E2 Visa for Canadian Entrepreneurs

e2 visa for canadian

Are you a Canadian entrepreneur dreaming of expanding your business to the United States? The E2 visa might be the gateway to turning that dream into reality. But what are the requirements? How does the application process work? And what benefits can you expect as a visa holder?

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about the E2 visa for Canadians. From eligibility criteria to the application process, we’ve got you covered. Discover how this treaty-based visa can open doors to new opportunities and empower you to establish and grow your business in the land of endless possibilities.

Table of Content

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the requirements and eligibility criteria for the E2 visa
  • Learn how to navigate the application process in Canada
  • Discover the benefits of the E2 visa for Canadian entrepreneurs
  • Gain insights into the investment amount and renewal process
  • Find out how to establish residency and manage your business effectively

How to Apply for an E-Visa in Canada?

Applying for an E-2 visa in Canada involves a series of steps and the submission of specific documents. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to complete the e2 visa application process:

Gathering Documentation

Before starting the application process, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary documentation. This includes proof of investment, business plans, and other relevant supporting documents.

Completing the Online Visa Application (DS-160)

The next step is to complete and submit the Online Visa Application, known as DS-160. Along with the application, applicants need to upload a recent photo. They must also print the bar-coded DS-160 confirmation page as it needs to be submitted with the application.

Submitting Form DS-156E

In addition to the DS-160, applicants are required to complete and submit Form DS-156E.

Creating a User Profile and Paying the Visa Application Fee

Applicants need to create a user profile on the official website and pay the required visa application fee. This step is essential to proceed with the application process.

Scheduling an Interview at the U.S. Consulate

Once the visa application fee is paid, applicants can schedule an interview at the U.S. Consulate in their area. It is crucial to attend the interview on the scheduled date and time as the visa decision will be made based on the interview and submitted documents.

Passport and Document Return

If the E-2 visa application is approved, the passport, visa, and other documents will be returned through the Canada Post Courier service.

By following these steps and ensuring the completion of all necessary forms and documentation, Canadian entrepreneurs can successfully apply for an E-2 visa in Canada.

How Are E-Visas Processed in Canada?

In Canada, the processing of E-visa applications follows two distinct streams to accommodate different applicant types. The first stream is dedicated to handling new cases and renewals, while the second stream caters specifically to employees of registered companies and qualifying family members of valid E-visa holders.

For new cases and renewals, applicants are required to electronically submit their visa application and supporting documents to the U.S. Consulate in Toronto. This streamlined process allows for efficient and convenient submission, minimizing the need for physical paperwork and mail delivery. To ensure a smooth application process, it is crucial for applicants to carefully review the visa classification and provide all necessary supporting documentation.

Meanwhile, employees of registered companies and dependents of valid E-visa holders can take advantage of the second processing stream. This stream provides the flexibility to schedule appointments at various cities, expanding accessibility and convenience for applicants. The scheduling options cater specifically to the unique circumstances of employees and dependents.

Each processing stream may require different supporting documentation, depending on the applicant’s situation. It is vital for applicants to understand the specific requirements and gather all required documents before submitting their visa application. Proper preparation and submission of the supporting documentation will help ensure a smooth processing experience and improve the chances of visa approval.

Processing Streams

When applying for an E-visa in Canada, it is essential to understand the two distinct processing streams:

  1. New Cases and Renewals: Applicants must electronically submit their application and supporting documents to the U.S. Consulate in Toronto.
  2. Employees of Registered Companies and Qualifying Family Members: This stream allows applicants to schedule appointments in various cities, providing flexibility and convenience.

Supporting Documentation

Depending on the applicant’s situation and the chosen processing stream, specific supporting documentation may be required. It is crucial to review the requirements carefully and ensure all necessary documents are submitted with the visa application to avoid processing delays or potential denial.

By understanding the two processing streams and adhering to the documentation requirements, applicants can navigate the E-visa process effectively and increase their chances of a successful outcome.

E2 Visa Requirements for Canadian Nationals

Canadian nationals have the opportunity to apply for an E-2 visa due to Canada’s valid commerce and navigation treaty with the United States. To qualify for an E-2 visa, applicants must meet certain requirements:

  1. Treaty Country Eligibility: Canadian nationals must be citizens of a country that has a valid treaty with the United States, allowing them to participate in the E-2 visa program.
  2. Substantial Investment: Applicants must make a substantial investment in a business or commercial enterprise in the United States. While there is no minimum investment amount set by the U.S. government, the investment must be enough to develop the business and make it financially viable.
  3. Control of Funds: Applicants must have control of the funds used for the investment and must be able to demonstrate the legal acquisition of those funds.
  4. Real Operating Enterprise: The investment must be made in a real operating enterprise, meaning it should be an active business rather than a passive investment.
  5. Non-Marginal Business: The business in which the investment is made must be non-marginal, generating enough income to cover more than just basic expenses and providing a living for the applicant and their family.

Meeting these requirements is essential for Canadian nationals seeking to obtain an E-2 visa and pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions in the United States.

Applying for an E-2 Visa in Toronto

For Canadian entrepreneurs looking to apply for an E-2 visa, the U.S. Consulate in Toronto is the designated processing center. This applies to both new visa applications and renewals. However, dependent family members and employees of registered E-visa companies have the option to apply in various cities.

To begin the application process, applicants need to complete an online visa application, upload a suitable photo, and submit the confirmation page. Additionally, supporting documentation must be prepared, including a detailed cover letter and proof of investment.

Once the application is submitted, the U.S. Consulate typically takes approximately three weeks to schedule an interview. It is important to note that the interview date will depend on the availability of appointments.

“The U.S. Consulate in Toronto serves as the processing center for E-2 visa applications from Canadian entrepreneurs.”

If the application is approved, the U.S. Consulate will return the E-2 visa through the Canadian Post Courier service. The visa is typically valid for up to five years, providing ample time for entrepreneurs to establish and grow their business ventures in the United States.

Overall, the application process for an E-2 visa in Toronto offers Canadian entrepreneurs a convenient and streamlined pathway to expand their business activities in the United States.

E-2 visa application process

Requirements for an E-2 Visa for a Canadian National

Canadian nationals interested in obtaining an E-2 visa must fulfill certain eligibility requirements. These requirements include:

  1. Being a citizen of a treaty country that maintains a valid treaty agreement with the United States.
  2. Making a substantial investment in a bona fide and non-marginal business in the United States.
  3. Entering the U.S. to develop and manage the enterprise.

The investment made by the applicant must be financially viable and sufficient to support the business’s operations. It should also go beyond covering basic expenses. The business itself must be an active and genuine enterprise, generating income that contributes to its growth and profitability.

It’s important to note that even individuals who are not the principal investors can still qualify for an E-2 visa if they hold a management role, have highly specialized skills, or serve in an executive capacity within the company. This provision allows qualified individuals to contribute to the success of the business and benefit from the opportunities provided by the E-2 visa program.

Example of an E-2 Visa Eligibility Table

E-2 Visa RequirementsDescription
E-2 Treaty Country EligibilityCitizens of countries with valid commerce and navigation treaties with the U.S. are eligible.
Substantial InvestmentApplicants must make a substantial capital investment in a U.S. business or commercial enterprise.
Bona Fide EnterpriseThe business must be a genuine operational entity and not a passive investment vehicle.
Non-Marginal BusinessThe business must generate more than just enough income to cover basic expenses.
Management RoleApplicants who are not the principal investors can still qualify if they hold a managerial, supervisory, executive, or highly skilled position.

Note: The above table provides an example of the requirements for an E-2 visa for Canadian nationals. Please consult with an immigration attorney or the official U.S. government resources for the most up-to-date and specific information regarding visa eligibility and requirements.

With a clear understanding of the E-2 visa requirements, Canadian entrepreneurs can prepare themselves to embark on a successful journey of establishing and managing their businesses in the United States.

Choosing the Right Business for an E-2 Visa Application

When applying for an E-2 visa, selecting the right business is of paramount importance. The chosen enterprise must meet specific requirements to ensure a successful visa application. Here are key factors to consider when choosing a business for your E-2 visa application:

  1. E2 Visa Business Requirements: The business you choose must meet the E-2 visa eligibility criteria, including being from a treaty country and making a substantial investment in the U.S.
  2. Bona Fide Enterprise: The business must be bona fide, meaning it is a genuine and legitimate enterprise.
  3. Non-Marginal Business: To qualify for an E-2 visa, the business should not be marginal, meaning it must generate enough income to support more than just basic expenses.
  4. Alignment with Investor Skills: Your chosen business should align with your skills and expertise, allowing you to actively contribute to the success and growth of the enterprise.
  5. Investment Viability: It’s crucial to assess the financial viability of the business and its potential for growth and profitability.

By carefully considering these factors, you can ensure that the business you choose is well-suited for your E-2 visa application and increases your chances of a successful outcome.

Applying for an E-2 Visa: Necessary Documents and Process

To successfully apply for an E-2 visa, it is essential to gather and prepare the necessary documentation. The process involves submitting a completed application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and potentially attending an interview. Here are the key documents and steps involved:

1. Business Plan

The business plan serves as a roadmap for your E-2 visa application. It should outline your business goals, strategies, financial projections, and highlight how your investment will contribute to the growth and success of the enterprise. Emphasize your business’s viability and job creation potential.

2. Investment Funds

Documenting the source of your investment funds is crucial. Provide comprehensive evidence that demonstrates the lawful origin of the funds you plan to invest in the U.S. business. This may include bank statements, tax returns, loan agreements, or other financial records.

3. Contracts and Agreements

If your business involves contracts or agreements with suppliers, customers, or partners, include copies of these agreements in your application. These documents help establish the legitimacy and viability of your business.

4. USCIS Application

Complete and submit the USCIS Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, along with all required supporting documents. Ensure that all information is accurate and up to date.

5. Interview Preparation

If approved for an interview, it’s essential to prepare thoroughly. Familiarize yourself with the details of your business planinvestment funds, contracts, and agreements. Practice articulating your business goals, operations, and strategies. Be ready to discuss your understanding of the industry and your strategic plans for success.

Tip: Consult with an experienced immigration attorney to guide you through the application process, ensure all necessary documentation is included, and provide valuable insights for interview preparation.

By gathering the required documentation, thoroughly preparing your business plan, and demonstrating your understanding of the industry and strategic plans, you can increase your chances of a successful E-2 visa application.

Business PlanA comprehensive plan outlining your business goals, strategies, and financial projections.
Investment FundsEvidence of the lawful origin of the funds you plan to invest in the U.S. business.
Contracts and AgreementsCopies of contracts or agreements with suppliers, customers, or partners.
USCIS ApplicationComplete and submit Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.

E2 Visa Interview and Visa Issuance

The E-2 visa interview is a crucial step in the visa application process. It provides an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their business knowledge and suitability for the E-2 visa. During the interview, applicants must showcase their understanding of the business they plan to invest in or develop, including its operations, goals, and market positioning. It is essential to convey a comprehensive grasp of the business to present a compelling case for visa approval.

Applicants may also be asked about the source of their investment funds and their strategic plans for managing and expanding the business. The U.S. embassy or consulate conducting the interview aims to assess the applicant’s genuine intention to develop a successful enterprise and contribute to the U.S. economy.

Applicants should be prepared to discuss their business strategy, market analysis, projections, and any other relevant details during the interview. It is advisable to organize and rehearse concise and articulate responses to potential questions to present a professional and confident image.

If the visa application is successful, the applicant will be issued an E-2 visa. The E-2 visa is typically valid for up to five years. However, the visa validity is contingent upon continuous adherence to the eligibility criteria and maintaining the essential requirements of the E-2 visa, such as actively managing the business and demonstrating ongoing investment and growth.

Key Points
Visa IssuanceUpon approval of the E-2 visa application, the applicant will be issued an E-2 visa.
Visa ValidityThe E-2 visa is typically valid for up to five years from the date of issuance.
Continued EligibilityVisa validity is contingent upon continuous adherence to the eligibility criteria and maintaining the necessary requirements of the E-2 visa.

Establishing Residency with an E-2 Visa

To maintain an E-2 visa, it is essential for the visa holder to establish the United States as their primary place of residence. This means that they must actively manage their business and consistently comply with the specific requirements of the E-2 visa.

As an E-2 visa holder, it is crucial to actively engage in the management and operations of the business. This hands-on approach demonstrates your commitment to the success of the enterprise and ensures compliance with the E-2 visa regulations.

The initial E-2 visa is typically valid for up to five years. However, it is important to note that the visa’s validity is contingent upon the visa holder actively managing their business and remaining in compliance with the E-2 visa requirements.

If the business continues to thrive and the visa holder wishes to extend their stay in the United States, extensions can be sought. Visa extensions are possible as long as the business remains in compliance with the E-2 visa requirements, and the visa holder continues to actively manage the business.

Establishing residency and actively managing the business are integral to maintaining your E-2 visa status. By fulfilling these requirements, you can continue to reside in the United States and grow your business, contributing to the success of both your enterprise and your residency.

Maintain Active Business Management

Primary Place of ResidenceE-2 visa holders must establish the United States as their primary place of residence.
Active Business ManagementVisa holders must actively engage in the management and operations of their business.
ComplianceVisa holders must consistently comply with the E-2 visa requirements to maintain their status.


The E2 Visa Guide for Canadian Entrepreneurs offers a comprehensive overview and step-by-step process for Canadian nationals interested in applying for an E-2 visa. This visa provides several benefits, including the opportunity to invest in and manage a business in the United States, the option to bring family members, and the potential for unlimited visa renewals.

By following the guidance provided in this guide and collaborating with an experienced immigration attorney, Canadian entrepreneurs can navigate the complexities of the E-2 visa process with confidence. Establishing a successful U.S. business venture becomes attainable, allowing entrepreneurs to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams in a new market.

Whether it’s expanding an existing enterprise or starting a new business, the E-2 visa offers a pathway for Canadian entrepreneurs to explore new opportunities and contribute to the U.S. economy. With the potential for visa renewals and extensions, entrepreneurs can continue to grow and evolve their business ventures while enjoying the benefits of the E-2 visa program.

For Canadian entrepreneurs seeking to embark on a U.S. business venture, the E2 visa presents a valuable opportunity. Take advantage of the information and resources provided in this guide, and embark on your journey to success in the United States.

What is the process to apply for an E-Visa in Canada?

To apply for an E-Visa in Canada, you need to gather documentation, complete and submit the Online Visa Application (DS-160), pay the visa application fee, and attend an interview at the U.S. Consulate. If approved, your passport, visa, and documents will be returned via Canada Post Courier service.

How are E-Visas processed in Canada?

E-Visas in Canada are processed in two streams. The first stream is for new cases and renewals, where you must electronically submit your application and supporting documents to the U.S. Consulate in Toronto. The second stream is for employees of registered companies and dependents of valid E-Visa holders, who can schedule appointments in various cities.

What are the requirements for an E-2 Visa for Canadian nationals?

To qualify for an E-2 Visa, Canadian nationals must be from a country that has a valid treaty with the U.S., make a substantial investment in a bona fide and non-marginal business, and be entering the U.S. to develop and manage the enterprise.

How do I apply for an E-2 Visa in Toronto?

To apply for an E-2 Visa in Toronto, you need to submit your online visa application, including a photo and confirmation page, along with supporting documentation. The U.S. Consulate typically takes about three weeks to schedule an interview. If approved, your E-2 Visa will be returned via Canadian Post Courier service and is valid for up to five years.

What are the requirements for an E-2 Visa for a Canadian national?

The requirements for an E-2 Visa for a Canadian national include being from a treaty country, making a substantial investment in a bona fide enterprise, and having a management role in the company.

How do I choose the right business for an E-2 Visa application?

It is crucial to select a bona fide and non-marginal enterprise that aligns with your skills and expertise. The business should be financially viable and show potential for growth and profitability.

What documents are necessary for an E-2 Visa application?

Necessary documents for an E-2 Visa application include a detailed business plan, evidence of the source of investment funds, and any relevant contracts or agreements. These should be submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

What is involved in the E-2 Visa interview and visa issuance process?

The E-2 Visa interview is essential, where you must demonstrate your knowledge of the business, investment funds, and strategic plans. If approved, you will receive an E-2 Visa with a validity of up to five years, contingent upon continuous adherence to the eligibility criteria.

How can I establish residency with an E-2 Visa?

To establish residency with an E-2 Visa, the United States must be your primary place of residence. You must actively manage your business and remain in compliance with E-2 Visa requirements. Extensions can be sought as long as the business remains in compliance and you continue to actively manage it.

Q: Can Canadian citizens apply for an E2 visa?

A: Yes, Canadian citizens can apply for an E2 visa if they make a substantial investment in a U.S. business and meet the other eligibility requirements.

Q: How long does it take to get an E2 visa from Canada? 

A: The processing time for an E2 visa from Canada can vary, but it typically takes between 2 to 6 months from the date of application.

Q: Who qualifies for an E2 visa?

A: To qualify for an E2 visa, an applicant must:Be a citizen of a country that has an E2 treaty with the United States
Invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business
Be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the investment enterprise
Show that the investment is not marginal and will generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the investor and their family

Q: What is the success rate of E2 visas from Canada? 

A: The success rate of E2 visas from Canada is relatively high, as Canadians have a strong track record of making substantial investments in U.S. businesses. However, the approval of an E2 visa is not guaranteed and depends on the individual merits of each application.

Q: How much money is required for an E2 visa in the USA?

A: The required investment amount for an E2 visa varies depending on the type of business. Generally, the investment must be substantial, which is typically at least $100,000. However, for some businesses, a lower investment amount may be acceptable if it is considered substantial relative to the total cost of establishing the enterprise.

Q: Does an E2 visa lead to a green card? 

A: An E2 visa does not directly lead to a green card. However, E2 visa holders may be eligible for a green card through other means, such as family sponsorship or employment-based categories, if they meet the requirements.

Q: What are the disadvantages of an E2 visa?

A: Some disadvantages of an E2 visa include:It does not provide a direct path to permanent residence (green card)
The visa is dependent on the continued operation and success of the U.S. business
The visa holder must maintain the intention to depart the U.S. when their status expires or is terminated
The spouse and children of the E2 visa holder are not eligible for work authorization unless they obtain it through other means

Q: Can I marry a U.S. citizen on an E2 visa?

A: Yes, you can marry a U.S. citizen while on an E2 visa. However, doing so does not automatically grant you permanent residence. To obtain a green card through marriage, you must go through the appropriate application process and meet the requirements.

Q: How long can you stay in the U.S. with an E2 visa?

A: E2 visas are typically valid for an initial period of up to 5 years, and can be extended indefinitely in increments of up to 2 years, as long as the visa holder continues to meet the requirements and maintain their investment in the U.S. business.

Q: Can I buy a house in the U.S. with an E2 visa?

A: Yes, E2 visa holders can purchase a house in the U.S. for personal use or as part of their investment. However, owning a house does not automatically qualify as an investment for E2 visa purposes.

Q: Can I buy property in the USA on an E2 visa?

A: Yes, E2 visa holders can buy property in the USA, either for personal use or as part of their business investment. However, simply purchasing property does not fulfill the E2 visa investment requirement on its own.

Q: Can I bring my parents to the U.S. on an E2 visa?

A: No, parents are not eligible for dependent status under an E2 visa. The E2 visa allows the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age to accompany the principal investor. For parents to visit or immigrate to the U.S., they would need to qualify for a different visa category.