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What is trade? Can a service be considered trade for an E-1 visa?

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

E-1 visa is a great visa option if you want to live in the U.S. and you engage in international trade between the U.S. and your home country.  You can find out more about the E-1 visa requirements by clicking here.

Our clients often ask us what can be qualified as trade and whether providing services can be considered as trade.

What is trade?

Items of trade include for example:

  • goods
  • services (consulting, tax services, marketing, etc.)
  • international banking
  • insurance
  • monies
  • transportation
  • tourism
  • data processing
  • advertising
  • accounting
  • design
  • engineering
  • management consulting
  • technology and its transfer (including IT consulting, IT development, etc.)
  • communications

What is the definition of “goods”?

For the purposes of E-1 visa, goods are defined as tangible commodities or merchandise having extrinsic value.

What is the definition of “services”?

For the purposes of E-1 visa, services are defined as legitimate economic activities which provide other than tangible goods.

Please note that the list above is not exhaustive and any item that is commonly traded in international commerce can qualify as an item trade for E-1 purposes.

Can a service be considered trade for an E-1 visa?

As indicated above, a service can be considered trade for an E-1 visa. Please also note that if you want to qualify for an E-1 visa as a treaty trader, the provision of services must be the purpose of your business and must be the saleable commodity which you sell to the clients. The key is that the service is something that is provided from the Treaty Country to U.S. clients.  The service/trade must also continue after the person gets the E-1 visa.

Please see the E-1 visa requirements when you click here.

Please also see our blog post that discusses whether you have to reside in the U.S. after you get an E-1 visa when you click here.

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