Asked in Immigration Law for California

Q: Canadian applying for business visa what is process. How do you apply

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2 Lawyer Answers
Jennifer Doerrie
Jennifer Doerrie
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Fresno, CA

A: Hello,

The answer to this question actually is very fact-specific and would depend on the kind of visa, the position, the applicant's experience, and many other factors. It would be best for you to consult with a licensed, experienced business immigration lawyer about your specific facts and circumstances if at all possible. Also, you may wish to do some on-line research into U.S. business visas. One place you could start is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services own web site, under the resources tab. I believe there are resources for working in the U.S./employment visas there.

Best wishes,


Mr Brian D. Lerner
Mr Brian D. Lerner
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Hello:

You might consider the H-1B.

  H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa

You qualify for what is known as the H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa. You will need to have an employer agree to sponsor you for a job. It does not need to be a full-time position, but it should be related to your degree. Our firm can do the entire petition. Once we begin processing and get it filed, it normally takes about six to nine months to get the approval.  Please note that H-1B's are very limited and are only available for small periods of time during the year. Therefore, Premium Processing discussed next should be used. 


If you want a work permit in an expedited manner, you can take advantage of the Premium Processing program at USCIS. This will allow you to have the expedited answer in less than one month. You will need to add $1,500.00 to the cost below for Premium Processing. There are only a limited number of H-1B's and it must be filed by April 1. However, it is still possible it will not get selected for this years allotment.


Alternatively, you might consider the E-2.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Petition?An E-2 Visa is one of the nicest working visas as it allows you to run your own business, and while it periodically needs to be renewed, you can stay here in the U.S. as long as you like on the E-2. Normally, this type of E-2 Visa would require and investment of $50,000 to $100,000U.S. to successfully process. The more capital investment that is required for the business, the higher the investment. Additionally, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old can come as beneficiaries to your approved E-2. Your children will be able to go to school in the U.S. without having to get a separate student visa (as long as they are not in college.) The spouse will be permitted to apply for a work permit to work anywhere in the United States.  A great deal of the success of the E-2 Petition is how it is prepared. The higher the investment, , the easier it is to get approved. The type of company that would either be purchased or the type of company that would start from scratch is wide open depending on what you would like to do.

?This petition is usually 2-4 inches thick. It consists of the petition itself, the complex business plan with numerous charts and figures, and if needed, the incorporation papers. Once submitted directly to the Consulate, it takes between one and three months for approval. It can also be submitted to U.S. Immigration for a change of status. The price below consists of preparation of the E-2 Petition, the complex Business Plan and the incorporation charges. My firm can also do the incorporation of the business in the U.S. It is more than simply preparing the Articles of Incorporation as immigration requires many other documents such as the Stock Transfer Ledger, Stock Certificates, Bylaws, Notice of Meetings among other items.  ? ?

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