Apply for an E-2 Visa in Toronto, ON
The immigration consultants at Pilkington Immigration – Toronto can assist Canadian citizens with obtaining an E-2 visa in Toronto, ON. The E-2 Treaty Investor visa program allows the investor to live and work in the U.S. to direct and develop the business, and allows entry of executive, management, and essential skills employees. In larger businesses, management and executive-level employees may be sent to the U.S. instead of the owners of the business. Employees that are also nationals of the same E-2 visa country as the investor may also qualify for an E-2 visa. The E-2 visa can continue to be extended indefinitely as long as the business continues in the U.S.
Unlike the H-1B visa category, there is no quota on the number of E-2 visas that may be granted. The investment necessary to qualify for E-2 Treaty Investor status must be significant. Although there is no set minimum, it is generally accepted that $100,000 is the requirement of a significant investment.
The investor needs to be a citizen of a treaty country to be eligible for the E-2 visa. For those who have made a significant investment in a U.S. business, the investor must have at least a 50 percent ownership. The investment must be sufficient to provide employment for a number of people in the U.S. and must be in an active U.S. business.
If the business is 50/50 controlled by nationals of two different E-2-eligible countries, then nationals of both countries may be able to gain entry under the E-2 visa scheme. The E-2 visa renewal can continue indefinitely as long as the business continues in the U.S.
E-2 Visa Investment Requirements
When applying for E-2 registration of a business, the applicant needs to be in the process of investing money. Unless an escrow arrangement is possible, the investor should show that they have made a substantial and irrevocable investment before applying. An escrow arrangement is possible in some circumstances where the money is released upon the condition of receiving an E-2 visa.
The investment used to qualify for an E-2 visa must be in an active and operating business that requires people to actively work in the business. Therefore, businesses that do not require any employees which could include passive investments, such as in property or stocks and bonds, do not qualify. Usually at least part of the investment should have been made, or money should be held in escrow before applying for E-2 Treaty Investor registration and E-2 visa status.
E-2 visa requirements include the following criteria:
• There has been a substantial investment in the U.S., or in some circumstances money is held in escrow to be transferred if the E-2 visa is granted
• There is no specific investment requirement, but the baseline is around $100,000 USD
• Money has been put at risk for the E-2 Treaty Investor business; the investment must entail some risk to the investor, potentially including needing to have an office lease agreement in the U.S, or if there is a purchase agreement and the investor is taking over an existing business, they can have money held in escrow
• The investor will direct and develop their investment; E-2 visa investors with the requisite nationality will usually need to have 50 percent control of the U.S. business
• The E-2 business should not be considered to be marginal, U.S. workers are (or will be) employed and the treaties envisage more than just creating a job for the principal investor, but there is no requirement to employ a particular number of U.S. citizens or residents; it should be possible to meet the requirements by employing only a small number of employees
• The investor should have a business plan detailing the future plans for a new business including detailed information on the new business and the plans to employ new staff in the U.S.
• Details of the skills, qualifications, and work history should be provided for any prospective employees of the E-2 Treaty Investor, and if appropriate, for the investor themselves
• The investor must show proof of lawful accrual of funds for the investment
• That the principal investor, and any other E-2 visa staff, must be able and willing to leave the U.S. upon termination of their E-2 visa status, since the E-2 is a non-immigrant visa category, however, the E-2 Treaty Investor visa can continue to be extended indefinitely
E-2 Visa Employees and Their Dependents
Once the principal applicant has obtained registration as an E-2 Treaty Investor, they can obtain E-2 U.S. visas for qualifying employees and their dependents who are usually the same nationality as the investor. These qualifying employees and their dependents may include:
Executives, Managers, and Supervisors
Executives and managers should be in a senior position and manage the whole business, or a key part of the business. In larger businesses, the owners of the business may not actually in practice spend much time in the U.S. Such personnel should be able to demonstrate their executive or managerial pedigree, though there is no requirement that they have worked for the principal trader or investor for at least one year in the last three years, as there is with the L-1 visa.
Specialists or Essential Skilled Workers
This is a good way of employing highly skilled people in the U.S. The investor should demonstrate that:
• The employee has specialized knowledge of the business which may be difficult to find in the U.S.
• The employee is necessary for the running of the principal trader or investor's business in the U.S.
Family and Dependents of E-2 Visa Holders
Spouses and dependents of E-2 visa workers can also apply for E-2 visas and will normally be granted the same period of stay as the principal E-2 visa holder. E-2 spouses and dependents do not need to be the same nationality as the principal applicant. Spouses are allowed to work; however, it is advisable to apply for work authorization which may take a few months. Children under the age of 21 can study but are not allowed to work under the E-2 Treaty Investor visa category.
Contact Pilkington Immigration – Toronto to Apply for Your E-2 Visa
The immigration consultants at Pilkington Immigration – Toronto are standing by to assist you with the process of determining whether you qualify for, applying for, and obtaining an E-2 visa, as well as assisting your spouse and dependents with their U.S. visa application. We will go over the necessary steps, the expected E-2 visa processing time, and any other information that you require. Contact us today to request a free five-minute consultation!