The E2 Visa Process: A Step-by-Step Guide for Ottawa Entrepreneurs

The E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa designed for those looking to invest in and manage a business in the United States. This visa is tailored explicitly for entrepreneurs from countries with treaties of commerce and navigation with the United States. It allows these individuals to enter and work in the US based on a substantial investment in a qualifying business.  

Are you an entrepreneur in Ottawa with dreams of establishing or expanding your business in the United States? Fortunately, Canada is one of the countries with an investor treaty, and the E2 visa could be a game-changer. 

Read on for a step-by-step guide to making your entrepreneurial aspirations a reality.

Step 1: Consult an Ottawa Immigration Lawyer

Embarking on a journey to establish a business in the United States as an Ottawa entrepreneur is an exciting but complex endeavour. Given the complexities of immigration law and the E2 visa application process, it is highly advisable to consult an experienced Ottawa immigration lawyer. A lawyer can advise on the specific requirements, help you navigate potential challenges, and guide you through every step of the process to improve your chances of a successful application.

Step 2: Evaluate Your Eligibility 

To be eligible for the E2 visa, Ottawa entrepreneurs must satisfy particular requirements outlined by the United States government. These requirements include investing a substantial amount of capital in a US business. Additionally, this investment must prove financially viable, generating considerable income to sustain the entrepreneur and their family and contribute to economic welfare by creating employment opportunities for US residents. 

Step 3: Choose the Right Business 

Selecting the right business for your E2 visa application is crucial. 

The E2 visa program imposes specific criteria on the type of business you can invest in. The business must be a bona fide enterprise that is not marginal. It must be an investment in a real and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking, and passive investments such as stocks or undeveloped land generally do not meet the requirements. The nature of the business must also align with the treaty investor’s skills and expertise, ensuring that their involvement contributes meaningfully to the enterprise’s success.

Step 4: Prepare the Necessary Documents and Apply

Your Ottawa immigration lawyer will help you prepare comprehensive documentation to support your E2 visa application. Documentation typically includes a detailed business plan, evidence of the source of investment funds, and any relevant contracts or agreements. Once you’ve compiled all the necessary paperwork, submit the completed application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Step 5: Prepare for an Interview

Once the USCIS reviews your application, you may be required to attend an interview at the US Embassy or Consulate in Ottawa. This interview is a pivotal step in visa adjudication and demands meticulous preparation. 

During the interview, you must show a comprehensive understanding of your business operations, goals, and market positioning. The interviewer might also require a detailed account of the source of your investment funds and strategic plans for managing and expanding the business. 

Step 6: Receive Your Visa

If your application is successful, the USCIS will grant you an E2 visa. The E2 visa is typically valid for up to five years, offering a substantial timeframe to establish and nurture your business. Notably, the longevity of the visa is contingent upon continuous adherence to the eligibility criteria. Once your business remains in compliance with the stipulated guidelines, you can seek extensions so that you can ensure its continuity. 

Step 7: Establish Residency

After receiving your E2 visa, you can travel to the United States and focus on building and running your business. It’s critical to make the United States your primary place of residence while you have the E2 visa.  You must stay in the country and actively manage your business. Doing this will ensure your visa remains valid. 

Are You Ready to Explore Entrepreneurship in the United States? 

Embarking on the E2 visa process as an Ottawa entrepreneur requires careful planning, diligence, and a solid understanding of the requirements. By following this step-by-step guide and seeking advice from the Ottawa immigration lawyer at Silver Immigration, you can navigate the complexities of the E2 visa application, turning your entrepreneurial dreams into a successful US business venture. 

Call us today or use our contact form to request a consultation to discuss how we can help with your E2 visa application.