How to Get an E-2 Visa by Investing in a Franchise
How to Get an E-2 Visa by Investing in a Franchise
If you are a foreign investor with an entrepreneurial spirit, owning a franchise is the best and easiest route to secure an E-2 visa business. Why do you need this type of visa? The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa allows the investor to live and work in the United States to direct and develop the business and allows entry of executive, management, and essential skills employees. Because franchises are an established business model with training from the inception and ongoing support from the franchisor, it creates an easier path for approval for the franchisee, in this case, the E-2 visa investor.
The popularity of franchises for investor visas exists because it presents you, the franchisee or E-2 visa holder, a turnkey business opportunity with detailed business plans and investment costs that are known and laid out and translate well on the E-2 visa application. Purchasing an existing franchise also satisfies that requirement. Officials will also want to know if your business is prepared to be operational upon visa approval. Franchises provide the versatility necessary for investors, like varying degrees of size, industry, and location, which means the E-2 visa holder can choose where to set up a business and live.
Based on information from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation, or with which the United States maintains a qualifying international agreement, or which has been deemed a qualifying country by legislation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.
Specifically, the E-2 visa requirements include:
- The owner/investor must be a citizen from the approved E-Visa Treaty Country. (There are 70 countries.)
- Treaties vary, as do details and restrictions.
- The owner/investor must have a detailed business plan and a business that is ready to open.
- The owner/investor must show they have a substantial business.
An E-2 Visa Franchise is Better Than Other Business Investments
Gaining an E-2 visa through a franchise in the U.S. is appealing as an investor because it does not require sponsorship from U.S. citizens or businesses; it gives you control of your business, reducing time versus beginning a business from the ground up.
An E-2 visa investment is ideal for franchising because you have a quicker ramp-up, a proven business model to follow, and guidance from industry experts.
How Do Visas Differ?
An E-2 visa holder is basically an investor who receives a work visa through treaty eligibility.
An EB-2 Visa is a second preference employment-based visa for foreign workers with exceptional ability or an advanced degree. That makes them eligible to come to the United States for work.
Then there’s the investor green card program or the EB-5 Visa. This is referred to as an immigrant investor green card. It allows foreign investors to become U.S. lawful permanent residents in exchange for a substantial investment in the United States.
Statistics show that the EB-5 visa (green card) and the E-2 visa (treaty) contribute to more than 50,000 investor visas that are issued to people coming into the U.S. annually.
Qualifications for an EB-5 visa differ from the E-2. For the green card visa, you have to make a minimum investment of $900,000 and create at least 10 American jobs.
The minimum investment for an E-2 visa is lower. It requires a “substantial investment,” generally $100,000, and has no set minimum for the number of jobs created. Once in the U.S., an E-2 visa investor can stay for two years, then apply for an extension or re-enter with a valid visa. Meeting the criteria makes having an E-2 visa franchise one of the easiest ways into the U.S., with an 88% approval rate.
Other requirements include: You must have controlling ownership, which is at least 50% of the business. You must actively develop and operate a real business as opposed to stock market or other investments. And this business must create an income or contribute to the national economy.
Popular E-2 Visa Franchise Industries
If you are looking for the best franchise for an E-2 visa, an estimated 70% of American franchises meet eligibility criteria, which equates to about 1,400 options. Among the industries to consider there is fast food, pet care, real estate, business services, health, education, and cleaning. Keep in mind, not all franchises allow foreigners to invest. You must consult an attorney about structuring your franchise investment to be eligible for the E-2 visa classification.
E-2 Visa Franchise Through Image360
Image360 is your one-stop shop for graphics, signage, and displays. We are an E-2 visa business that provides international franchise opportunities in the United States and Canada. We are proud to be part of the Alliance Franchise Brands network. AFB is a world leader in marketing and visual communications and has grown to become a holding company for industry-leading franchise concepts.
If you are a potential foreign investor looking for a business opportunity with a proven franchise showing growth and stability, submit this form to learn more about Image360.