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01.23.20

Iranian nationals no longer eligible for E-1 and E-2 visa status

BY Jason Gerrol

On January 22, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Iranian nationals are no longer eligible for E-1 treaty trader or E-2 treaty investor status as a result of the termination of the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights between the United States and Iran. Importantly, Iranian nationals currently in the U.S. and maintaining their E-1 or E-2 visa status may continue to do so until their current status expires.

As background, the E visa category includes both treaty traders (E-1) and treaty investors (E-2), both of which are reserved for nationals of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation, among other requirements.

The 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights was initially entered into for the purpose of normalizing relations between the United States and Iran. However, on October 3, 2018, following an order by the International Court of Justice requiring the United States to ease some sanctions against Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States would cancel the 1955 treaty.

While Iran still appears on the Department of State's list of approved treaty countries for E visa purposes, the January 22nd USCIS announcement effectively ends the ability of Iranian nationals to seek E-1 or E-2 status.

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Jason Gerrol

Of Counsel

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