SHARE

April 04, 2022

Treaty of Commerce and Navigation Visas as Work Visa Option for Manufacturing Companies

You've Reached Your
Free Article Limit This Month
Register for free to get unlimited access to all Law.com OnPractice content.
Register Now

Most companies in the manufacturing industry are facing worker shortages in skilled, but not necessarily professional, positions, requiring creative solutions to source additional talent. These companies may turn to contractors or subcontractors to assist in their manufacturing projects. In some cases, these contractors or subcontractors may be foreign-owned — particularly in sectors where other countries' industries are highly competitive, such as the German automotive industry or the Japanese electronics industry, among other sectors.

Many employment-based visas, such as the nonimmigrant H-1B or TN visas, are not feasible options for skilled, non-professional workers, as these visas require the positions to be "professional" or require at least a bachelor's degree.

Manufacturing companies, however, may have additional options to find skilled workers by utilizing international investments from "treaty countries." These are countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation or a qualifying international agreement. The United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation with several dozen countries around the world — qualifying these countries for E-1 or E-2 visas.

Certain foreign-owned manufacturing companies in the United States may be able to source additional labor from a previously untapped talent pool and hire skilled labor from abroad. Manufacturing companies that contract or subcontract certain portions of their work to certain foreign-owned companies also may benefit from this option.

E-1 visas are reserved for foreign individuals or organizations engaged in trade principally between the United States and the treaty country. E-2 visas are reserved for foreign individuals or organizations that have invested or are actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in an enterprise in the United States. Certain employees also possessing the nationality of the treaty country similarly may be eligible for this classification, including executives, supervisors, or employees with special qualifications that make them essential to the operation of the enterprise. 8 CFR 214.2(e)(3)(ii).

Because "special qualifications" is defined broadly, employees in lesser capacities may be considered essential to the successful or efficient operation of the treaty enterprise. Crucially, the immigration regulations take into account whether the skills and qualifications are readily available in the United States. In industries that have been hit hard by worker shortages, a larger number of professions than ever before may meet these criteria.

E-1 and E-2 visa holders may be admitted to the United States for two years and can continue to extend their stay in two-year increments for as long as the underlying trade or investment is maintained and as long as the employee continues to be employed in an executive, supervisory, or essential capacity. Moreover, E-1 and E-2 employees may bring their family with them as dependents, and dependent spouses may obtain work authorization, as well.


©2022 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Focused on labor and employment law since 1958, Jackson Lewis P.C.'s 950+ attorneys located in major cities nationwide consistently identify and respond to new ways workplace law intersects business. We help employers develop proactive strategies, strong policies and business-oriented solutions to cultivate high-functioning workforces that are engaged, stable and diverse, and share our clients' goals to emphasize inclusivity and respect for the contribution of every employee. For more information, visit https://www.jacksonlewis.com.

ALM expressly disclaims any express or implied warranty regarding the OnPractice Content, including any implied warranty that the OnPractice Content is accurate, has been corrected or is otherwise free from errors.

More From Jackson Lewis P.C.

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on Where Businesses Can Be Sued

By Stephanie L. Adler-Paindiris Jackson Lewis P.C. November 17 , 2022

The constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s “registration statute,” which requires corporations that register to do business in Pennsylvania consent to the “general personal jurisdiction” of Pennsylvania, was the subject of oral argument in the U.S. Supreme Court on November 8, 2022.

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses Review of Case Involving Technical Issue With Plaintiff's EEOC Charge

By Stephanie L. Adler-Paindiris Jackson Lewis P.C. November 16 , 2022

Refusing to weigh in on the impact of a plaintiff’s failure to verify her discrimination charge filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the U.S. Supreme Court lets stand the lower court’s conclusion that the plaintiff’s failure to verify her charge barred her from filing a lawsuit.

Employers Should Note Post-Midterms State Law Changes

By Richard I. Greenberg Jackson Lewis P.C. November 16 , 2022

As the final tally of ballots comes in for many electoral races across the country, the outcomes of the various state ballot measures that were also part of the Nov. 8 midterm elections could require changes to employers’ policies and procedures.

More From Immigration Law

Temporary Protected Status Extended for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal

By Laura Foote Reiff Greenberg Traurig November 14 , 2022

The Department of Homeland Security announced an 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal.

U.S. Department of Education No Longer Recognizes ACICS as an Accrediting Agency

By Luna Ma Greenberg Traurig November 08 , 2022

USCIS posted a notice that as of Aug. 19, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education no longer recognizes the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as an accrediting agency.

Safe Harbor For Asylum Seekers

By McDermott Will & Emery attorneys McDermott Will & Emery October 28 , 2022

Ms. M. fled Honduras with her three-month-old son after her former partner, a Mara 18 gang member, assaulted her and threatened their children.

Featured Stories
Closeclose
Search
Menu

Working...