Canadians seeking to enter the US to engage in trade or investment are required to obtain what is called an “E-visa.” E-visas are categorized into two main purposes: Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2), and are available for citizens of select Treaty Countries.
Spouses and the unmarried children of treaty investors and employees who currently legally in the United States can request a change in status to E-2 dependent status or an extension of a valid E-2 visa – by filing Form I-539. Current court cases may affect the ability to file a Form I-539. Family members of E-2 investors and employees should review these cases and their rights with experienced immigration attorneys.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve any “substantive changes’ to an E-2 approval of nonimmigrant status. Substantive changes must be approved by filing Form I-129. The form should be filed by the treaty investor or treaty organization.
Treaty investors and their employees who are approved for E-2 nonimmigrant status are subject to certain terms and conditions in order to enter and stay in the United Sates. If these terms and conditions are violated, the investor or employee may be forced to leave the country.
Employees of qualified treaty investors can apply for an E-2 visa if they can show they are needed due to either: the executive and supervisory character of their work or they have special qualifications.
Treaty investors and employees of a treaty investor who currently reside in America with a valid nonimmigrant visa can file Form I-129 to request that their status be changed to E-2 classification. Applicants should understand that there are court decisions that may affect the continued use of I-129 Forms and any related issues. An experienced immigration lawyer can advise you of your rights and any changes in the current law.
The following countries have E-2 treaty status with the United States. Some changes may apply since some countries may be added or deleted from the list over time.
According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a national of a country that has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States can be admitted to America if they are investing a “substantial amount of capital in a US business.” The investor must apply for an E-2 nonimmigrant classification.