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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Michael Niren

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 Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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