One of the E-1 visa requirements is that the trade is principally between the U.S. and a treaty country. This means, that more than 50% of the total volume of the international trade must be between the U.S. and the treaty country. For example, if a company has trade that was the sale of computers and the sales for year were $1,000,000, at least $500,000 of the trade (or sales of computer) would have to be between the U.S. and the Treaty country in order to qualify for an E-1 visa.
What about the remainder of the trade, are there any restrictions?
The remainder of the trade may be either with other countries or can be a domestic trade. For example, in the above example, it would be fine if $250,000 of the revenue was made up of domestic sales and $250,000 was made up of sales to a non-treaty country. Please note that the domestic trade conducted in your treaty country is not relevant for the calculation of international trade.
However, some authorities suggest that domestic U.S. trade (trade that takes place entirely in the U.S.) is counted against the trader when calculating the percentage on international trade between the U.S. and the treaty country. For example, in the above example, the $250,000 in sales in the example above, would be used in the total trade number of $1,000,000 in order to see if the company reached the 50% mark.
How should I calculate the trade?
When calculating the international trade, you should calculate the trade conducted by the treaty trader (this can be either individual or a business entity) who is seeking an E-1 visa classification and the U.S.
When calculating the trade for E-1 visa purposes, it is extremely important to distinguish between a branch and a subsidiary.
Branch is not a separate legal entity and is a part of the entity usually in the Treaty country. Therefore, when calculating trade of a branch, you have to look at trade conducted by the entire entity of which the branch is a part.
On the other hand, subsidiary is a separate legal entity. When calculating trade of a subsidiary, you only have to look at trade conducted by the subsidiary.
Please see our blog post on whether you need a Business Plan for E-1 visa when you click here.
Please see our blog post on whether your business in your home country has to continue after you get an E-1 visa when you click here.
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