About 33,000 Canadians move to the US each year for a variety of reasons. Some come in search of milder weather, some are seeking higher education at American universities, and some are skilled or highly educated professionals who wish to relocate to the U.S. for work with a TN Visa or an H-1B visa. In fact, Canadians are one of the largest groups of individuals to receive employer-sponsored H-1B visas. Others move to be closer to family members who may have relocated to the U.S. In addition to the reasons they relocate, some also seek to arrange a financial relationship with the U.S by opening a business here. Often, these Canadians try to emigrate using the E-2 visa for Canadians.
To qualify for an E-2 visa, the Canadian citizen investor must either purchase an existing business, or start a brand new business. More specifically, it must be an active commercial enterprise, which means that the business must be offering a tangible good, product, or service. The business in question cannot be passive, idle, or speculative. This means that real estate investment, such as buying and flipping real estate; or financial investment, such as buying and selling stocks, do not qualify.
Examples of an E-2 applicable business include:
- Retail or convenience store
- Gas station
- Dental or medical clinic
- Nail or beauty salon
There are a few more stipulations in the law that applies for Canadians seeking this type of visa, such as:
- The Canadian applicant needs to have at least 50% ownership of the business
- The investor must have already spent the money towards the startup or purchase of a U.S. business (the financial investment must be made before applying)
- The applicant must make a “substantial investment” by way of the business, an amount which varies depending on the nature of the business
Each Canadian E-2 applicant case is treated individually, and can be positioned very positively with the help of an experienced E-2 visa attorney. If you are considering moving South from Canada and would like to explore the E-2 visa as your means of entering the U.S., contact a LOIGICA immigration attorney today for a free consultation.