Your E-2 Visa Lawyer – Treaty Investor
Your E-2 Visa Lawyer – Treaty Investor
The treaty investor visa (E-2) is a product of the USMCA agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico. It permits those individuals or corporations that are at least 50 percent Canadian-owned (or Mexican owned) and have invested in the United States a “substantial” sum of money to apply for a 5 year work visa, which is renewable in 5 year increments.
E-2 Visa Requirements
E-2 visa holders are required to actively manage and develop the US business in which they have invested. Passive investment or owning undeveloped land does not qualify for the visa. Applicants must demonstrate their intention to enter the United States temporarily and only for the purpose of investing in and managing the US business.
The initial E-2 visa is usually granted for a period of up to five years, with the possibility of extensions if the investment and business operations continue to meet the E-2 visa requirements. E-2 visa holders’ spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old can accompany them to the United States using the E-2 dependent visa (E-2D), and spouses are eligible for employment authorization.
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E-2 Visa FAQ
Canadian nationals are eligible for an E-2 visa because Canada has a valid commerce and navigation treaty with the US. Applicants must make a “substantial investment” in a US-based business or enterprise. While there is no minimum investment defined by the US government, it must be substantial enough to enable the business to develop enough to become operational.
The consular officer reviewing your application will be looking to determine if the investment is in an enterprise that is real and operational. The business must also be non-marginal, meaning that it must generate enough profit to cover more than just the basic expenses of the investor and their family. This can be demonstrated through the employment of US citizens in the organization. Canadian investor applicants must be looking to enter the US for the purpose of developing and directing a business enterprise to be eligible for this visa type. Applicants who are not the principal investor can apply for an E-2 visa if they are employed in an executive or supervisory role, so long as the company meets the E-2 requirements.
Although here is no minimum dollar figure for meeting the requirement of a “substantial” investment. there is, however, a “proportionality test.” The amount of qualifying funds invested in the cost of an established business or of a newly created business, the cost of establishing the business, the cash portion must be close to 50%, essentially. The larger the total investment, the smaller the cash requirement proportionately. The nature of the business will determine the reasonableness of the total amount invested. For example, the total amount of money needed to start a consulting business will be less than that to open an automobile manufacturing plant, a restaurant, or a hotel.
The E-2 visa is available to foreign nationals from treaty countries who are looking to operate a business in the United States. A treaty country has one of the following relationships with the United States.
- Treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States
- Qualifying international agreement
- Designate a qualifying country by US law