an official English translation.

Tab A: Table of Contents

A cover letter* describing, in layman terms, the enterprise, its operations and the beneficiary. This letter must address all seven of the requirements for E-1 visa eligibility. These are described in depth in U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual (9 FAM 41.51).  Requirements three, four and five—requiring that the applicant’s activities constitute trade, that the trade is substantial and that it is principally between the United States and the treaty country—should be covered in the greatest detail.  The cover letter must also provide an overview of the enterprise’s operations and structure and explain how the business operates in the United States.  Please do not include lengthy citations from the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) or the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

If the applicant is not applying as the principal trader, but rather as an executive, supervisor or essential employee, the cover letter should also address the following: an explanation of the employee’s role in the E Visa company, including job title and duties; the applicant’s executive or supervisory responsibilities, or, if not a supervisor, his/her specialist role; the level of education and knowledge required by the employee’s position; his/her employment experience, high level training or special qualifications; and, if applying as an essential employee, an explanation as to why a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident cannot fill the position, a statement as to the expected duration for which employee will be essential and any other evidence/analysis necessary to demonstrate qualification under  9 FAM 41.41 N 14.

Tab B: Forms

Confirmation sheet of the DS-160. Applicants are required to complete the online electronic visa application form DS-160 and submit with their application the confirmation sheet.  Contact information provided must include an e-mail address.

A correctly filled out, signed DS-156E.*

A letter of agreement* between the investor and legal representative (Form G-28 if the representative is an attorney) signed by both parties and including a contact email address and phone number.

For each applicant, a passport-size photo. Photo requirements are available here.

NOTE: On the DS-156E applicants must list each country in which they possess citizenship in box number 8. This information may be hand written in if insufficient space is available.

Tab C: Applicant Information

A color photocopy of the bio data page of the principal applicant’s passport

A copy of any changes or extensions of status granted by USCIS (Form I-797).

A resume* or curriculum vitae* of the principal applicant.

Signed statement of intent to depart the US upon termination of status.*

Dependents: A copy of civil documents establishing the relationship between the principal applicant and any dependents (spouse or child under age 21), e.g. government-issued birth and/or marriage certificates.

Tab D: Ownership

Articles of Incorporation (for corporations) * or Organization (for LLC’s) for US business as well as certificates of filing or formation*

Share certificates and/or operating agreement * (as applicable) to verify ownership.

If you have a large company with several owners or subsidiaries or if the chain of ownership includes intermediary entities, please also submit the following: an organizational chart* of the full ownership structure; legal evidence of instances of ownership within that chain; and color photocopies of the bio data pages of the passports of the owners of the ultimate parent company.

If available, a copy of the enterprise’s most recent annual report.

If the investor is a public company with many shareholders, none of whom owns more than 50%, please also include a sample of recently published stock quotations.

In cases of affiliation with/ownership by a Surinamese company, include registration documentation for the Surinamese company from Suriname’s Chamber of Commerce (KKF).

Tab E: Trade

A spreadsheet* listing qualifying transactions of international trade between the treaty countries during the last calendar year. If there is a US entity with separate legal status (such as an incorporated company or a LLC), all figures should refer to its trade. Otherwise, consider the trade of the Surinamese company. This table should include the date, the invoice number, and the dollar value of the transaction. Include the total number and value of these transactions in your cover letter.

A representative sample of invoices adequate to demonstrate that the trade conducted by the company between the United States and the treaty country is substantial.  In no case should these total more than 100, and frequently this can be achieved with far fewer.

Provide copies of air bills or customs declaration proving that the goods or services moved from one country to the other.  These documents should correspond to the transactions included in the invoices referenced above.

Calculate the percentage of international trade represented by the US-Treaty Country trade documented above. This is not the percentage of total trade but the percentage of total international trade undertaken by the treaty investor business. Include this figure in your cover letter.

For a US entity, provide the most recent US tax returns, including IRS Forms 1120, W-3 and/or W-2, and current 941. For a Surinamese entity, provide the most recent Tax Declaration. US tax forms must be copies of the signed and dated forms actually submitted to the IRS.  In cases where filing extensions have been requested, provide the most recent returns actually filed, along with a written explanation for the extension request and the date by which filing is expected.

All references to monetary amounts in the DS-156E, cover letter, financial statements and business plan should clearly indicate whether they are in US Dollars (USD) or Suriname Dollars (SRD), not simply ‘$.’

Additional documents may be requested on a case-by-case basis.

Failure to follow these guidelines will result in application materials being returned.