We write business plans for U.S. and Canadian immigration, and assist entrepreneurs in growth and capital raising.

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Are You Applying for an E-1 Visa? Make Sure to Ask Your Attorney These 3 Questions!

With a focus on international trade, the E-1 visa is an excellent option for nationals of treaty countries looking to trade products or services with the U.S. While we are huge fans of the E-1 visa, successfully obtaining one requires extensive organization, coordination, and planning.

We have used our 12+ years of experience to zero in on three questions that will save you time and effort when applying for an E-1 visa and preparing a visa business plan. Don’t forget to ask these three key questions to make the most of your time with your immigration attorney and simplify your path to an E-1 visa.

Question #1: Based on my business model, what level of substantial trade do you feel comfortable with?

Each attorney you talk to will have a different opinion on how much trade you should conduct in the next five years, so it is fundamental that you follow your legal counsel’s guidance. Knowing this key figure upfront will be vital to the overall strategy for your visa business plan.

Question #2: How much trade must I have conducted by the time I submit my E-1 application?

The U.S. law regarding E-1 visas is broad, requiring only that the exchange between the U.S. and the treaty country is “substantial.”[1] But what does substantial mean? Since there is no minimum requirement regarding the monetary value or volume of each transaction when applying for an E-1 visa, your attorney’s input is critical.

Question #3: How would you feel if I operated my business from my home or virtual office?

Although much of today’s business is conducted online, home offices and virtual workspaces are frowned on by many attorneys, and the mention of a home office can raise eyebrows among immigration officers. Asking your attorney this question will ensure that you are 100% aligned with their strategy.

Raising these questions right away will help you leverage your attorney’s knowledge, get a head start on your E-1 visa application and visa business plan, and reach your immigration goals.

Visa Business Plans is led by Marco Scanu, a certified coach from the University of Miami with a globally-based practice coaching Fortune 1000 company executives, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals in 4 different continents. Mr. Scanu advises clients on turnaround strategies and crisis management.

Mr. Scanu received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and an MBA in Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Mr. Scanu was also a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University under the prestigious H. Humphrey Fellowship (Fulbright program) with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital and high-growth enterprises.

At present, Mr. Scanu is the managing partner and CEO at Visa Business Plans, a Miami-based boutique consulting firm providing attorneys and investors with business planning services in the areas of U.S. and Canadian immigration and SBA loans.


[1] US Citizen and Immigration Services “General Qualifications of a Treaty Trader.” | February 2021 |