The United States has signed treaties with over 80 countries to promote investment and commerce by exchanging immigration benefits. Investors and merchants from these Treaty Countries can come to the United States on a special class of "E" Visa to conduct investment or trade activity.
With an E Visa, you may stay in the country for as long as your qualifying commerce activity continues. Your family may also join you.
Foreign nationals from any one of the Treaty Countries are eligible for E Visas if they also would be coming to the United States to facilitate commerce between their home country and the United States. That commerce falls into two categories:
This class of E Visa is available to individuals who meet the criteria above and who would be coming to the United States to promote "substantial trade" between their country of origin and the United States. The immigrant must be a manager, supervisor, or executive of a foreign-owned company or be an employee with special skills, such as a unique knowledge of the product being marketed.
The trade can be of products, monies, technology, services, or a number of other qualifying goods or services. The trading must be "substantial," meaning that it is carried on over a long period of time and has a large aggregate value.
An immigration lawyer familiar with business visas is a good place to start if you want more details on E-1 Visas.
E Visas are also available to foreign nationals from Treaty Countries who would like to invest in a foreign-owned company that will operate in the United States. This is not as simple as it sounds – your investment must be substantial and real (i.e. with some risk at stake). Like the sister E-1 category, the E-2 Visa is a good option but successfully applying for one requires experience and an understanding of the eligibility requirements.