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E-1 Visa: Do I need to show that I have intent to return to my home country?

By May 22, 2023E-1 Visa
A happy family in their home.

E-1 visa is a great visa option for treaty traders who engage in substantial international trade between the U.S. and their home country. The E-1 visa can be granted for up to 5 years, depending on your country of nationality. You can see our blog post that goes over the E-1 visa requirements here.

How can I show my intent to return in my E-1 visa application?

E-1 visa is a non-immigrant intent visa, meaning that E-1 visa applicants do not plan to come to the U.S. to remain permanently or to obtain a green card. There are some visas such as the H-1B or L-1 visa that allow dual intent, but unfortunately the E-1 visa is not a dual intent visa.

For some non-immigrant intent visa (such as for example a B-2 tourist visa or the F-1 student visa), you generally have to show detailed evidence demonstrating your ties to your home country.

For E-1 visa applicants, this requirement is much more relaxed. Generally, the E-1 visa applicants don’t have to show that they have residence abroad which they don’t intent to abandon. The Foreign Affairs Manual explicitly says that E-1 visa applicants may even sell their residence and move all their household effects to the U.S. and still qualify for an E-1 visa. For majority of E-1 visa petitions, we generally only submit one document as evidence of Applicant’s intent to return to the home country. This is a document that is signed and dated by the E-1 applicant and that expresses his intent to leave the U.S. after his E-1 visa expires.

Please note that the Declaration of the E-1 applicant’s intent is going to be sufficient in the vast majority of cases. However, if you have a close family that is living in the U.S. or if you are a Beneficiary of an I-130 immigrant petition, you will need to bring additional documentation showing that you do plan to leave at the end of your E-1 authorized stay. This could include documentation such as evidence that you own business/property in your home country, or evidence that you have financial assets there such as your bank/investment/retirement statements or other evidence showing ties to your home country,

Please see our blog post that goes over some Common E-1 Q&A here.

Please see our blog post on what the Consular officer can ask you at the interview here.

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