E visas, also known as Treaty Investor Visas, are available for Canadian investors and entrepreneurs who want to expand their business into the United States. To qualify for an E visa, the investor must be a citizen of a country with a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States, which Canada has. The investment must be in a new or existing business that is actively engaged in trade or commerce between the United States and the treaty country. The investment must also be substantial, meaning that it must be of sufficient size to create jobs and contribute to the U.S. economy. There are 2 types of E Visas for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation.
- Treaty Trader (E-1)
- Treaty Investor (E-2)
The E visa allows the investor and their family members to live and work in the United States for up to two years. The visa can be renewed indefinitely as long as the investment remains in good standing.
Benefits Of An E Visa For Canadians
Here are some of the benefits of obtaining an E visa:
- Allows the investor and their family members to live and work in the United States.
- The visa can be renewed indefinitely as long as the investment remains in good standing.
- The investor does not need to have a job offer in the United States to obtain the visa.
- The visa is not subject to the annual visa cap.
- E visa employees are easier to qualify.
- E visas typically have a longer validity period than traditional visas.
- E visa fees are often lower than traditional visa fees.
If you are a Canadian investor or entrepreneur who is interested in expanding your business into the United States, you should consult with a business immigration lawyer to discuss whether an E visa is the right option for you.
Watch: Calgary Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah: Growing Your Business In The U.S.: A Canadians Guide to E Visas
Treaty Trader E-1 Visa Requirements
The E-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows citizens of certain countries to enter the U.S. to conduct trade between the U.S. and their home country. Canada is one of the countries with which the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation, so Canadian citizens are eligible for E-1 visas.
To qualify for an E-1 visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- The goods or services being traded must be traded between the United States and the treaty country of which you are a citizen.
- Your employer must be a treaty trader, which means that it must be substantially owned and controlled by citizens of the treaty country.
- The trade must be "substantial," which means that it must be more than just occasional or incidental.
- You must be an essential employee of the treaty trader, which means that you must be a supervisor, executive or have specialized skills that are essential to the operation of the business.
Investor E-2 Visas for Canadian Citizens
Canadian nationals can enter the United States on an E-2 investor visa if they invest in a business or commercial enterprise and plan to direct and develop it. The E-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows citizens of certain countries to enter the United States to work in a qualifying business. Canada is one of the countries with which the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation, so Canadian citizens are eligible for E-2 visas.
To qualify for an E-2 visa, you must:
- You must be a citizen of a treaty country with the United States.
- The business in which you are investing must be at least 50% owned and controlled by citizens of Canada.
- The investment must be substantial, committed, and irrevocable. The U.S. government has not set a minimum level of investment to qualify as “substantial,” but the amount must be at least enough to develop the business and to conduct operations.
- The investment must be in a real business enterprise, not a "paper" organization.
- The investment must create substantial economic benefits for the United States.
- You must have control over the investment funds, and the funds must be at risk.
- You must be coming to the United States to direct or develop the business. If you are not the principal investor, you must be an essential employee of the business, such as a highly specialized, executive, or administrative employee.
If you are a Canadian citizen who is interested in obtaining an E-1 or E-2 visa, you should contact an experienced immigration lawyer for more information. A Canadian business immigration lawyer can ensure your application is submitted correctly and is processed as quickly as possible - saving you time, money and stress.
Work With An Experienced E Visa Lawyer Specializing in Business Immigration and E Visas for Canadians
The E visa process can be complicated, so we strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced Canadian business immigration lawyer before beginning the process. Ackah Business Immigration Law will work with you to put together a strong E visa petition and supporting documentation, including a business plan, that will help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Ackah Business Immigration Law has offices in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver to help clients move to new opportunities in Canada and the United States. To get in touch with Ackah Law, contact us at (403) 452-9515 or send an email directly to email@example.com.