B-1 Visa in Lieu of E-2 Treaty Investor Visa


  • Nationality: Canadian and Chinese dual citizen
  • Case: B-1 Visa in lieu of an E-2 Treaty Investor
  • Processing Time: 7 months
  • Challenges:
    1. Applicant was applying while in the U.S. as a Canadian treaty investor. 
    2. Applicant had no concrete source of income as a housewife, so she depended on her friends and husband for her investment of only $78,750.
    3. Applicant became ill and was unable to continue securing business contracts.
    4. Two US citizen children showed possible immigrant intent.


Ms. Jen is a Canadian citizen of Chinese origin who wanted to pursue her dream of establishing and running a tourism agency that specializes in bringing Chinese youth to the United States to practice and play the game of golf. When she came to Tsang and Associates, we felt this was a big challenge because she had little experience in managing the golf industry and running a business. Because of this, it would take time for her to lay the groundwork to successfully build and launch a reputable business. In order to give her time to do so, we suggested that she attain a B-1 business visitor visa first, which would allow her to negotiate business contracts, interview potential employees, and legally establish her business in the United States. We would then use this foundation to successfully file for E-2 status.

Ms. Jen arrived in the United States with the intention of traveling to the East Coast and securing business partners to establish her tourism agency. Soon after arriving, however, she fell badly ill and was unable to travel to the East Coast and complete her work. We therefore applied for a B-1 extension to allow her an additional six months and change her status to B-1 business status in lieu of her future E-2 treaty investor visa application.


The first key to success was to establish a compelling reason for B-1 extension by carefully explaining her purpose for coming to the United States. We explained that she not only was inspired to start a golf tourism corporation in the US as she had a passion for the sport, but she also had many lucrative connections in China that would make the business a success. This was critical, as without the B-1 extension, Ms. Jen would have to forgo all of her business plans.

After her B-1 extension was secured, we established through appropriate documentation that Ms. Jen had sufficient funds available to complete her stay in the US and would not be engaged in any unlawful activity or employment. This included the arduous task of procuring her family’s bank statements, tax records, and deeds to all the properties owned. Finally, we demonstrated that Ms. Jen’s visit to the U.S. fits squarely within the parameters of Legitimate Activities Relating to Business or Pleasure,pursuant to 9 FAM 41.31 N4, a necessary element of the application. Per the FAM, setting up a business in lieu of a future E-2 treaty investor visa is a legitimate business activity. Further, we were able to establish that she had no intent to immigrate, by presenting documents that linked her to strong financial and familial ties to China and Canada.


Ms. Jen’s B-1 and B-1 Extension were approved without a Request for Evidence. Months later, we successfully filed a Change of Status to an E-2 Investor Visa and Ms. Jen was able to come to the United States to set up her Golf Tourism company. Ms. Jen’s illness put her plans in serious jeopardy, and she would have been forced back to Canada before her work was completed. The prospect of her B-1 extension being denied would have permanently put an end to her dreams and her business in the United States. It would also have meant that all her work and money spent in preparation for her business establishment would have amounted to nothing. We were committed to ensuring that her hard work and time would pay off and would not be wasted

She was ecstatic with the success of the case. She was genuinely convinced that her illness would pose a fatal blow to her chances. However, we knew that there was a slim, yet hopeful legal avenue open to her and we never wavered in our commitment to finding a quick solution posed by the unexpected challenges that arose.

*Name has been changed to protect client identity

If you need assistance with a B-1 visa or another immigration concern, contact us to discuss your case.

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