Treaty Trader E-1

Procedures for Initial Registration of a Company – or – Renewal of the Registration of a Company with fewer than 25 permanent employees.

If you are an applicant from a treaty country, such as Germany, the enterprise itself possesses treaty country nationality, and the enterprise’s activities constitute trade within the meaning of the Immigration and Nationality Act, you may qualify for an E-1 visa. The trade involved must be substantial and must take place principally between the United States and the treaty country [See See 9 FAM 402.9-5].

If you believe you qualify for an E-1 visa, you must first register and pay the application fee(s) through our visa service provider, CGI Federal.  Please follow the instructions and submit your application by mail.  After your application has been received and processed, you will be contacted to schedule an interview.

Required Format for E-1 Company Registration or Renewal

As of August 1, 2015, the U.S. Consulate General in Frankfurt will not be accepting E-visa applications exceeding 90 pages (maximum). These pages may not be double-sided or include several miniature pages pasted on one page.

Please adhere to the following format in submitting your application. Applications not complying with the format below may not be accepted by the E-visa unit.  For specific examples of documentation that could satisfy many of the elements below, please see 9 FAM 402.9-11.

Tab 1a
Tab 1b
  • Form DS-156E on behalf of the principal applicant with Form G-28 (if represented by an attorney) signed by applicant/company representative.
Tab 1c

Cover letter describing company, position and beneficiary. This letter must address all requirements for E-visa eligibility as defined by the Foreign Affairs Manual and U.S. law.

It should address the following in detail:

  • that the trade is substantial, as defined in 9 FAM 402.9-5(C);
  • that the trade is occurring principally between the United States and the treaty country, 9 FAM 402.9-5(D); and
  • that the applicant will fill an executive/supervisory role or possesses skills that are essential to the firm’s effective operation, 9 FAM 402.9-7.
Tab 2a A business plan including a 5-year forecast in a Profit/Loss format (one page), tax returns for the past 2 years (if an existing company), and a one page Year-to-date profit/loss statement.
Tab 2b

Proof of treaty country ownership and controlling interest in the enterprise.

  • At least 50% of the ultimate owners must be citizens of the treaty nation as evidenced by: Certificates of Incorporation, Articles of Incorporation/Formation/Organization, Stock ledger, plus other documents to establish ownership including Commercial Register, list of shareholders, and copies of owners’ national IDs. If the foreign parent company is owned by other entities, please provide these documents for each company in the ownership chain.
  • In the case of publicly-traded companies, the Consular Officer may presume that the nationality of the corporation is that of the location of the exchange where the company’s stock is exclusively traded. The applicant must provide evidence to support the presumption that citizens of the treaty nation most likely hold the ownership of the firm (e.g. Report of investors per region).

Note: A permanent resident alien does not qualify to bring in employees under INA 101(a)(15)(E). Moreover, shares of a corporation or other business organization owned by permanent resident aliens cannot be considered in determining majority ownership by nationals of the treaty country to qualify the company for bringing in alien employees under INA 101(a)(15)(E).

Tab 2c Evidence of substantial trade as defined by 9 FAM 402.9-5(C)  and evidence that trade is principally between the U.S. and the treaty country 9 FAM 402.9-5(D), e.g. Summary of Imports and Exports between the treaty country and the U.S and their percentage in relation to company’s Gross International Trade.
Tab 3a Evidence of ongoing trade in the last/current operational period: Monthly summaries, invoices, shipping receipts, custom clearances, warehouse receipts, contracts, sales receipts, etc.
Tab 3b Purchase contract for office/ property or lease agreement.
Tab 4 Applicant’s resume 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. Please include an organizational chart showing the line-management relationship. You may also wish to explain why the enterprise was unable to find a qualified U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident to fill the position.



Companies applying for Initial Registration or Renewal of the Registration must simultaneously submit a paper application and an additional PDF copy of the paper version.

Original paper application not exceeding 90 pages please mail to:

U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt
Gießener Straße 30
60435 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Scanned copy of the paper application as PDF file not exceeding 5 MB per e-mail to:

Email subject must specify company, applicant’s name, and Att: E-Visa Unit