My partner and I are Canadian citizens from Vancouver, interested in investing in the Phoenix real estate market. We have a total sum of $100,000. We would like to use the capital to buy a residential property, make improvements on it, sell it for a profit, and repeat the process indefinitely. I understand that we must apply for the E2 visa in order to do so in the long run. To my understanding, the likelihood of obtaining an E2 visa increases when each of us has a minimum of $100,000 as initial investment. Since we do not have such amount, I was under the impression that we should at least do a few transactions to clearly indicate that we are in fact contributing to the US economy prior to our visa application.
The past Tuesday, my partner and I have decided to transport our personal vehicle from Blaine, Washington to Phoenix, Arizona. Our intention was to save as much money as possible for our real estate investment. We gathered it would be cheaper to have our car transported than to rent one every time we come to Phoenix. At the border, we were asked to go in for secondary interrogation. During the secondary interrogation, I stated my intentions of opening up a business. I was not able to provide evidence of ties and equities in Canada for the Customs officer. As such, my partner and I were denied entry into the United States that day.
On Thursday, we tried to cross the border again at the Vancouver International Airport to attend an upcoming real estate investor meeting in Phoenix. Once again, we were asked to go in for secondary inspection. Thankfully, with the documentation we were able to provide to the Customs officers, we were granted controlled entry.
On both occasions, the Customs officers have stated that we must obtain an E2 visa for the purposes of our trip. We were told that we could not earn money in the United States without some sort of visa.
We are currently in the process of purchasing our first property. Given our situation, what are the necessary steps to ensure a strong E2 visa application? Would our chances of obtaining an E2 visa greatly improved if only one of us apply for it with all the capital that we have?
Any insights is greatly appreciated!