A franchise investment increases your prospect of business success while mitigating risk through proven products and methods. There are over 5,000 franchise brands and 700,000+ locations throughout the United States of which many qualify for E-2 and L-1 visas and some for the EB-5 visa. For a recent immigrant to the U.S., it can be a daunting task analyzing the different franchise opportunities. Visa Franchise matches your skill set, desired location and investment size to secure the best franchise opportunity for you and your family.
In practice, most E-2 and L-1 franchise investments are at least $150,000. There are some exceptions for the service sector like commercial cleaning or property management. We work with franchises such as Menchie’s (frozen yogurt), Gelato-Go and Chicken Kitchen (healthy fast casual). Much of the investment range is dependent on the location and franchise model. If you would like to invest between $150,000 and $250,000, we focus on franchises that are in more suburban or rural locations and do not require a large build out of the franchise site.
For EB-5 franchise investments, the minimum is $500,000 and the investment must generate at least 10 American jobs. We analyze businesses that have at least 13 jobs projected in order to provide a cushion should there be any shortfall. Quick service and fast casual restaurants provide many jobs and pizza chains like MidiCi and Marco’s Pizza qualify for the EB-5 visa program. Investors can choose to be owner-operators or work with established operators who will manage the restaurants for a fee and/or seek to participate as an equity partner. An alternative to restaurants would be to construct and operate a hotel. Many of the United States’ leading hospitality groups such as Hilton and Wyndham offer hotel & motel franchises.
EB-5, L-1 and E-2 Visas
An L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a U.S. employer to transfer an executive or manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. This classification also enables a foreign company, which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office to send an executive or manager to the United States with the purpose of establishing one. The main requirement to qualify for the L-1 visa, is that the applicant should have worked for the overseas company for at least one continuous year within the three years prior to transferring to the U.S. in an executive, managerial or specialized knowledge capacity. Although L-1 is a nonimmigrant visa, its holders may file for permanent residence under the EB-1-3 categories.
An E-2 classification allows a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the U.S. when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. The E-2 visa is approved for up to 5 years, although it can be renewed. There is no fixed amount that needs to be invested in the business; however, it must be substantial to what the business needs. Although the E-2 visa does not provide green cards to its holders, it allows self-employment and a long-term stay in the United States.
An EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, is considered to be the fastest way to obtain permanent residency in the United States based on employment. The main requirement is to invest one million U.S. dollars into a new enterprise in the U.S. and create a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers (or at least $500,000 in Targeted Employment Areas – high unemployment or rural areas. Successful applicants and their families, including spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21, can obtain a U.S. Green Card and then Citizenship.
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