E2 Investor Visas for Canadians – An Overview of Required Evidence
Canadians are citizens of a “treaty country” and are, therefore, allowed to get E2 investor visas. In fact, our firm helps with many E2 visas for Canadians. So, how does a Canadian go about getting an E2 visa? The most crucial element is an interest in investing in a new or existing business in the US. If you are interested in starting your own business in the US, the following documentation is required for Canadians seeking an E2 investor visa. (If you’re interested in buying an existing business, stay tuned for the required E2 visa documentation.)
The easiest part of the process is proving you are a Canadian. Simply scan a picture of the bio page of your passport, and you’ve satisfied the requirement. Moving on!
There are two elements to this requirement. In order to show that you have the ability to “develop and direct” the business, you’ll need to show a majority ownership and you’ll need to show that you have the education and experience needed to run a successful business.
a. Majority ownership: There are a variety of ways to do this, depending upon the business structure. Most frequently, this is shown through business registration documents. Share certificates showing at least 50% ownership (but 51% is better) or business registration in your name only (with no other owners) are great ways to demonstrate the required ownership element.
b. Background: In order to show that you can successfully run a business, you should include a CV or resume. This information will give background on everything you’ve done in the past with an emphasis on how that experience will translate to success in this E2 business venture.
Source of investment
To prove the source of investment, you need to show documentation about how you got the money you are investing. Since this is a crucial element, we always recommend that you “trace” the money as thoroughly as possible. If you have money in your Canadian bank account, you need to show how the money got there.
a. Inheritance? Show the will/trust/etc.
b. Second mortgage or sale of your house? Show the paperwork.
c. Personal savings through work? Show your taxes for the last couple of years and show the bank statements with the money coming in from a paycheck or coinciding with paydays.
d. Gift from a friend or relative? Include a letter from that friend/relative stating that the money is a gift and that it is not subject to repayment.
In almost every case, the money will need to be spent before the E2 interview in Toronto. There are many ways you can show this, but the most obvious way is to show receipts for payments and bank account or credit card statements showing the money being spent. How much money is needed? That’s the $25,000 question! There is no minimum investment required, and every business will require a different amount. (It’s all based on proportionality.) Please call us to get a better sense of what type of investment you’ll need to make for your business. Once we know more about your specific business, we can determine a safe investment amount.
An office or warehouse lease
So, this isn’t in the actual listed requirements for a Canadian E2 visa investor, but attorneys know that it is something the officer will be looking for. You need to have a lease for either an office or a warehouse or some sort of business space. Plan on producing this signed lease and evidence of payment of at least a couple of months rent.
Real and active enterprise
This element requires evidence that this business is producing a good or offering a service. To show this, you may want to show purchase orders from customers or clients. You may also want to show invoices for inventory. Websites, marketing materials, etc will also work to show a real and active enterprise.
You need to show that this business will produce more money than what you need to make a living. Typically, the marginality component will be proved through a business plan with projected income and projected employees.
Intent to return to Canada
Since the E2 investor visa is a “non-immigrant” visa (meaning, it is not a permanent resident/green card visa), the Canadian E2 investor must show that he/she will return to Canada when the visa expires and isn’t renewed. Usually, this can be shown with a letter signed by the E2 investor.
Clear as mud, right? No worries. We handle E2 visas all the time, and we are happy to walk you through the different elements and explain what documentation will be needed. If you are in Canada and want an E2 investor visa, please don’t hesitate to call Rupert Law Group today at (323) 434-4385.