I applied for an E-2 Visa in the US and now I have to do it again at the Toronto Consulate. Why?

E-2 Visa question for our immigration law firm

Q. My lawyer filed an E-2 Visa at the Texas Service Center  which was approved. I received my E-2 and began working in my business in the US. I am Canadian and wished to travel back to Toronto for a visit. I then tried re-entering the US but was turned away by US Customs who told me I have to re-apply for the E-2 Visa at the Toronto Consulate. My current E-2 is valid so I do not understand this. Please help


A. Unfortunately is appears that the CBP Officer is correct. If you apply for your E-2 from within the US at a US Service Center, what you are getting is not a Visa per se but a rather status document. The legal affect of this is that it grants you status in the US to work there but not traveling privileges. Only Visas can give you the ability to travel into the US  to work and only Consulates and Embassies outside the US can issue visas. A technical detail but an important one.

Frankly, your lawyer should have warned you about the travel restrictions associated with an E-2 application filed from within the US as opposed to the US  Consulate. In any case, you will have to apply again for the E-2 Visa at the US Consulate in Toronto on University Avenue. This application can take up to three months for processing. Hopefully, you have someone in your business in the US who can take over for you while you are waiting for your Visa to be processed.

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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.

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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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