Foreign citizens that are entrepreneurs or future business owners who wish to live and own a franchise business here in the U.S. have an opportunity to do so through an E2 Visa.
This program allows individuals from treaty countries to enter the USA through business ownership. Benefits of the E-2 include the ability to renew the visa every 2-5 years (depending on country of origin) for an indefinite period of time. They are also able to maintain US residency as long as the business is operating profitably. While there is no set minimum investment to qualify for this program investors should be prepared to provide a minimum of $100,000 USD towards their business investment. The business must not be considered “marginal” and should provide jobs for US workers
BENEFITS OF INVESTING IN A FRANCHISE FOR THE E2 VISA.
1. An established franchise business or brand is likely to be perceived favorably by immigration officials over an unknown or new business.
2. By investing in a franchise you have the ability to immediately provide immigration officials with much of the required E2 paperwork such as business plans, forecasts and operational manuals. Creating this on your own could cost thousands.
3. Your stay in the United States is completely dependent on your business being profitable and employing US workers. An established franchise will have a higher overall chance of long term success than a start-up business.
Here are some common questions regarding the E2 visa also known as the Treaty Investor Visa:
1. Who can apply for an E-2 Investor Visa?
Those who are nationals of select treaty countries (these are countries that maintain a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S.).
2. What countries are considered E-2 treaty countries?
It is comprised of more than a hundred countries. The list can be seen on this link – https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/fees/treaty.html.
3. Can the spouse and children of an E2 Visa holder also get E2 Visas?
Yes. An E-2 Visa holder’s spouse is eligible for a derivative E-2 Visa. Children of an E-2 Visa holder are eligible as long as they are unmarried and under the age of 21.
4. What if the spouse and children of the E2 Visa treaty investor are not of the same citizenship as he/she is, can they still apply for an E-2 Visa?
Yes. Their nationalities do not need to be the same.
5. How many years can an E-2 Visa holder stay in the US and can the visa be renewed?
The E-2 Visa holder can stay up to 2 years in the US. After this he/she is given the ability to renew his/her Visa.
6. How much should one invest to qualify for an E-2 Visa?
There is no set amount but it should be reasonable enough for it to ensure the investor’s commitment to the enterprise and its success.
7. Does one need to be present in the US to apply for an E-2 Visa?
No. An individual may apply from his/her country of origin. For more information with regards to this please refer to the U.S. Department of State website.
8. How can an individual residing in the U.S. with a lawful non-immigrant status apply for an E-2 Visa?
This is done through filing a Form 1-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker to adjust to an E-2 Visa status along with documents supporting the eligibility. This form may be filed by either the applicant or the qualifying employer. For further details please refer to Form I-129 – https://www.uscis.gov/i-129 from the USCIS website.
9. Can an E-2 Visa investor’s spouse work in his/her E-2 business?
Yes. A spouse of an E-2 Visa holder may apply for an employment authorization document with the DHS.
If you wish to start a potentially lucrative business through franchising here in the U.S. please contact us at 213-351-9100 or visit 1heartfranchise.com.
source: uscis.gov, travel.state.gov, fam.state.gov, my.uscis.gov