We have worked with numerous Canadian entrepreneurs who see an opportunity to grow their businesses in the US or move their businesses to the US altogether. Canadian entrepreneurs generally pursue E-2 and L-1 visas. Unfortunately, the TN visa, though easy to apply for, does not allow for self-employment and generally is generally unavailable to most entrepreneurs.
To determine what is the best visa for you, we recommend scheduling a phone call. However, here is a general overview of the options in many frequent situations.
Moving an Existing Business from Canada to the US
If you already run a successful business in Canada and are seeking to relocate the operations to the US the E-2 is likely the best visa option. If you are already successfully operating your business in Canada and are seeking to move the entire operations to the US you will likely have a strong visa application. The biggest issue is how to structure the transition from the Canadian business to the US business and the tax implications that may be involved on both sides of the border.
Starting a New Business in the US
Generally, the E-2 visa is the easiest to pursue when starting a new business in the US. The E-2 cannot be speculative though. You must make the necessary investments into the new US business to be operational prior to submitting the visa application. If you are agnostic about the best business to start, we strongly recommend considering a franchise.
Expanding your Canadian Business in the US
Depending on the nature of your existing Canadian business and your plans for expansion in the US, either the L-1A or the E-2 may be plausible. We would discuss with you the following factors to determine which option is best:
- How long has your company been in existence in Canada?
- How many people work for the Canadian company?
- How much have you invested in the US?
- What are your plans for growing in the US, including your hiring plan?
To learn more about what the best visa option for you is, please schedule a phone call.