2003 September 5


Well, I am sad to annouce that I've given notice to my landlord in Boston, and will be moving to Toronto. I'm still not entirely sure this is the right decision, but I guess it's the one I'm going with.

The situation is:

  • To get a visa to start my business in the States, the INS requires me to show I've got a 'real and operating' enterprise, which is nearly impossible for me to prove. Usually for a startup they'll take things like signed leases and orders for inventory, but I don't actually have any of those things, and won't until January at least. (This is me getting bit by the flip side of having a business plan with low start-up costs.)
  • They require me to take all my available funds and put them into my company up front (well, what they really require is enough to show a substantial investment in the United States, but in my case that's all my available funds), which (a) creates an unnecessary taxable event, and (b) leaves me with nothing to live on, so I'd have to pay myself a salary out of the company, which I then have to pay income tax on. That is, I'd have to pay tax again on money that already belongs to me. That could amount to $500 a month, fairly easily.
  • And the E-2 application is generally a complete pain in the ass. I'm looking at at least forty or fifty pages of supporting documents.
If I had applied it would still have been October at least before I got a decision, and there's no way to be certain I'd have been approved even if I do all of the above. I seem to have one of those borderline visa-officer's-discretion cases, and I don't feel confident that the INS is giving anybody the benefit of the doubt these days. And I really don't want to hang around for another month or month and a half only to be told I have to leave anyway.

I feel like having come this far, there's no way I can let myself not carry through with the start-up plan, so moving back to Canada it is.

I'm returning to Boston next Thursday to pack up my things and so on, and then I'll take a U-haul to Toronto on the 29th. I'm bummed to have to leave -- there are a lot of you guys I'm going to miss. This is an 'indefinite' departure, but not for good if I can help it. Sooner or later either my business will be successful enough that I can expand into the American market, or it'll fail and I'll get a normal job again, or something. Feel free to vote for any candidates who advocate looser immigration rules.

I'm tentatively scheduling a house-cooling party for Saturday the 20th.

Happier news on how the whole project is coming along next time I post.


While I'll definitely be sad to see you go,
I wholeheartedly support your mission to
give your business plan a thorough chance.
Good luck!!

Re:9/20 -- are you recalling that the
first resuming B5 brunch will be that
afternoon? (I gotta send out a reminder
for that or something.)

Posted by: Matt Ryan on September 8, 2003 05:12 PM
Post a comment
Yes   No   (like the Turing Test, but easier)

TrackBack Links
If you run a blog that supports TrackBack, you can link to this article with this TrackBack key.