Treaty Trader and Investor Visas

Two types of visas are available for those who want to trade, or to invest in a company in the U.S.: a Treaty Trader visa (E-1) or a Treaty Investor visa (E-2).  These visas are intended for citizens of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation who wish to go to the United States to engage in substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, principally between the United States and the treaty country; or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the national has invested, or is in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital.

Please note that neither of these visas is a substitute for an immigrant visa. Persons wishing to remain indefinitely in the U.S. should apply for the appropriate immigrant visa.

In Spain, E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor visa applications from Spain are processed at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid.

Basic information about E-1 and E-2 visas is available at the State Department Website.

Applying for E-1 and E-2 visas

The Embassy uses an online appointment service for all visa applicants.

All E nonimmigrant visa applicants must complete Form DS-160 and Form DS-156E. In the event an applicant selects the wrong classification when submitting the DS-160, this will delay the application processing.

In addition to the DS-160 and DS-156E, applicants must submit supporting documentation using the following format:

  • Maximum of 15 pages (including appendices, diagrams, company financial documents and marketing materials). Please note that a single sheet of paper printed on both sides will be counted as two pages toward the 15 page overall limit.
    • The following documents do not count towards the page limit: Forms DS-160, DS-156E, appointment confirmation page, copy of passport bio-page, tabs/dividers and G-28
  • Applications must be submitted in a ringed half-inch (or equivalent metric size) binder holding standard letter size pages (​either standard U.S. letter or standard Spanish letter)
  • Sections must be identified using tab-style dividers that are clearly labeled (refer to required format description below)
  • Cover of the binder must present a page with the company name, applicant name, nationality, place of birth, visa classification requested, type of business/industry, primary contact information (must include email) and date of submission
  • The spine of the binder must list the principal applicant’s name (family name followed by given name) separated by a comma, for example: SMITH, John Paul
  • Applications that do not follow the required format or that exceed the maximum page requirement will be delayed

The Embassy accepts one original copy of the application at the following address:

Visa Unit – E Visa Applications, Embassy of the United States of America,
Madrid, Spain, Calle Serrano, 75 28006 Madrid Spain

Once the application is received, if additional information is needed it will be requested via email.

E-1 Visa Applications Required Format
  • DS-160
    • For principal applicant(s) and dependent family member(s): DS-160 confirmation page(s) generated by the online system, with 5×5 photo(s). For principal applicant(s) and dependent family member(s): Photocopy of bio data (photo) page of passport (DO NOT SEND ANY PASSPORTS BY MAIL).
  • DS-156E
    • Fully completed form DS-156E parts I, II and III. Fill out the form online and include a printed copy with the application.
  • Memo
    • If the company has previously qualified for E-1 visa status, this section must include the date of the initial issuance and the complete name of the most recent visa recipient. It should also describe the company, position, and the applicant’s role. This letter must address all requirements for Treaty Trader (E-1) visa eligibility.
  • Nationality
    • Proof of treaty country ownership or controlling interest in the enterprise.
  • Trade
    • Evidence of trade not to exceed two pages showing transactions, dates and trading partners along with nationality and evidence that trade is principally between the United States and the treaty country.
  • Resume
    • Applicant’s résumé, certifications and degrees, etc. and, if an essential employee, evidence that employee has essential skills that the enterprise urgently needs, as well as the projected duration of this essentiality.
  • G-28
    • G-28 “Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative” (as appropriate), including contact e-mail address and phone number.
E-2 Visa Applications Required Format
  • DS-160
    • For principal applicant(s) and dependent family member(s): DS-160 confirmation page(s) generated by the online system, with 5×5 photo(s). For principal applicant(s) and dependent family member(s): Photocopy of bio data (photo) page of passport (DO NOT SEND ANY PASSPORTS BY MAIL).
  • DS-156E
    • Fully completed form DS-156E parts I, II and III. Please fill out the form online and include a printed copy with the application.
  • Memo
    • If the company has previously qualified for E-1 visa status, this section must include the date of the initial issuance and the complete name of the most recent visa recipient. It should also describe the company, position, and the applicant’s role. This letter must address all requirements for Treaty Trader (E-1) visa eligibility.
  • Nationality
    • Proof of treaty country ownership or controlling interest in the enterprise.
  • Investment
    • Proof that funds have been invested or that the investor is actively in the process of investing and that the investment is substantial. Evidence that enterprise is more than marginal. Applicants must show the source of capital for new or recently opened businesses (less than two years) which may include investors, personal capital or other sources. Capital must be irrevocably committed.
  • Operations
    • Proof that the enterprise is a real and active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking and that it is producing a service or commodity. Evidence can include a sample of recent sales receipts or invoices, sample client lists, letters from clients, signed contracts with clients, and photographs of the enterprise, etc.
  • Resume
    • Applicant’s résumé, certifications and degrees, etc., and, if an essential employee, evidence that employee has essential skills that the enterprise urgently needs, as well as the projected duration of this essentiality.
  • Business Plan
    • Business plan for the next five years, including projected expenses and profits. The plan must verify the capacity of the enterprise to realize a profit within a maximum of five years. Enterprises that have previously qualified that have been in existence in the United States for more than two years should submit the first five pages of their most recent tax return(s) along with a sample client/customer list.
  • G-28
    • G-28 “Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative” (as appropriate), including contact e-mail address and phone number.
Additional Employees of Previously Issued Companies

If an organization has previously been issued an E-2 or E-1 visa during the prior 12 months, additional applicants for the same E visa classification may appear for an interview with the following information:

  • For principal applicant(s) and dependent family member(s): DS-160 confirmation page(s) generated by the online system, with 5×5 photo(s). For principal applicant(s) and dependent family member(s): Photocopy of bio data (photo) page of passport (DO NOT SEND ANY PASSPORTS BY MAIL).
  • Fully completed DS-156E, Parts I, II and III
  • Summary page with company name, applicant name, contact information and date of submission, along with the name of most recent prior applicant to qualify for an E visa and dates of visa validity.
  • Cover memo describing company, applicant’s position and qualifications. This letter must address all requirements for E visa eligibility.
  • Proof that the enterprise is currently operating, including copies of the first five pages of the latest year’s U.S. tax returns and a recent sample client/customer list.
  • The applicant’s résumé, certifications and degrees, etc.
  • G-28 “Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative” (as appropriate), including contact e-mail address and phone number.