Answer – Visas for 'technical expats' in the US – E-001021/2016

The US has taken commitments in the World Trade Organisation General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) concerning the posting of intra-corporate transferees into its territory. In particular, managers, executives and specialists that comply with certain requirements are allowed entry and temporary stay in the US for a period of three years that may be extended for a total term not to exceed five years. The US has a particular type of visas specifically designed to cover those service suppliers. Only in three other free trade agreements (FTAs) the US has undertaken commitments in this field, namely NAFTA (the agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico) and the US-Chile and US-Singapore FTAs, both signed in 2003. Since 2003, the US has refrained from taking commitments related to the entry of professionals in the framework of its FTAs. Accordingly, the US remains reluctant to negotiate any commitments leading to the allocation of visas to service providers in the context of TTIP.

Despite such a defensive US stance, the EU has an ambitious mobility agenda in TTIP, including an offensive position on movement of intra-corporate transferees and other categories of professionals. The negotiations on this chapter are still ongoing.

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