Treaty Investor E-2 Visa For Canadians

world scene.jpgThe E-2 Treaty Investor visa allows a foreign national to come to the U.S. to operate his or her business and remain in the U.S. as long as the business is operating.

There is a great opportunity for treaty Investors from Canada to come to the United States to operate their Canadian businesses. However, E-2 treaty investors from Canada must be aware of the difficulties in applying for the E-2 visa at the American Consulate in Canada. Specifically, the U.S. Consulate in Toronto, Canada continues to set the bar high for certifying E-2 visas. The procedural hurdles involved in applying for the E-2 visa at the Toronto Consulate can be onerous for an applicant without a qualified immigration attorney. The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates has helped numerous Canadian Treaty Investors obtain the E-2 visa by carefully following these onerous procedures to ensure the case is adjudicated on its merits and not denied due to a defect in form.

The U.S. Consulate Toronto has jurisdiciton to adjudicate E-2 visas for applicants in the following Canadian territories: Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, NW Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, PEI, Quebec and Saskatchewan. The consulate in Vancouver adjudicates E-2 visas for applicants in British Columbia, Alberta and Yukon.

Nationals of countries that have treaties designed to promote trade and investment between the United States and the foreign country can obtain visas to work temporarily in the U.S. Canada is one such country. The E-2 visa is a good option if the alien desires to start a business in the US. In order to qualify for the E-2 visa, the investor is required to come to the United States to develop and manage the operations of an enterprise in which the applicant has invested or is actively in the process of investing a “substantial” amount of capital. There is no set minimum level of investment. But, the higher the total cost of the enterprise, the lower the total investment is required as a percentage of the total cost. The investor must also be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the operations of the enterprise. Accordingly, the applicant is required to have more than fifty (50%) percent ownership of the investment (unless the applicant is entering the U.S. as an employee of the enterprise).

Here is a brief rundown of the enerous procedures required at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto to approve an applicant for the E-2 visa. The Consulate begins by stating that all sections in the petition must be delineated by clear dividers with numbered tabs that stick out from the edges of the page. They will NOT accept submissions without dividers. If there are more than two documents under a numbered tab, that section must be subdivided into a lettered subsection with tabs for each document. Then the Consulate states that the petition should be organized so that the reviewer can make an adjudication within 5-10 minutes! If you read the list of required documentation (which I have reproduced below) you begin to see that the Consulate is more concerned with form rather than substance. So, if you believe you are eligible for the E-2 visa at the Consulate in Toronto, be sure to follow these guidelines to a tee!

The consulate requies a comprehensive brief of relevant facts of the case without heavy citations to Federal Regulations. This section alone should take an adjudicator 15 minutes to read and understand, but we only have a couple minutes so let’s make a good impression. Next, the Consulate requires a comprehensive index. This is easy enough. Then, the list of required documents is as follows: (1) evidence of nationality of the Treaty Investor (a passport), (2) nationality of the firm and evidence of a controlling interest, (3) source of investment funds, (4) evidence of the investment, (5) “marginality” (a legal term of art), (6) evidence of a real and operating commercial enterprise, and (7) other evidence if the applicant is an employee of the U.S. firm.

The Toronto Consulate adjudicator has 5-10 minutes to review these documents and make a determination on your E-2 visa petition! As you can see, complying with these requirements is an absolute necessity in obtaining approval of your E-2 visa. The lawyers at the Law Firm of Shihab & Associates have been obtaining E-2 visa approvals at the U.S. Consulate in Canada for over 15 years. They are uniquely aware of the procedural pitfalls that await the E-2 applicant. If you are considering applying for the E-2 visa at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto, contact the Law Firm of Shihab & Associates at (614) 255-4USA today to schedule an Initial Consultation.

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