E-2 Visas for Canadians: Professional Services Industry

The U.S. aims to boost commercial ties, requiring intent to return, substantial investment, and viable businesses. Opportunities are in sectors like IT, Finance, Consulting, etc. Tips: show ties to Canada, an active business, substantial investment, and income potential.

Canadians have several immigration options when considering moving to the United States.  Many Canadians capitalize on the H-1B and TN visas through employers.  However, for those Canadians looking to start-up, or acquire a franchise or existing company, then the E-2 visa is another alternative.  

This article is focused on E-2 visas for Canadians that want to pursue opportunities in the professional services industry.  

U.S. government’s focus

Generally, U.S. consular officers are flexible in adjudicating E-2 visa applications because they want to facilitate commercial interaction between the Canada and the U.S.

  • U.S. officers want to ensure that there is an intent to depart the U.S. upon achieving goals and objectives.
  • U.S. officers want to ensure that the E-2enterprise is producing or will produce a service for profit.
  • U.S. officers want to ensure that the investment is substantial.
  • U.S. officers want to ensure that the investor is not creating a self-employment enterprise just to earn a living, but rather an enterprise that has capacity to generate substantial revenue to impact the economy by creating opportunities for others.   
A hand holding a boarding pass, a passport, and a Canadian flag.


Canada and U.S. share many similar industries.  However, the U.S. economic market is substantially larger.  Accordingly, many Canadian professionals desire to enter the U.S. to expand their economic opportunities.  Canadians may obtain E-2visas for the following professional sectors:

  • Information Technology Services:software development; cybersecurity; cloud computing; and IT consulting
  • Financial Services:  Financial planning; accounting; andinvestment management
  • Consulting Services:  Management consulting; strategy consulting;and specialized consulting
  • Design Services: landscape;interior; and graphic
  • Healthcare Services:  home health; senior living care
  • Marketing and AdvertisingServices:  branding; social mediamanagement; and event management; and
  • Real Estate Services:  project management; development; and propertymanagement.

Recommended strategies

To assist in planning for an E-2 visa, Canadians may consider the following strategies:

  • To establish intent to return to Canada, present evidence of family, property, or business ties in Canada.
  • To establish that the enterprise is real and active, present evidence of contracts or invoices with vendors and customers.  Consider beginning to sell to customers while in Canada to build a track record.
  • To establish that the investment is substantial, through a business plan, present evidence of the total required asset expenditures and operational expenses to show the total amount necessary to begin operations.  Then, present evidence that 100% of those costs were spent or allocated.  
  • To establish that the enterprise is not marginal, but rather has the capacity to generate more than sufficient income for the investor and dependents, present evidence that the enterprise has hired a part-time or full-time employee. Similarly, present evidence that the company has hired an independent contractor.  Alternatively, present evidence that there is a contract with a third-party company to provide support to the operations.


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