How To Expand Or Move A Canadian Business To America
Moving from Canada to America?
Note: The following material is about moving a business from Canada to the USA and about how to enter the USA as a Canadian citizen in order to start a business in America.( It is also not about how to start a business in Canada.)
Moving To ArizonaClick thumbnail to view full-size
Moving From Canada To USA
A Good Question About Immigration And Business Ownership
Shirley Anderson of Hubpages, an author and friend, asked how a Canadian might immigrate to the United States and start a business in Arizona. Thank you, Shirley, for your question.
The short answer is that in order to come to America and start a business per regulations, a Canadian must:
- Prove that they have at least $1,000,000 USD or $500,000 USD in special cases (see below).
- Plan a business that will clearly increase the American Economy (no nonprofits).
- Create 10 permanent full-time paycheck jobs for people that are already either US Citizens or Permanent Residents.
- Intend to become a Permanent Resident or US Citizen. Provisions can be made for the immigration of spouse and dependents in the immigration package as well, but they cannot be workers in the 10 new full-time jobs created.
Legal Reference Links
- USCIS - Green Card Through Investment - EB5 Visa
You must invest $1,000,000, or at least $500,000 in a targeted employment area (high unemployment or rural area). In return, USCIS may grant conditional permanent residence to the individual.
- USCIS - Green Card Through a Job Offer (Not a business)
Business Related Immigration Visas to the US
Business and work related Visas to America are available to Canadians in the following specific categories only (those appropriate to the question in bold print):
- US H1-B Visas
- US H2-A and H-2B Visas
- US L1 Visa
- US E1 Treaty Trader Visas
- US E2 Treaty Investor Visas
- US E3 Australian Special Occupation Visas
- US EB2 Visas
- US EB3 Visas
- US EB5 Investment Green Card - most specifically for starting a business.
- Employment-based Green Card
- US Intern Work and Travel Program
- US Student Work and Travel Program
Shirley Anderson --- Come On Down!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Possibilities and Choices
The US E1 Treaty Trader Visa is available to Canadians that plan to live in the US and facilitate trade with Canada. This is allowed because of a related treaty established between Canada and the USA on January 1, 1993.
The US E2 Treaty Investor Visa is for those that wish to come in to invest in an already-established American business and is also available by the same treaty. The investment must already have been made before the investor applies for this Visa and the investor must show that he or she is a Supervisor, Executive, or Specialist in the company and also that the company is not his or her sole means of support. (Consult an attorney for greater detail regarding these Visas.)
The US EB5 Investment Green Card allowing immigration into America is for Canadians that specifically want and have clear plans to invest in the creation of a new commercial enterprise. This is the one for starting a business in Arizona or any other state.
Eligibility is based on the Canadian applicant's seriousness to start a commercial enterprise that will
1) Clearly benefit the US economy and
2) Create jobs for at least 10 individuals in the categories of a) permanent resident or b) US citizen. Family members cannot be included and those with no or only temporary Visas cannot be included. Employees cannot be Independent Contractors, Temps, or Casual Labor; they must receive paychecks with all required taxes and any other deductions legally required withheld (check with an attorney in the US State). Jobs must be full-time, at least 35 hours every week (you must pay Unemployment Insurance premiums on any job 35+ hours per week, so no shortcuts are allowed; say, 34 hours per week).
3) A minimum of USD $1,000,000 to invest up front, but in cases of federally "targeted employment", the amount is half a million dollars. Targeted employment means "in areas of the country where unemployment is at least 150% of the national average." If national unemployment is 7.6% (2/09), the the targeted area of unemployment would be at around 11.4%. This would include areas of Michigan, for example.
In summary, the business must be one that America needs and one that will create at least 10 permanent full-time jobs. In Arizona, this would mean 10 permanent full-time jobs in an Industry that benefits the country. Sustainability and alternative energies are great for this, among others (see below).
NOTE: immigrating to expand a Canadian business may also qualify as new if it is increased by at least 40% in net worth or 40% of the current number of employees.
NOTE: The 10 new jobs do not need to exist the first year, but they should show up clearly on your Business Plan in the three-year projections. Many plans show a 3-year, a 5-year, and a 10-year set of projections (see below).
Other Visas and Alternative Pathways
Emigrating into the United States in order to begin a business in any of the 50 states with less funding than required by USEB5 can follow the same requirements as entering in order to work for someone else in order to receive a Green Card.
The pathway that offers the greatest hope for success in this case is to follow that immigration route, plan your business while you work, and after receiving a Green Card, establish the business. Banks and other lenders may not wish to lend business startup money to an individual that is not a permanent resident at the time.
Many Russian, Ukrainian, and Pakistani families have chosen the employment Green Card route to buiness ownership successfully over the last several years in certain Midwestern states. In fact, Pakistanis have become extremely successful in business ownership within the Dining Industry and Accommodations.
JOBS AMERICA ALLOWS OR NEEDS FILLED BY IMMIGRANTS
- P-1 Visas: Athletes and Entertainment Groups
- 0-1 Visas: Extraordinary Ability in science, arts, business, education, entertainment, or athletics (major award winners - Olympics, The Nobel, Emmy, Ivy League University Awards and Fellowships, etc.).
- R-1 Visas: Religious Workers
- TN Visas: NAFTA Temporary Work Permit
- I Visas: Media Workers
- US Medical Professions– 1) All others besides nurses and 2) Nurses - Registered Nurses (RNs) particularly. Travel Nursing is even more lucrative.
Universities often provide Business Incubators to help new business owners set up, hire, and start producing products and services. For example, the Top 10 Environmental Degree Programs in the Southwest includes Arizona State University, the leader in Sustainability in the Southwest that partners with local business and government to increase jobs and bring new businesses to the area.
Top Industries in Arizona through 2022:
- Science & Technologies,
- Travel/Tourism - includes food & beverage, accommodations and retail sales;
- Manufacturing - Electronics and Defense.
In 2006, Arizona was named 2nd Fastest Growing place for women-owned firms by the Center for Women's Business Research.
From Canada to Arizona
Establishing Oneself In America
- How to Establish Residency In A Major US City – A guide for citizens of other nations.
- Write Your Business Plan Easily
- How to Write a Business Plan
- You would need to interview and hire staff, followed by verifying references. In that event, you may be aided by this Hub: How to Verify Employment. This is good for both employers and job candidates.
Largest Arizona Employers
Largest Private Employers In Arizona 2016
- Banner Health - Health & Medical
- WalMart Stores
- Kroger - Grocery and more
- Wells Fargo & Co. - Banking & Financial services
- McDonald's - Food
- Circle K Convenience Stores
- American Airlines
- Bank of America
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. - Banking & Financial services
- Raytheon - Aerospace and Missile Manufacturing
- Honeywell International - Aerospace Manufacturing. Space harbors are emerging in the Southwest and planned for growth in both government and private spaceflight and freight.
- Dignity Health
- Basha's Supermarkets
Potential Trade Corridor
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