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E1 Visa for Canadian company wanting to relocate to the US

Los Angeles, CA |
Filed under: Immigration US visas

- Toronto, Canada based company
- Auto parts manufacturing and distributing
- 2 owners/employees, each with 50% ownership
- 80% sales to the US
- Annual sales of $500,000 to 1 million
- Been in business 5+ years
- No financial encumbrances, debts, or legal issues of any kind

A few questions I cannot find the answers to:

With the E1 visa, does the Canadian company still have to be fully operational like it does with the L visa? Or can it be temporarily put on hold to focus on building through the US channels?

I am currently 'snowbirding' in California but would like to start the process while I am down here, finding real estate, etc. How can I apply from the US? Or do I have to fly back to Toronto, Canada to apply?

Is it better to go with a Toronto or US based lawyer?

Attorney Answers 1


You could use a US or Toronto lawyer, just make sure that whoever you use is very familiar with E visas for start-up companies. You do need to have an established business before applying for the E-1 or E-2, however it can be a start-up. You are authorized to enter the US in visitor status while you are preparing to set up the E enterprise.

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