Fw: E2 visa - DS156 - E5 Visa - David Anderrson, Dan Cuppett

QUESTION: Hi there,

I am a Canadian citizen. Currently, my husband is working overseas and we are living in Saudi Arabia as non-resident of Canada. Currently, I don't have any property in Canada.

I would like to purchase/invest in a business in US and would like to obtain an E-2 visa. What are the legal procedures and documentation that are required to obtain such visa? To apply for this, do I need to have a house in Canada or not.

I am looking forward to your quick response at your earliest convenience.


david ingram replies:

An E2 visa is available to you whether you are in Canada or not. It depends upon your Nationality not where you are living.

If you go to www.centa.com, you will find (in the top left hand box) the January 1995 newsletter on E-2 Visa by Dennis Olsen, former US in Vancouver and an issuer of E2 visas until they were moved to Toronto.  In January 2006, the processing of E2s was opened up in Vancouver again and can be processed through the US Consulate in Vancouver if you are from BC and / or the Yukon.  All other Canadians must go through the Toronto Consulate -
find more at http://www.amcits.com/evisa.asp

Start by reading the January 2005 newsletter.  It will give you the rules and it is my impression that the approval is a little easier than this newsletter states now.

You can start the process and maybe make it a little cheaper by fillingout Form DS156 at  - https://evisaforms.state.gov/ds156.asp
Note that this is a fillable form

You wil also need DS156E  - http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/79963.pdf

You might need DS157  - http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/79964.pdf

You should fill in DS158 for your contact information and work history  - http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/79965.pdf

You can also see basic instructions at  http://evisaforms.state.gov/default.asp

Note that with an E-2, your husband can obtain a work authorization to work somewhere else as a rule.

There will be a couple of more forms but this will get you off to a good start and you can do it yourself.  However, be careful if you look for outside help.

If you need legal help, and are from BC or the Yukon specifically (or anywhere else in Canada),  I could suggest

David Anderrson LLB, AILA
200-1095 West Pender Street (same building as US Consulate)
Vancouver BC
V6E 2M6
(604) 608-0818 -

David just presented an excellent seminar in Vancouver on E-2 Visas and has an interesting proposal for an E-5 Visa which requires $500,000 US  but is a far superior visa than an E-2.

If you are from Quebec in particular,

Dan Cuppett, JD, AILA
57 Court Street
Plattsburgh, New York
USA 12901
(518) 566-6666
is an Immiogration attorney who specializes in Canadians (particularly those from Quebec) to the USA.

I would give you Dennis Olsen's(author of the Jan 1995 newsletter)  number as well but have not heard from him for the last while and when I did try and phone him on Thursday, could not find a phone number for him so he must be in the process of moving, or might even have retired, etc.

And note this well.  All your documentation for Toronto MUST be in the format which you can find at: http://toronto.usconsulate.gov/content/visas/E-28_TI.pdf

If it is not in this format, Toronto will reject the whole application. 

Vancouver also has its own rules as in

Mandatory Formatting Instructions for Treaty Investor (E-2) Visa Submissions
Effective Date: 01 August 2006
Non-compliant submissions will be rejected as of: 01 September 2006
Effective immediately, the Consulate in Vancouver now requires all cases to be
submitted in the following format. The E Visa Unit will not accept noncompliant cases
for processing as of 01 September 2006.
All submissions must be organized into the sections below. Submissions must be bound
and the sections must be delineated by clear dividers with tabs that stick out from the
edges of the page. Divider pages without tabs are not acceptable. If there are more than
two documents under one of the numbered tabs, you must subdivide the numbered
sections into lettered subsections with tabs.
Your submissions must be organized in such a way that the reviewer can locate all of the
relevant facts to make an adjudication within 5-10 minutes.
Once your submission is prepared as indicated below, submit it to our office by mail or
courier. Our addresses for various types of shipments may be found at:
Required format and contents:
The cover page and application forms must be loose (unbound to the rest of the package)
and placed on top of the submission package.
Application Requirements (unbound underneath cover page and on top of the documents
brief in the following order):
1. All DS-156, 156E, and 157 forms, filled out using the electronic visa application
forms – link available on Toronto’s website (Please note: we require DS-157
forms for all applicants over the age of 16, without regard to age or gender);
primary contact email address must be placed in block 23 on the DS-156; be
certain to fill in EVERY block on all forms and sign and date; submit only signed
original forms.
2. 2X2 passport-style photograph on plain white background taken within the last
six months. One for each applicant. See photograph requirements on our website
for further details.
3. Certified check or international money order payable to the U.S. Consulate
General Vancouver in the amount of $100 US per applicant.
4. Dependents – provide copy of marriage certificate for spouse and copies of birth
certificates for all children under the age 0f 21. Staple these to the DS-156
applications of the dependents applicants.
5. Attached to DS-156 for each applicant, include a signed statement of the
applicant’s intentions regarding the temporary or permanent nature of their stay in
the United States.
E-2 Requirements:
You must organize the tabbed exhibits following the number/letter outline below. You
must submit all of the documents noted here, unless otherwise indicated.
1. Summary
a. Concise comprehensive brief of relevant facts
● Be brief, state exactly and precisely how the enterprise qualifies
● Do not waste space with lengthy citation of CFR or FAM texts
● Make specific reference to supporting documentation, for example:
“The Canadian parent company is owned 100% by the applicant.
See organizational documents showing the corporation is
authorized to issue 250 shares (tab 3C(i), relevant portion
highlighted), and the applicant’s stock subscription agreement and
share certificate for 250 shares (tab 3C(ii)).”
b. Comprehensive Index/Table of Contents

2. Nationality of the Individual Beneficiary
a. Photocopy of the passport biographic page for investor(s)/employee(s)
followed by copy for each dependent family member
b. Photocopy of landed immigrant card
3. Nationality of the Company/Evidence of Controlling Interest
If your company is an incorporated entity:
a. Chart of ownership of the enterprise
b. Articles of Incorporation and certificate of existence/registration from the
state/province in which the company is incorporated.
c. Ownership:
● If privately held by a small group of shareholders, submit i)
evidence of the total number of shares outstanding, and who holds
each, and ii) evidence of the treaty country nationality of the
owners of at least 50% of the outstanding stock –OR-
● If publicly traded, submit i) notarized statement from a duly
authorized corporate officer stating all of the stock exchanges on
which the company is traded, ii) the volume of stock traded on
each exchange (see 9 FAM 41.51 N3.2), and iii) recently published stock
● Please note, for either of the above, if the ownership is traced to
another corporate entity (such as a holding or parent company
rather than an individual), you must also trace the ownership of the
holding company (ies) all the way back to the beneficial individual
-OR- if your company is a partnership, Joint Venture, LLC, or similar:
a. Partnership or Joint Venture Agreement
b. Shares/stock certificates indicating total partnership units issued and
outstanding, and to whom they are issued
c. Please note, for either of the above, if the ownership is traced to another
corporate entity (such as a holding or parent company rather than an
individual), you must also trace the ownership of the holding company
(ies) all the way back to the beneficial individual owners
-OR- if your company is a sole proprietorship:
a. Business Registration
b. Proof of ownership of business assets (real property, etc.)
4. Source of Investment
a. Detailed statement by applicant explaining how funds used in the
investment were acquired or accumulated
b. Debit and credit services for personal and/or business account withdrawals
c. Documentation demonstrating how funds were acquired or accumulated:
● Transactions showing payment of sold property or business (proof
of property ownership and promissory notes) and rental income
(lease agreements); -AND/OR-
● Last three years of personal tax returns; -AND/OR-
● Statement from individual providing money to investor as a gift
5. Evidence of Investment
For an existing enterprise:
a. Purchase agreement
b. Proof of financing and funds transfer:
i. Copies of canceled checks or wire transfers from investor for all
deposits, partial-payments or transactions paid in full
ii. All loan, promissory or mortgage documents AND security
agreement; AND, copies of canceled checks or wire transfer
receipts from investor demonstrating consistent payment of
financial obligations. A letter from the financer stating all
payments are current may also be accepted
iii. Escrow agreement, escrow account statement in the U.S., escrow
receipt, if applicable
-OR- for a new enterprise:
a. Inventory listing: shipment invoices of inventory, equipment or business
related property
b. Receipts for inventory purchases
c. Canceled checks or official payment receipts for expenditures
d. Canceled check for first month’s rent or full annual advance rent payment
e. Lease agreement
f. Purchase orders
g. Improvement expenses
h. Initial business account statements
6. Marginality
a. U.S. corporate tax returns
b. Latest audited financial statement or non-review statement
c. Payroll register
d. W2 and W4 tax forms
e. Business plan (including pro forma financials for the first five year of
7. Real and Operating Commercial Enterprise
a. Occupational license, business license or business permits
b. Business transaction records, current/commercial account statements or
invoices from suppliers
c. Advertising leaflets, business brochures or promotional literature
8. If the applicant is an employee of the U.S. enterprise (executive/managerial;
and supervisory/essential skills):
a. Letter from Canadian company providing specific information on the
applicant and the reasons for his/her assignment to the U.S. The letter
must explain the employee’s role in the U.S. company (job title and
duties), the applicant’s executive or supervisory responsibilities or, if not a
supervisor, his/her specialist role, the level of education and knowledge
required by the employee’s position, his/her employment experience,
progression of promotion or high level training or special qualifications
and the reasons why a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident cannot fill
the position (if the position is not managerial or supervisory)
b. Evidence of E-2 company owner’s nationality and immigration status in
the U.S.
c. Organizational chart showing current staffing pattern at U.S. company
d. Applicant’s complete resume

You can see that there is a lot to do including a business plan (we can help here) to show that the enterprise will be a success.

Hope this helps -  when you need tax help with all this, you know where to turn.