E-2 Visas or Canadian investor visas are not easy for Canadians these days

E2 Visa Application

Canadian investor visas are tricky in a poor economy

We have written about E-2 Investor Visas in the past: those US Work Permits for investors starting or buying a business in the US. Such business are often launched by entrepreneurs taking on great personal risk in the hopes of creating employment for themselves and other American workers.

In times of economic hardship in the US, you would think that USCIS and the various Consulates that process E Visas, would welcome such applicants and do what they could to approve them. Not so it seems. At our office, we handle many E-2 Visa applications, many of which, represent great opportunities not just for their Canadian applicants but for prospective US employees who would be working in these businesses. Canadians generally have a very good track record of success in the US in virtually every industry. The E Visa process is a gateway to the US for Canadian entrepreneurs who can be properly regarded as a source of US employment.

However, we are often shocked to discover that after carefully preparing our client’s E visa applications and waiting for the US Consulate to process them, we sometimes get letters of refusal.  Reasons such as “lack of marginality”, “passive, not-at-risk investments”, not “substantial, uncommitted”, are often cited. While not all prospective E-2 businesses will meet the regulatory criteria, it is not necessary that E applications have to be virtually guaranteed to succeed and will hit home runs right out the gate either.

But based on some of the refusals, it appears that perfect cases are what it takes.  And a what is a “perfect case” anyway?  To make matters worse, we have seen incredibly well capitalized businesses with proven success operated by experienced applicants nevertheless get refused. Frankly there is no good reason for this.

Our experience is shared by other US immigration attorneys in Canada and within the US who have to tell their frustrated clients the bad news.  Other creative strategies to get our clients to the US have to be employed often involving longer wait times and greater expense and risk. Prospective US employees waiting for work will have to wait longer.

Canadian investor visas are being approved, but not as many

But it is not all doom and gloom. E Visa applicants are still getting approved but not at the levels seen in the past. Given the strained economy south of the border, one would think we would see the contrary trend. Sadly the gate keepers to the US seem to have another perspective. Let’s hope that the tide will turn soon. All we can do is keep trying.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: business visas canadian get an e visa Canadian investor visas Canadian investors American work visa e visa for canada e visa for canandians E-2 refusals e2 visa success e2 visa success story e2 visa usa success story E2visa easier easy immigration for canadians US Consulate US Work Visas

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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