Are you applying for the E1 visa? If YES, here is a sample template on how to write a business plan for E1 visa program that is immigration compliant.

What is an E1 Visa?

Although the E1 visa application is classified as a non-immigrant visa, the unlimited two-year extension that it offers is an excellent and attractive option for traders looking to create long-term substantial trade between the US and their native country. Just like all other Visa applications, the USCIS have laid down requirements for E-1 visa approval and leave it up to each applicant to prove that they have indeed fulfilled all requisites.

What You Must Know When Applying for the E1 Visa Program

Although, it is not specifically named among the list of needed documents, but the business plan has long served as a very critical method of putting together a burden of proof sufficient to USCIS standards. When putting together an E1 Visa Business Plan, the writer of the business plan is expected to be detailed in every aspect. This can be accomplished within sections that most business professional already expect to find within a Business Plan’s pages.

A detailed Business Description, for example, is capable of providing background on the applicant’s Company in the Treaty Country. All details relating to how trade will be conducted can be clearly and simply described along with transportation channels, sourcing details and product descriptions. Further, the inclusion of a market analysis indicates to the USCIS that the Trader has found the best location for the development of his business.

Another aspect to remember is the Service Analysis section. A 5-year Financial and Sales Analysis is probably one of the most important sections of the E1 immigration visa business plan, as it details the financial viability of a trade operation.

This section can be exceptionally useful to applications seeking the renewal of their visa once the 2-year duration has come to an end. Generally, this information provides USCIS with an overall analysis of not only how your trade in the US will be launched, but can also detail how you intend to keep it going.

In all cases, a business plan serves to provide supplementary and detailed information. In E1 Treaty Trader Visa applications, this is no different. However, the business plan also serves an additional purpose that is specifically useful to E1 visa applicants: it can demonstrate that the Company you are establishing will survive for a long period of time, growing your chances of securing future extensions.

How to Write a Winning Business Plan for E1 Visa Program That is Immigration Compliant

The applicant of an E1 Visa must be a citizen of a treaty country. The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the united states must have the nationality of the treaty country, meaning persons with the treaty country’s nationality must own at least 50 percent of the enterprise.

Also note that the international trade must be “substantial”. There must be a sizeable and continuing volume of trade (trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology).

Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other. More than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the U.S. and the country of the applicant’s nationality. Also note that the applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skill essential to the efficient operation of the firm.

Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify. Please note that a detailed explanation of why the applicant’s skills are essential for the enterprise in the U.S. may be required. Do not forget that the applicant must intend to depart the U.S. when his / her E-1 status ends. Aside from these qualifications, below are well organized tips to consider when putting together an E1 business plan.

1. Executive Summary

Coupled with the overall outline of the business plan, the executive summary is expected to follow the title page. The summary should, in good details, tell the reader what you want. This is very important. All too often, what the business owner desires is buried in page eight. Clearly state what you’re asking for in the summary.

2. Business Description

This part of the business plan usually starts with a short description of the industry. When describing the industry, discuss the present outlook as well as future possibilities. You are also expected to provide information on all the various markets within the industry, including any new products or developments that will benefit or adversely affect your business.

3. Market Strategies

Have it in mind that are the result of a well performed market analysis. A market analysis prepares the entrepreneur to become familiar with all aspects of the market so that the target market can be defined and the company can be positioned in order to garner its share of sales.

4. Competitive Analysis

You need to understand that the purpose of the competitive analysis is to state the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors within your market, strategies that will provide you with a unique and realistic advantage, the barriers that can be developed in order to prevent competition from entering your market, and any weaknesses that can be exploited within the product development cycle.

5. Design & Development Plan

The sole goal of the design and development plan section is to provide investors with a description of the product’s design, chart its development within the context of production, marketing and the company itself, and create a development budget that will enable the company to reach its goals.

6. Operations & Management Plan

The operations and management plan is designed to explain in vivid details how the business functions on a continuing basis. The operations plan will highlight the logistics of the organization such as the roles and responsibilities of the management team, the tasks assigned to each division within the company, and capital and expense requirements related to the operation of the business.

7. Financial Factors

This sector of the business plan is more or less always at the back of the business plan, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important than up-front material such as the business concept and the management team.

8. Major Revisions

The business planning process will always include an important paradox. Strategy works only when consistently applied over a long period, which means that you can’t implement strategy without following a long-term plan. However, blindly following a long-term plan can also kill a company that stubbornly insists on following a plan that isn’t working.

That is why the resolution of the paradox is called management. It involves judgment. The owners, operators and managers of the business are tasked with differentiating between consistently applying long-term strategy and blindly following a failing plan.

There are no easy rules for this, but the first place to look for clues is in false assumptions. Has the real world proven wrong the assumptions on which your strategy is based? This kind of subjective judgment is what makes business management so important. The planning process, with its regular review, is very important.


It’s important you understand that your business plan, just like all other business plans, are theoretically wrong. Plans are made for the future–and nobody gets the future right very often, so keep the plan fresh and watch closely as reality twists and moves forward.

Do not forget that a planning process constantly watches the difference between the plan and actual results. This kind of tracking becomes the key to management. Also, remember not to present false documents.

Fraud or misrepresentation can result in permanent visa ineligibility. If confidentiality is a concern, you should bring your documents to the U.S. Embassy in a sealed envelope. The U.S. Embassy will not make your information available to anyone and will respect the confidentiality of your information.