Form DS-156E "Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Investor Application"

What Is Form DS-156e?

Form DS-156e, Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Investor Application, is a legal document developed for those individuals who would like to apply for an E-1 Treaty Trader or an E-2 Treaty Investor visa. These types of visas are nonimmigrant visas and give the opportunity to their owners to go to the U.S. to carry out substantial trade between the U.S. and their treaty country of origin.

The application was issued by the U.S. Department of State and was last revised in June 2018.

A DS-156e fillable form is available for download below.

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DS-156e Instructions

Completing the DS-156e Form is a straightforward process. The document is accompanied by a one page set of instructions where the applicant can find the requirements for Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor visas before applying for it. The application consists of three parts, which include the following:

  1. Business Profile. In the first part of the document, a filer must fill in 13 sections, such as (but not limited to):
    • Name and type of the U.S. business or enterprise (corporation, joint venture, partnership, etc.), address of headquarters and branch offices, telephone and fax number;
    • When and where it was established or incorporated in the U.S. (appropriate documentation must be attached);
    • The nature of the business (general trade, manufacturing, exports from the U.S., imports to the U.S., retail sales). An applicant must also fully describe the service or the production of the business;
    • If the enterprise has a foreign parent business a filer is required to state its name and address;
    • The assets, liability, and owners equity of the business, etc.;
  2. Staff. Individuals use this part of the application to enter information about the working personnel of the business in the U.S. They can include:
    • The type of personnel (managerial executives, specialized essentials, other), whether they are nationals of the treaty country, U.S. citizens, or legal permanent residents;
    • Personal information about the personnel, their names, positions or titles, nationalities, and information about their U.S., visas (type, sate, and place of issuing);
  3. Applicant. The last part of the form requires a filer to state personal information, which includes the full name of the applicant, their position, name, and address of their employer, education, etc.

To find information about how to file the DS-156e Form an applicant must visit the official website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where they are going to apply. The procedure can vary, however, an applicant might be required to provide additional documents with their form, such as bank records, financial statements, licenses, etc.

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Download Form DS-156E "Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Investor Application"

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NONIMMIGRANT TREATY TRADER/INVESTOR VISA APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
This form, together with Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, constitutes the application for an E-1 Treaty Trader or E-2 Treaty Investor
Nonimmigrant Visa. See visa requirements below. Incomplete or undocumented applications will be returned.
All first-time applicants seeking Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor status must complete Parts I and II. Parts I and II must be updated periodically. All
individual applicants must complete Part III and Form DS-160. You must answer all relevant questions. Enter "Not applicable" where appropriate. If an
enterprise is not yet fully operational, estimates and projections should be made concerning potential income, job creation, volume of sales, etc.
Supporting documents should be submitted in a binder with a table of contents and tabs. The following are examples of supporting documentation which
should be attached to first-time applications (not every type of document is applicable in each case; the consular officer may request additional information
if required): Evidence of possession and control of investment funds (bank records, financial statements, loans, savings, promissory notes, etc.); evidence
of remittance to the United States (bank drafts, transfers, exchange permits, receipts, etc.); evidence of establishment of business in the United States
(articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, organization and staffing charts, shares, titles, contracts, receipts, licenses, leases, etc.); evidence of the
nationality of the investors/traders (passports, articles of incorporation of parent company, stock exchange listings, etc.) ; evidence of trade between the
United States and the treaty country (invoices, bills of lading, customs clearances, warehouse receipts, shipping receipts, sales receipts, contracts, etc.) ;
evidence of investment in the United States (titles, receipts, contracts, loans, bank statements, etc.) ; evidence of substantiality (financial statements,
audits, U.S. corporate or business tax returns, etc.); evidence that the enterprise is not marginal (payroll records, IRS Form 941, personal tax returns,
evidence of other personal assets and income) ; evidence that the business is a real, operating enterprise (annual reports, catalogs, sales literature,
news articles, and other evidence as appropriate) ; curriculum vitae of the proposed visa recipient (optional). Specific instructions may vary by post and
applicants should refer to post websites for more details.
Use additional sheets of paper, as necessary, to complete responses.
TREATY TRADER AND TREATY INVESTOR VISA REQUIREMENTS
Section 101(a)(15)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides nonimmigrant visa status for a national of any of the countries with which the United
States maintains an appropriate treaty of commerce and navigation, who is coming to the United States to carry on 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 actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital. The requirements for Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor
visas are further elaborated in 22 CFR Part 41.51. These requirements are summarized below:
Requirements for a Treaty Trader (E-1) nonimmigrant visa are:
The applicant must be a national of a treaty country.
1.
The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the United States must have the nationality of the treaty country.
2.
The international trade must be "substantial" in the sense that it is of a high enough quantum and continuity of trade.
3.
The trade must be principally between the United States and the treaty country, which means that more than 50%) of the international trade
4.
involved must be between the United States and the country of the applicant's nationality. Trade means the international exchange of goods,
services and technology. The item of trade, and title of that item, must pass from one party to the other in exchange for consideration.
The applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess specialized skills essential to the successful and efficient
5.
operation of the commercial enterprise. Ordinarily skilled or unskilled workers generally do not qualify.
Requirements for a Treaty Investor (E-2) nonimmigrant visa are:
The investor, either a real or corporate person, must be a national of a treaty country.
1.
The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the treaty investor's commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise.
2.
The percentage in investment required for a low-cost business enterprise is generally higher than the percentage of investment required for a
high-cost enterprise.
The investment must be in a real operating commercial enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank
3.
account or similar security are not considered an investment.
The investment may not be marginal. It must have the capacity to generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to the investor
4.
and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States.
The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the
5.
investment enterprise are not considered to be at risk.
The investor must be coming to the United States solely to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she
6.
must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or specialized skills capacity. Ordinarily skilled and unskilled workers generally do not qualify.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT STATEMENTS
Confidentiality Statement - INA Section 222(f) provides that visa issuance and refusal records shall be considered confidential and shall be used only for
the formulation, amendment, administration, or enforcement of the immigration, nationality, and other laws of the United States. Certified copies of visa
records may be made available to a court which certifies that the information contained in such records is needed in a case pending before the court.
Paperwork Reduction Act Statement - *Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 4 hours per response, including
time required for searching existing data sources, gathering the necessary documentation, providing the information and/or documents required, and
reviewing the final collection. You do not have to supply this information unless this collection displays a currently valid OMB control number. If you have
comments on the accuracy of this burden estimate and/or recommendations for reducing it, please send them to: PRA_BurdenComments@state.gov
Instruction Page 1 of 1
DS-0156-E
06-2018
NONIMMIGRANT TREATY TRADER/INVESTOR VISA APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
This form, together with Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, constitutes the application for an E-1 Treaty Trader or E-2 Treaty Investor
Nonimmigrant Visa. See visa requirements below. Incomplete or undocumented applications will be returned.
All first-time applicants seeking Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor status must complete Parts I and II. Parts I and II must be updated periodically. All
individual applicants must complete Part III and Form DS-160. You must answer all relevant questions. Enter "Not applicable" where appropriate. If an
enterprise is not yet fully operational, estimates and projections should be made concerning potential income, job creation, volume of sales, etc.
Supporting documents should be submitted in a binder with a table of contents and tabs. The following are examples of supporting documentation which
should be attached to first-time applications (not every type of document is applicable in each case; the consular officer may request additional information
if required): Evidence of possession and control of investment funds (bank records, financial statements, loans, savings, promissory notes, etc.); evidence
of remittance to the United States (bank drafts, transfers, exchange permits, receipts, etc.); evidence of establishment of business in the United States
(articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, organization and staffing charts, shares, titles, contracts, receipts, licenses, leases, etc.); evidence of the
nationality of the investors/traders (passports, articles of incorporation of parent company, stock exchange listings, etc.) ; evidence of trade between the
United States and the treaty country (invoices, bills of lading, customs clearances, warehouse receipts, shipping receipts, sales receipts, contracts, etc.) ;
evidence of investment in the United States (titles, receipts, contracts, loans, bank statements, etc.) ; evidence of substantiality (financial statements,
audits, U.S. corporate or business tax returns, etc.); evidence that the enterprise is not marginal (payroll records, IRS Form 941, personal tax returns,
evidence of other personal assets and income) ; evidence that the business is a real, operating enterprise (annual reports, catalogs, sales literature,
news articles, and other evidence as appropriate) ; curriculum vitae of the proposed visa recipient (optional). Specific instructions may vary by post and
applicants should refer to post websites for more details.
Use additional sheets of paper, as necessary, to complete responses.
TREATY TRADER AND TREATY INVESTOR VISA REQUIREMENTS
Section 101(a)(15)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides nonimmigrant visa status for a national of any of the countries with which the United
States maintains an appropriate treaty of commerce and navigation, who is coming to the United States to carry on 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 actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital. The requirements for Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor
visas are further elaborated in 22 CFR Part 41.51. These requirements are summarized below:
Requirements for a Treaty Trader (E-1) nonimmigrant visa are:
The applicant must be a national of a treaty country.
1.
The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the United States must have the nationality of the treaty country.
2.
The international trade must be "substantial" in the sense that it is of a high enough quantum and continuity of trade.
3.
The trade must be principally between the United States and the treaty country, which means that more than 50%) of the international trade
4.
involved must be between the United States and the country of the applicant's nationality. Trade means the international exchange of goods,
services and technology. The item of trade, and title of that item, must pass from one party to the other in exchange for consideration.
The applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess specialized skills essential to the successful and efficient
5.
operation of the commercial enterprise. Ordinarily skilled or unskilled workers generally do not qualify.
Requirements for a Treaty Investor (E-2) nonimmigrant visa are:
The investor, either a real or corporate person, must be a national of a treaty country.
1.
The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the treaty investor's commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise.
2.
The percentage in investment required for a low-cost business enterprise is generally higher than the percentage of investment required for a
high-cost enterprise.
The investment must be in a real operating commercial enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank
3.
account or similar security are not considered an investment.
The investment may not be marginal. It must have the capacity to generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to the investor
4.
and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States.
The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the
5.
investment enterprise are not considered to be at risk.
The investor must be coming to the United States solely to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she
6.
must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or specialized skills capacity. Ordinarily skilled and unskilled workers generally do not qualify.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT STATEMENTS
Confidentiality Statement - INA Section 222(f) provides that visa issuance and refusal records shall be considered confidential and shall be used only for
the formulation, amendment, administration, or enforcement of the immigration, nationality, and other laws of the United States. Certified copies of visa
records may be made available to a court which certifies that the information contained in such records is needed in a case pending before the court.
Paperwork Reduction Act Statement - *Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 4 hours per response, including
time required for searching existing data sources, gathering the necessary documentation, providing the information and/or documents required, and
reviewing the final collection. You do not have to supply this information unless this collection displays a currently valid OMB control number. If you have
comments on the accuracy of this burden estimate and/or recommendations for reducing it, please send them to: PRA_BurdenComments@state.gov
Instruction Page 1 of 1
DS-0156-E
06-2018
U.S. Department of State
NONIMMIGRANT TREATY TRADER/INVESTOR APPLICATION
OMB CONTROL NO. 1405-0101
EXPIRES: 11/30/2022
USE WITH FORM DS-160/I-129
ESTIMATED BURDEN: 4 HOURS*
(USE ADDITIONAL SHEETS OF PAPER, AS NECESSARY, TO COMPLETE RESPONSES)
(See Instruction Page)
PART I - BUSINESS PROFILE
1. Name of U.S. Enterprise, Business, or Company
2. Type of Business Enterprise:
Corporation
Partnership
Branch/Liaison Office
Privately owned
Joint Venture
Subsidiary
Other
3. Address of Headquarters, Subsidiaries and Branch Offices of U.S. Enterprise (Specify type of office)
Telephone Number:
FAX Number:
4. Date (mm-dd-yyyy) and Place Business Was Established or Incorporated in the United States (
Attach appropriate documentation; e.g., corporate
papers, partnership agreement, etc.)
5. What is the nature of the business?
Other (Describe)
Retail Sales
General Trade
Exports from U.S.
Services/Technology
Imports to U.S.
Manufacturing
6. Describe fully the services, production, or other activity in No. 5 above.
7. Name and Address of Foreign Parent Business (If any)
Telephone Number:
FAX Number:
8. Nationality of Foreign Entity (Corporation, Partnership, etc.) or Foreign Individual Owner of U.S. Business (Attach documentation)
IF INDIVIDUAL INVESTOR,
IMMIGRATION STATUS/
NAME
NATIONALITY
PERCENT OF OWNERSHIP
Total - 100%
9. Financial Statement for year
Calendar Year
Fiscal Year (Attach most recent financial statement or auditor's report)
Total Assets of U.S. Business:
Current Cash
Historical Cost
Total Liabilities:
Owner's equity of a corporation refers
*
Owner's Equity:*
to paid-in capital plus retained
earnings; partner's capital accounts in
Total Annual Operating Income:
a partnership; and owner's capital
Before Taxes
After Taxes
account in a sole proprietorship.
DS-156E
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PREVIOUS EDITIONS OBSOLETE
06-2018
10.
To measure the amount of international trade with the United States, please complete the following. (For trade in merchandise, exports and imports,
T
refer to shipment and sale of goods across international boundaries. For trade in services and technology, exports and imports, refer to the sale of
services by treaty-country nationals to nationals of the United States and other countries.)
Gross International Trade of the U.S. Enterprise in
(year)
Calendar Year
Fiscal Year
Ending
NO. OF TRANSACTIONS
PERCENT OF TOTAL TRADE
DOLLAR VALUE
(Optional)
Imports from treaty country to U.S. business
Exports from U.S. business to treaty country
Imports from third countries to U.S. business
Exports from U.S. to third countries
Domestic U.S. production/manufacturing
100%
Total:
11. Type of Investment (Check one)
Purchase of an existing business
Continuation of an existing business
Creation of a new business
Purchase Price:
Fair Market Value of Business:
Total Start-up Costs:
12. Total Investment from Abroad Made in the United States (Attach documentation)
Fiscal
Calendar
FOR YEAR
TOTAL CUMULATIVE INVESTMENT
INITIAL INVESTMENT
Cash
Inventory
Equipment
Premises
Other (describe)
TOTAL
13. Source of Investment Capital (personal funds, corporate funds, loans, stocks, debentures, bonds, etc.); Evidence of Possession and Control of
Funds in the United States (Attach full documentation)
PART II - STAFF
14. Type of Personnel in the United States (Attach staffing chart)
Specify:
Fiscal Year
Calendar Year
SPECIALIZED
MANAGERIAL
ALL OTHER
ESSENTIAL
EXECUTIVE
EMPLOYEES
This Year
Next Year
This Year
Next Year
This Year
Next Year
Nationals of Treaty Country on E, H, & L Visas:
U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents:
Other (Third-Country Nationals):
TOTAL:
15. List all personnel of U.S. business holding executive, managerial and/or specialist positions by subsidiary/branch office. If aliens, indicate
nonimmigrant visa status or lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.
U.S. VISA
NAME AND POSITION/TITLE/DIVISION
NATIONALITY
TYPE
DATE
PLACE OF ISSUANCE
(mm-dd-yyyy)
DS-156E
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PART III - APPLICANT
16. Name of Applicant
(Family Name)
(First Name)
(Middle Name)
17. Type of Applicant:
Specialist
Principal owner/investor/trader
Supervisor
Other
Manager
Executive
18. Present Position and Duties (Describe in detail)
19. Name and Address of Employer
20. Years with Present Employer
21. Highest Level of Education
Major/Subject
Degree
Year
School
22. Other Relevant Experience and Education (Attach Curriculum Vitae - Optional)
23. Position in the United States
Title
Description of duties (include names and titles of all immediate subordinates)
24. Annual U.S. Salary and Benefit Package
25. Name of Person in the United States Being Replaced
Type of Visa
If NOT a replacement, is this:
Salary
a. An increase in staff?
No
Yes
Date issued (mm-dd-yyyy)
Allowances/Benefits
b. Continuation of existing employment in the
Place issued
TOTAL
United States?
No
Yes
26. I do solemnly swear or affirm that all statements which appear in this application are true and complete to the best of my knowledge
and belief.
Printed Name and Position or Office
Date (mm-dd-yyyy)
Signature of Responsible Officer
27. Name and Address of Person Who May Be Contacted About This Application
Telephone:
FAX:
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DS-156E
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