Unlocking Cross-Border Opportunities: A Guide for Canadian & Mexican Entrepreneurs Looking to Grow in the U.S. 

The United States is viewed as the land of opportunity, even to our neighbors in Canada and Mexico. But many are unsure of how to seize the opportunities available for doing business in the United States. For non-U.S. citizens, the process of coming into the United States for business purposes can be challenging. I’m here to outline some non-immigrant options available for our Canadians and Mexican neighbors who want to do business in the United States.  

TN Visa: 

The TN visa is designed under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) specifically for Canadian and Mexican citizens who work in certain professional occupations. The TN visa is valid for up to three years and may be extended if you wish to remain in the U.S beyond the initially granted period of stay. 

E-1 Visa: 

This visa is for individuals who intend to participate in international trade between the United States and a treaty country. To qualify, at least 50% of the trade volume must be between the U.S. and the applicant’s home country and trade must be substantial, which is defined as a continuous flow of international trade. Items of trade include but are not limited to goods and services including international banking, insurance transportation, tourism, technology and its transfer, and some new-gathering activities. The maximum initial period of stay for E-1 nonimmigrants is 2 years, however extensions in increments of 2 years may be granted indefinitely.  

E-2 Visa: 

This visa is for those who are investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. enterprise (new or pre-existing). Applicants of this visa must be entering the U.S. for the sole purpose of developing and directing the investment of this enterprise. Like the E-1 visa, E-2 visa also has a 2-year maximum initial period of stay but may be renewed. There are no limits to the number of extensions that may be granted for this visa, but non-immigrants must still maintain the intention to depart the U.S. upon expiration or termination of this visa. 


Each visa category has its own specific requirements and eligibility criteria, so it’s essential to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to determine the best option for your specific circumstances. To dive deeper into which of these options is most relevant to your situation, contact our law office Christine Nsajja Law Firm for the start-to-finish professional guidance you need to seize the opportunities available to you in the United States and achieve your business goals. 


The information contained in this article is intended to provide general guidance and understanding of immigration law. It is not intended to provide legal advice or replace legal counsel.