The E-2 Visa is an investor visa that allows individuals from treaty countries to enter the US for the purpose of investing a substantial amount of capital in an eligible business, either by starting a new business or purchasing an existing business in the US.
If you are a Canadian investor looking to establish a presence in the US, the E-2 Visa could be an ideal option. In this article, we will explore the benefits of an E-2 Visa for Canadian nationals and the process involved in obtaining one.
For more information on the E-2 Visa, please see our article E2 Visa USA 2023: The Ultimate Guide by Experts.
As a Canadian citizen, am I eligible for an E-2 Visa?
As Canada maintains treaties of commerce and navigation with the US, Canadian investors are eligible for the E-2 Investor Visa, provided they meet the financial investment requirements.
You must make a substantial investment in a business or commercial enterprise in the US. There is no specific minimum amount required, but it must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the business.
The US Foreign Affairs Manual does not quantify what “substantial” is, but the rule of thumb is to invest at least $100,000. However, this is not an official guideline, and some treaty investors have been able to invest less and be granted an E-2 Visa. A ‘bona fide enterprise’ refers to a real and active business that makes goods or provides services for profit. It should also meet all the legal requirements to operate in its area.
Other requirements: The investment must be classified as a real operating enterprise, rather than a passive or speculative investment. The funds you invest must be at risk and committed to the enterprise, meaning that you must have a personal financial stake in the success of the business.
The investment cannot be marginal or idle. It means the business should be established for more than just the purpose of supporting you and your family. The capital invested must be lawfully acquired. In other words, you cannot use money obtained through illegal means.
The business should have profitability, being able to generate more than enough income to provide a living for you and your family, as well as to make a significant economic contribution.
As the primary investor, you must be actively involved in the development and direction of the business. You must own at least 50 percent of the enterprise or have operational control through a managerial position.
What are the benefits of having an E-2 Visa for a Canadian citizen?
There are multiple benefits of the E-2 Visa, making it an attractive option for Canadian investors. For example, with an E-2 Visa, you will have access to the following benefits:
Legally live in the US
Immediate family is included
Travel freely within the US
Rrenew the visa indefinitely
No set minimum investment
- You can legally live in the US, work and operate your business.
- Your immediate family (spouse and unmarried children under 21) is included in the visa. Your children can also study in the US.
- You can travel freely to and from the US without restrictions.
- You can renew the visa indefinitely as long as the business remains viable and renewal requirements are sustained.
- There is no set minimum investment. An investment will qualify as long as it is considered to be a substantial amount and is approved by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
A Step-by-Step Guide to an E-2 Visa Application
1. Plan Your Investment: Decide on the business or commercial enterprise you want to invest in, whether it’s purchasing an existing business or starting a new one. Calculate the amount of money you need to invest and develop a solid business plan that outlines your investment, the nature of the business, and its potential to be profitable.
2. Establish the Enterprise: Make the investment in a treaty enterprise.
3. Submit the application: Prepare all the necessary documentation for your application and complete the Online Visa Application (DS-160) form if you are applying from outside the US. If you are applying from within the country, you need to file Form I-129 to request a change of status to E-2 classification. If you are an employee, your eligible employer must file Form I-129 on your behalf. Visa applicants or employers must send the forms and documents to the USCIS.
4. Schedule and attend your visa interview: Be prepared to answer questions about your investment, the nature of your business, and your intentions while in the US.
5. Provide Biometric Information: You, as the principal applicant, and your family will need to provide biometric information, such as fingerprints and photographs, during the visa application process.
6. Receive E-2 Visa: If successful, you will receive a positive decision on your application, and the E-2 Visa, allowing you to enter the US. The visa allows you to work only for the business you invested in, and your family members can accompany you to the US.
7. Maintain E-2 Status: Now you have to maintain your treaty investor status by actively managing and operating the business. You can renew your E-2 Visa (usually every two years) for as long as you continue to meet the visa requirements.
Document Checklist for the E-2 Visa
When applying for the visa, you will need to submit a comprehensive set of documents to support your application. Here is a detailed list of the necessary documents. Please note that additional documents may be required, depending on your circumstances:
- DS-160 confirmation page: A completed and printed DS-160 confirmation page, which is the online non-immigrant visa application form.
- Passport: Your valid passport with a minimum of six months validity beyond your intended period of stay in the US.
- Photograph: One passport-sized color photograph that meets the US visa photo requirements.
- Business plan: A detailed business plan outlining your investment, the nature of the enterprise, and its potential for profitability.
- Proof of investment funds: Documents demonstrating that the funds underpinning the investment are legitimate and legally acquired.
- Proof of bona fide enterprise: Documentation proving that the business you plan to invest in is a real, active, and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking.
- Articles of Incorporation/Registration: If the business is already established, provide the articles of incorporation or registration.
- Lease agreement or property ownership: If you have already secured a location for your business, include the lease agreement or documents showing property ownership.
- Financial statements: If applicable, provide the financial statements for the business the past two to three years, including balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements.
- Market research and projections: Any market research or projections that support the potential success of your business.
- CV/Resume: Your curriculum vitae or resume, highlighting your relevant experience and qualifications.
- Employment details: Information about any employees you plan to hire in the US, along with their roles and responsibilities.
- Proof of managerial role: If you will be managing the business, provide evidence of your managerial position.
- Proof of treaty country citizenship: Documents showing your citizenship in a treaty country eligible for the visa.
- Payment receipt: A receipt confirming payment of the visa application fee.
- Corporate documents (if applicable): If the enterprise has multiple owners or shareholders, provide corporate documents showing ownership percentages.
- Additional supporting documents: Any additional documents that can strengthen your case, such as contracts, licenses, or permits.
Why work with Global Citizen Solutions for your E-2 Visa application?
If you think the E-2 Visa may be the right option for you, or if you’d like to know more about other US visa options, don’t hesitate to contact us and book a complimentary 30-minute call with one of our experts.
Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique investment migration consultancy firm focused on finding the right residency or citizenship by investment program for individuals wishing to secure their future and become global citizens. With offices in Portugal, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Brazil, our multilingual team guides individuals and families from start to finish, providing expert advice considering freedom, mobility, taxation, and security.
- We have helped hundreds of clients from 35+ countries navigate the intricacies of the top residency by investment and citizenship by investment programs. With an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the area, we provide our clients with solid guidance. We have a team of immigration lawyers and immigration advisers specialized in US immigration.
- Our team has never had a case rejected. Our 100 percent approval rate sets us apart from our competitors and guarantees that you can expect a successful application.
- Our transparent pricing covers all the processes from opening your bank account, document certification, and legal due diligence to investment and submission. As there is one fee for the entire process, you can be confident that you will not face any hidden costs later.
- All data is stored within a GDPR-compliant database on a secure SSL-encrypted server. You can be safe knowing that your personal data is treated with the utmost security.
- Global Citizen Solutions provides an all-encompassing solution. Our support can continue even after you receive your passport. We offer additional services such as company incorporation, Trusts, and Foundations formation.
- The BeGlobal Onboarding System® allows you to access the status of your application every step of the way, something that sets us apart from our competitors.”
Frequently Asked Questions About the E-2 Visa for Canadian Citizens
What are the benefits of having an E-2 Visa for a Canadian citizen?
There are many benefits to becoming an E-2 treaty investor for a Canadian citizen, including the right to legally live in the US and the freedom to travel in and out of the country.
Can my family members join me in the United States if I have an E-2 Visa?
Yes, your dependent family members (spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21) can apply for derivative E-2 visas, and they do not need to be the same nationality as you. Your children would be able to attend a public school if you have an E-2 Visa, and your spouse would be permitted to legally work in the US without needing to apply for an Employment Authorization Document.
Can I apply for the E-2 Visa if I'm already in the US on another visa?
Yes, you can apply for a change of status to E-2 if you are eligible and meet the requirements. As the principal applicant, you will have to fill out Form I-129 and send it to the US USCIS requesting treaty investor status.
You will need to send documentation confirming your citizenship. In addition to this, you will also need to provide information on your investment enterprise, proving that it makes commercial sense and will contribute to the US economy (and is not a marginal enterprise solely).
As a Canadian citizen, can I apply for an E-2 Visa?
Yes, as Canada is one of the countries that the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation with, its citizens are eligible for the E-2 US Immigrant Investor Visa Program provided that their investment amount is considered substantial.