As a result of the United States withdrawing from a bilateral treaty with Iran, Iranian nationals are no longer eligible for E-1 Treaty Trader or E-2 Treaty Investor visas. The two categories allow nationals of countries that are party to a treaty with the U.S. to apply for visas for the purposes of engaging in trade or investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.

Key points:

  • Iranian nationals will no longer be eligible to apply for initial E-1 or E-2 visas or extensions of existing E-1 or E-2 visas.
  • Iranian nationals holding valid E-1 or E-2 status may remain in the U.S. until their current status expires.
  • Iranian nationals whose applications for E-1 or E-2 visas were filed after the Oct. 3 termination of the treaty will receive denial notices from USCIS.

Background: On Oct. 3, 2018, the Trump administration terminated the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights with Iran. The treaty provided the basis for Iranian nationals to be eligible for E-1 and E-2 visas.

BAL Analysis: As a practical matter, Iranian nationals have not been eligible for E-1 visas for some time because of economic sanctions prohibiting U.S. trade with Iran, which also restricted some, but not all, Iranians from E-2 eligibility. However, the U.S. withdrawal from the bilateral treaty with Iran will now preclude all Iranian nationals from obtaining or extending E-2 investor visas status.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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