Unlocking Business Opportunities: The E-2 Visa for Canadians

e2 visa for canadian
Facundo Bermudez
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Published on 16 Sep 2023 Time to read 3 min read Last update on 23 Oct 2023

The E-2 investor visa presents a golden opportunity for Canadian nationals to embark on entrepreneurial ventures in the United States. This visa category offers distinct advantages, setting it apart from alternatives like the EB-5 investment visa. In this article, we’ll explore the key aspects of the E2 Visa for Canadian, from eligibility criteria to renewal options and potential pathways to a green card.

Meeting the Criteria: Requirements for an E-2 Visa

1- Treaty Eligibility: A Gateway for Canadian Entrepreneurs

The E-2 Visa program is a unique opportunity, reserved for nationals of countries that uphold valid commerce and navigation treaties with the US. This inclusive policy extends to a diverse array of nations, including Canada, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom, among others. This grants eligible investors, such as Canadians, privileged access to this highly sought-after visa category. 

2- Substantial Investment

While the US government doesn’t specify a minimum investment threshold, it must be substantial enough to facilitate the business’s development and operations. Typically, investments of at least $100,000 with a majority ownership stake (75% or greater) meet this criterion.

3. Real Operating Enterprise

The investment must breathe life into a genuine, active enterprise that produces goods or services for profit. Additionally, the business must be non-marginal, generating ample revenue to cover operational costs and provide a reasonable living for the investor.

4. Investor's Role in the Enterprise

Canadian investors must actively develop and direct the commercial enterprise or business they are investing in. In cases where the investor isn’t the principal, supervisory, highly skilled, or executive positions may qualify, but the business itself must meet E-2 investment requirements.

5. Choosing the Business Model

Prospective Canadian E-2 visa holders have various avenues to explore. They can opt to purchase an existing business, invest in a franchise, collaborate with a partner in an established enterprise, or build a new business from scratch. Each approach offers unique advantages and considerations.

6. Consular Processing

All new E-2 visa applications and renewals for Canadians are processed through the US consulate in Toronto. However, dependents and employees of registered E-visa companies can apply at consulates in Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, or Toronto.

Visa Validity and Renewal

7. Duration and Flexibility

E2 Visa For Canadian are typically granted with a validity of up to five years. Remarkably, holders can enter and exit the US as often as they wish during this period. Upon each entry, the investor and family members are admitted in E-2 status for two years, allowing for extended stays in the United States.

8. Renewal Process

To maintain E-2 status, the investor and accompanying family members can simply travel abroad during the visa’s validity period. This straightforward process enables seamless continuation of business activities in the US.

Green Card Pathways for Canadian E-2 Visa Holders

9. Aspiring for Permanent Residency

While an E-2 visa is a powerful tool for business ventures, some Canadian investors may eventually seek permanent residency in the US. Several self-sponsor green card options are available, including the EB-5 Investor Green Card, EB-2 NIW, and the EB-1.

In conclusion, the E-2 investor visa opens doors for Canadian entrepreneurs, providing a unique opportunity to establish and grow businesses in the United States. With its flexible investment requirements, unlimited renewal options, and potential for long-term residency, the E-2 visa is an invaluable tool for ambitious Canadians seeking to thrive in the American business landscape.

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Mentioned visas

EB2-NIW (green card)

An employment-based visa intended for those who either have an advanced degrees or exceptional ability

Get NIW information

E2 Visa

An employment-based visa intended for those who either have an advanced degrees or exceptional ability

Access E-2 visa details