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Do I need an Entity for an E-1 visa in my home country? Do I need an entity for an E-1 visa in the U.S.?

By March 20, 2020May 14th, 2021E-1 Visa, Immigration

Do I need to have an entity in my home country?

Let’s analyze the following scenario: you have been importing goods from your home country to the U.S. or you have been providing services from your home country to the U.S. clients for the past 3 years, but you have been doing this as an individual and you do not have an entity in your home country. Is this going to be a problem for the E-1 visa?

The short answer is no. For the purposes of E-1 visa, it is completely fine if you have not set up an entity in your home country, but the trade between you and the U.S. must still meet the E-1 visa requirements. The regulations suggest that the treaty trader may be an individual, partnership, a joint venture, a corporation, etc.  While an entity is not needed, the trade between the U.S. and the Treaty country must continue so there may have to be someone in the Treaty country (for example, if the trade is a service) still performing work or conducting the trade.  If the trade was a product (eg. importing furniture), you would not necessarily need anyone in the home country.  While you do not need an entity, in most situations it may be advisable that you set up an entity in your home country, please see our blog post when you click here.

Do I need to have an entity in the U.S.?

It is not required that you set up an entity in the U.S. in order to get an E-1 visa. However, in certain situations, in may be practical that you set up an entity in the U.S. for example for tax or liability purposes.

Please see our blog post discussing the E-1 requirements when you click here.

Please also see our blog post discussing what qualifies as trade for E-1 purposes when you click here.

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