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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 107240
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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My issue is that I am a Canadian citizen and do not have any

Customer Question

My issue is that I am a Canadian citizen and do not have any sort of visa for the US. I currently work for a Canadian company in Vancouver, BC but my territory is Washington and Oregon states. I travel in the US most of the time getting orders and POs for product that ships out of Vancouver. I'm paid by the Canadian company into a Candian bank account. It would be far easier for me (and much less expense as Vancouver cost of living is ridiculous), if I could live south of the border. Is this possible?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 13 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help.

There's the rub. You were all fine up until you said you wanted to move into the U.S. That changes everything. You will need something more than just your passport or B-1 visa and any other visa is not easy to get. Does your company have a branch, subsidiary or other related company in the U.S.? If not, are they willing to invest in establishing one?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have a US UBI number so that we can conduct business in the US but no physical presence yet. We are, however, in the process of opening a US location in Seattle. The plan was that I would be transferred down at some point. My travels in the US right now are to establish some business in the US to justify the effort. I also scout out locations and do pretty much anything the company needs to help with opening the US location. I'm trying to find a way to get down there sooner as I have to move out of my house because the landlord wants to occupy it and I don't want to move now just to move again in a little while. Not to mention that rents and mortgages and the cost of living are much lower south of the border compared to here.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

It's still a problem. U.S. immigration law is rarely convenient. I'll look for a solution, but please do not shoot the messenger. Believe me, I get frustrated with the U.S. immigration laws myself. I've been waiting for reform since I started this career more than 13 years ago. How much money does the Canadian company plan to invest in starting up a U.S. office? Do they plan to hire any U.S. employees?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know the exact figures but the investment will be substantial. We will need to purchase or rent a rather large warehouse and showroom. We will definitely be hiring US staff for the warehouse/showroom and we will also then hire several US staff for outside sales positions. I'd say probably a couple dozen staff to get things going. The plan is also that once Seattle is up and running, we will potentially open a second US location is Portland, OR. I'm hoping we keep growing from there.Also, I don't know if this helps but my brother moved to the US many years ago. He married an American and has his green card although he is not a US citizen. They live in Kentucky so living with them is not an option.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Even if your brother was a U.S. Citizen, that wouldn't help you because it would take 12 years or so to get a green card through him. When do they plan to start investing in the office in Seattle? Would they be putting you in charge of that? Are you a high level manager or executive, or are you a specialized knowledge employee?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are currently searching for properties in Seattle so they will begin investing as soon as they find the right one (the requirements for our business are quite specific). I have been a Technical Sales Consultant and Territory Manager with a specialty in Building Envelopes and Design for 11 years, and involved in sales in the construction industry for almost 20 years now. I will not be over-seeing the whole US operation but I will likely over-see the sales and representative teams once we are establishing them. I will also be involved in over-seeing aspects of the setting up of the Seattle location as I am the one who is down there most frequently.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Do you have hiring and firing power and/or supervisory power over other professionals and/or managers or supervisors? And do you have a degree? In what?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will likely have supervisory power over the sales/representative team. I was 2 credits away from finishing my bachelors in English (Communications) when I was forced to stop my studies for a family tragedy. I was never able to go back since I had to work to support my family.On a side note, I read that one can stay for a year on a B1 visa for business purposes and that one can change visa status should it be required such as a transfer to a US branch once one has been set up. Is that true?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Ok. Then that means that the TN professional visa most likely will not work. I see three options:

1) The L-1A executive or manager transferee visa. Here is a link:

http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/l-1a-intracompany-transferee-executive-or-manager

Of course, you would have to be a high level manager or executive to qualify.

2) If you do not meet the job requirement, then there is the L-1B visa available and here is a link:

http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/l-1b-intracompany-transferee-specialized-knowledge

3) And you can also try for the E-2 treaty investor visa and here is a link:

http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/e-2-treaty-investors

So you have three options in that regard and probably the 2nd option is the closest to what I think would work.

Also, you can get that visa in a number of weeks if the money that will be invested in the company is at risk meaning committed to the project. In other words, the company does not have to be operating yet, but for example if the property is purchased, or the money to purchase the property is in an escrow account, that should suffice.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions and there is no additional charge. Also, should you need to chat on the phone, private email or need help reviewing documentation, I am happy to do so for a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested in these – I am happy to give you more details! When we are done, if you would be so kind as to leave a positive rating for my service, I would sincerely ***** ***** You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars if you see them, or the smiley faces if you see them. You can even ask additional questions without additional charge even after leaving a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello. I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your kindness and respect. Good luck to you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi. Sorry for the delay. Had some real life craziness take place. I was still looking for more info on the B1 visa. It looks to me as if one can stay in the US for 6 months to a year on that for the purpose of getting a US branch going as long as you are paid in Canada by the Canadian company in Canadian dollars. Is that the case? If it is, can it be changed to another visa type if your company wants you to stay down there when the US branch opens?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

No problem. I hope things get better. Fortunately, yes, you could enter on a B-1, get 6 months, before the 6 months expire, you could file an I-539 to extend for an additional 6 months. Here is a link:

http://www.uscis.gov/i-539

And here is a link to the B-1 chart and you will see that this proposed activity is permitted:

http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/BusinessVisa%20Purpose%20Listings%20March%202014%20flier.pdf

Let me know if you need anything else, but please do not forget to rate me positively. You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars if you see them, or the smiley faces if you see them. Thank you!

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello. I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!