E-2 Investor Visas Are Becoming Harder for Canadians to Obtain These Days

By Michael Niren February 9, 2010 3 min. read

E-2 Visas Can be 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, sometimes we are 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 Still Being Approved

But it is not all doom and gloom. E Visa applicants are still getting approved and we get lots of them!  But 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 this will change soon.

Benefits of an E-2 Visa?

E-2 Visas are an attractive option for those wishing to establish or buy into a business in the US.

Why Seeking Professional Help for an E-2 Visa is Crucial

When applying for an E visa, all the criteria must be met. With all of the paperwork and documentation required, it is easy to miss important details that can lead to a rejected application. Without any legal help, navigating through the complicated application process is frustrating and potentially fruitless. When it comes to preparing an application for investors or traders, experienced legal teams will know the best way to prepare a successful application package.

Why Hire Us to Help You With Your E-2 Visa Application?

With over 15 years of experience of working with investors and traders, we know what the U.S. immigration department requires. We have helped thousands and thousands of foreign nationals successfully enter the U.S. with E visas and we can help you too!