In this post, Attorney Jacob Sapochnick Esq, will explain whether franchises qualify for the E2 Investor Visa.
What is an E2 Visa?
The Treaty Investor Visa (nonimmigrant E-2 classification) is intended for nationals of a foreign country with which a qualifying Treaty of friendship, commerce, navigation, or a similar agreement exists with the United States.
Nationals (individuals or companies) of countries with such Treaties with the United States can obtain visas to work in the USA in order to develop and direct their investment with the USA. E-2 visa is for individuals coming to the U.S. to invest a substantial amount of capital or to direct and develop the business operations of an entity in which the individual has already invested funds.
Do Franchises qualify for E2 Investor Visa?
Yes, most franchises will be a good fit for this type of visa, however not all franchises will qualify. For example, in order for the application to be successful, the investor must assume an active role in the management of the franchise business. If your franchise meets this requirement, then it is possible for your franchise to qualify for the E-2 visa.
Secondly, the franchise must create jobs for U.S. workers. The investor must hire U.S. staff and employees to fill various roles within the franchise. The investor must also hire management staff with the appropriate experience to fill certain key positions in the business.The investor must also ensure that he is involved in some sort of decision making role within the franchise business’s organizational structure.
Third, the amount of money that is required to secure the franchise must be reasonable in order to obtain the E-2 visa. Franchises that require $50,000 or less will likely not satisfy the investment requirements of the E-2 visa. Franchises that require $100,000 or more are more likely to be successful in satisfying such requirements.
Does the investor Need to Buy the Business Before applying for an E-2 Investor Visa?
Establishing a business in the United States is regarded as a key requirement for buyers that are applying for an E-2 visa.
The best course of action is to place the monies that will be used to purchase the business in an escrow account in the United States. In the visa application it is possible to state that the purchase of the business is contingent on the approval of the E-2 Visa and will be finalized once the approval is obtained. It is also important to get all the documents from the Franchise processed, so that a full package can be presented to the US Immigration when filing for the visa application.