REMINDER FOR CANADIANS
By Conrad David Brillantes
Nothing has changed since the FTA was signed, which was later renamed NAFTA. Still, for many businessmen intending to set up operations south of the border are unaware that they are obligated to obtain a validated work visa. The agreement between Canada and the U.S., which came into effect on January 1, 1989, and more specifically the immigration provisions, contained therein, set out the basic requirements for any businessman intending to commence business operations in the United Sates. Below is a brief outline of some the U.S. non? immigrant work visas available to Canadians under the agreement.
B1 Visa - Business: Person engaged in a trade of goods and services or investment activity. How to apply: Present a letter detailing your business activity at the port of entry. How long is the visa valid? One year with extensions of up to six months per application. Restrictions: Applicants cannot receive remuneration while in the United States except that of his company from Canada.
TC Visa - Professionals: A person must have a bachelor's degree or two years of college plus five years of experience or appropriate credentials demonstrating status as a professional. How to apply: Present visa application at the port of entry. Validity: One year, renewable according to term of contract with employer.
E-1 and E-2 Visas - Traders and Investors: Companies owned by a single investor or Canadian companies, Canadian owners, managers, executives and employees with essential skills. E-1 visas are for applicants wishing to carry on substantial trade (51% or more of trade between Canada and the U.S. E.-2 visas are for those applicants investing substantial capital in the U.S. that is at risk. How to apply? Complete visa application, questionnaire and interview with vice-consul at the a U.S. consulate. Validity: Five years with extension of approximately two years at a time.
L-1 Visa - Intra-company Transferee: An Executive, manager, or employee with specialized knowledge who is being transferred from a Canadian company to a U.S. affiliate or subsidiary and who had continuous employment in Canada with the Canadian company for one year immediately prior to the application. How to apply? Complete visa application and apply at port of entry. Validity: One year for a new business or three years for a company that had been doing business in the U.S. for one year or longer. Extensions are available for up to five years.
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