Streamlined E-2 Visa Renewal Process at U.S. Consulate in Toronto12 Dec 2014
The U.S. Consulate in Toronto, Canada, has implemented a new, streamlined E-2 visa application process for renewal cases. The revised process should make renewal applications faster and less burdensome for qualifying applicants.
Overview of E-2 Visas
The E-2 (treaty investor) visa is only available to a foreign national who is a citizen of a country that has a qualifying bilateral treaty with the United States. Further, a “substantial” investment must be made in the U.S. enterprise, and this company must be at least 50 percent owned by the applicant or by nationals of the same treaty country as the applicant. The E-2 visa allows the investor to enter the U.S. in order to develop and direct the company’s operations. It can also be used by executives, supervisors, and essential personnel of the U.S. company. More information about the E-2 category is available on MurthyDotCom.
Streamlined Renewal Process
The U.S. Consulate in Toronto has published updated instructions on the consulate website for E-2 visa renewal applicants. Whereas the consulate previously required renewal applicants to submit extensive amounts of documentation and information prior to the appointment date, renewal applicants in Toronto now only need to provide a fairly minimal amount of evidence to the consulate.
Note, however, that if the E-2 company has a valid “notice of company registration”, E-2 employees (as opposed to the E-2 investor) should not apply using this new revised renewal process. Rather, such employees should continue to use the process outlined for Employees of Registered Companies.
E-2 Applications in Canada for Third-Country Nationals
The consulate in Toronto does not prohibit non-Canadians from applying for an E-2 visa in Canada, but does recommend against it. The consulate further instructs “applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada [to] choose the ‘Non-Canada Resident’ category when scheduling their appointment.”
E-2 Category Unavailable to Key Countries, Including India and China
As noted above, the E-2 category is only available to foreign nationals from countries that have a qualifying treaty with the United States. Unfortunately, some of the countries whose nationals would provide significant benefits by investment in the U.S., most notably India and China, are not currently parties to such an agreement. More information about the Murthy Law Firm’s efforts to expand the E-2 program is available in the NewsBrief, Murthy Seeking Access to E-1 and E-2 Visas for Indian Nationals (03.Sep.2013), available on MurthyDotCom.
The Murthy Law Firm appreciates the efforts being made by the U.S. Consulate in Toronto to improve the E-2 renewal process. MurthyDotCom will continue to monitor changes to visa procedures and share helpful updates, as appropriate.
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