Requirements: Merchant (E-1)
The visa applicant must have the citizenship of a country with a trade agreement.
The company to which the visa applicant travels to the United States must have the nationality of the treaty country.
International trade must be “substantial” in the sense that there is a continuous and considerable volume of trade.
Trade must be mainly between the United States and the treaty country, that is, more than 50% of international trade must be carried out between the United States and the country of which the visa applicant has citizenship.
Trade means international exchange of goods, services and technology. The title of the marketed items must pass from one of the parties involved to the other.
The visa applicant must be employed as a supervisor or executive, or possess highly specialized knowledge for the efficient operation of the company.
Normal workers or without such specialized knowledge do not qualify.
Requirements: Investor (E-2)
The investor, whether a natural or legal person, must have the nationality of the treaty country.
The investment must be substantial. It must be enough to ensure the successful operation of the company. The percentage of investment for a low-cost business company must be greater than the percentage of investment in a high-cost company.
The investment must be a company with real operation. Speculative or inactive investments do not qualify.
The investment can not be marginal. It must generate significant income greater than those that only allow the investor and his family to survive, or must have a significant economic impact in the United States.
The investor must have control of the funds and the investment must be at risk in a commercial sense. Loans backed by company assets are not allowed.
The investor must come to the United States to develop and direct the company. If the visa applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed as a supervisor, executive or with highly specialized knowledge. Normal workers or without such specialized knowledge do not qualify.
SOURCE: US Embassy