Treaty Trader (E-1), Treaty Investor (E-2), Employee of an E-1 or E-2, Australian Specialty Occupation Worker (E-3)
The E category includes treaty traders, treaty investors, and certain nonimmigrant employees of such people (and their spouses and children) who come to the U.S. under a treaty of commerce and navigation between the U.S. and their country of nationality. This category also includes Australian specialty occupation workers.
Treaty traders pursue substantial trade in goods, including (but not limited to) services and technology, principally between the U.S. and their country of nationality. Treaty investors direct the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested, or are actively investing, a substantial amount of money. Certain employees of treaty traders and treaty investors (that is, those coming to engage in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or, if employed in a lesser position, having special qualifications that make their services essential to the operation of the enterprise) receive the same classification as their employer. For example, the nonimmigrant employee of a treaty trader is admitted in E-1 status, and the employee of a treaty investor is admitted in E-2 status. In addition, the spouses and children of these people, as well as treaty traders and investors, are also eligible for E-1 or E-2 classification, respectively. E-1 and E-2 spouses are also eligible to apply for employment authorization.
Before entering the U.S., treaty traders or investors and their nonimmigrant employees must apply for and receive an E-1 or E-2 visa from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy overseas and subsequently be admitted to this country by CBP. However, a U.S. company may also request a change of status to, or an extension of stay in, E-1 or E-2 classification for a nonimmigrant that is already in the United States. USCIS processes change of status and extensions of stay requests for nonimmigrants whose companies have filed such petitions.
Australian Specialty Occupation Worker (E-3)
Australian specialty occupation workers perform services in a specialty occupation. Before entering the U.S., Australian specialty occupation workers must apply for and receive an E-3 visa from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy overseas. However, a U.S. company may also request a change of status to E-3 for a nonimmigrant who is already in the United States. E-3 nonimmigrants who are in the United States may also seek an extension of stay in E-3 classification. USCIS processes change of status and extension of stay requests for nonimmigrants whose companies have filed such petitions. As in the case of spouses and dependents of E-1 and E-2 treaty traders and investors, the spouse and dependents of an E-3 are eligible to seek E-3 classification. In addition, E-3 spouses may apply for employment authorization.
In Section 1 of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, the employee in E status should check, “An alien authorized to work” and enter the admission number and expiration date of their status as indicated on Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. When presented together, the unexpired Form I-94 and unexpired foreign passport is an acceptable List A document. For completing Section 2 (or Section 3 for reverification), employers should follow the applicable instructions.
E nonimmigrant spouses are only authorized to work if USCIS has issued Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document, to them. The spouse’s foreign passport and Form I-94 are not evidence of identity and employment authorization for purposes of Form I-9.
For more information on treaty traders, treaty investors and Australian specialty workers, visit our Temporary Worker page or call our Employer, Business, Investor and School Services information line at 800-357-2099.