E2 Visa defined

An E-2 Work Visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows a foreign investor or business owner from treaty countries to make a substantial investment in a U.S. enterprise. Its primary purpose is to encourage economic interaction and development between the U.S. and the treaty countries.
A treaty country is a country that maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S., or with which the U.S. maintains a qualifying international agreement, or which has been designated as qualified by law.
However, the E2 Visa is not a direct path towards a lawful permanent residence, but it can be extended indefinitely as long as the business meets the requirements.

E2 Franchise Businesses

Before getting into the why of a franchise, we must first define what's a franchise. A franchise is a legal and commercial relationship between the owner fo the trademark and an individual who wants to use the identification in a business. A franchisee is someone who sells goods or services supplied by the franchisor or that meet the franchiser's standards to commercial customers.
Franchise businesses are a popular choice for E2 foreign entrepreneurs due to its established business model, operational strategies and franchise brand recognition. Immigration officials view franchises favorable due to its lower possibility of failure compared to a startup or an independent business.
A franchise owner can also receive extensive training and ongoing support from the franchisor, which is beneficial for foreign investors who are fairly new in business ownership.

Benefits of Franchises for an E2 Visa

One of the advantages of a franchise is that it helps streamline and simplify the E2 Visa process. It is also provides a flexible way to gain entry in the U.S. Other than that, here are additional advantages of an E2 Visa franchise:

Legally work in your own business

When you start a franchise business, it allows you to conduct your own business legally in the U.S. as you'll have at least a partial ownership.

It's important to take note that one of the requirements in an E2 Visa is that you must be able to show proof that you'll be developing and directing the E2 business by either demonstrating that you have at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or that you have significant control through a management position. This is why you should play a vital role in the franchise business.

Upon submission of your application, you will need to list down the owners of the franchise you'll be starting and have them add their signatures. This will show that you have a significant and controlling interest in the business.

Receive support for your franchise business

If you're fairly new with owning a business, you might be scared of starting your own business. Starting a new company by your own would mean you need to manage all the paperwork and create the business plan.

If you decide to start a franchise business instead, you can receive help and support from the company providing the franchise.

A franchise consultant can also help you with the information on the required minimum investment for franchises or should you need any assistance on being a franchise owner.

Established franchise model and brand recognition

When you invest in a franchise, it also comes with proven business models, and operational and marketing strategies which can increase the success of the business.

Moreover, if you invest in a well-known franchise business which can be prove your credibility during your visa application as the immigration officials recognize the brand and see it as a legitimate enterprise.

Minimum investment funds not required

The cost of E-2 Visa includes the application fees, legal fees, and most importantly the capital investment you would need to make into a U.S. enterprise.

However, the greatest advantage of an E2 Visa is that it doesn't have a set minimum investment amount required. This means that if you have limited funding, you still have a good chance of qualifying for entry in the U.S. It only requires that you must invest substantial amount of money to successfully launch a non-marginal business.

Spouse can work on your franchise

If you have a spouse, they can accompany you to the U.S. and help you run the new business without the need anymore of an Employment Authorization Document.

The validity of your spouse's visa is the same as your E2 Visa, and they may also file an extension together with you once the validity has reached its end.

Children can attend school of their choice

Your unmarried children under the age of 21 can also accompany you to the U.S. and study in the country. They can attend any school of their choice. Usually, children must file an F-1 Visa but this only allows them to attend a specific school. An E2 Dependent Visa gives them a wide range of options for schools.

Stay indefinitely in the U.S.

Foreign investors initially receive a 2-year validity period on their visa. Once their visa expires, they may extend it indefinitely as long as they still meet the requirements.

Travel freely in the U.S. and abroad

As an E2 Visa holder, you are allowed to leave and return to the U.S. as you please so long your visa remains valid. You are even allowed to live outside the U.S. for an indefinite amount of time, if so you wish.

Study in a U.S. University or College

Once you're in the U.S., you might be interested in studying. While generally, investors are not focused on getting education, you are still permitted to study while living in the U.S.

You are not, however, allowed to join a full-length college program due to the main interest of your visa, which is the business franchise. After all, it's required that you direct and develop the business.

Faster processing times

The E2 Visa process is much faster compared to other visas. Compared to an EB-5 Visa, the E2 Visa doesn't have limitations on how many visas are issued each year.

However, this still would depend on the workload of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

Apply for a green card

The E2 Visa doesn't give you a direct pathway to a green card, but you can apply for other visa classifications through change of status once you're in the U.S. once you have established your business.

Drawbacks of Franchises for an E2 Visa

Longer training period

There are franchises that require a long training period before the opening or final purchase of a franchise, which may delay the processing of your E2 Visa.

Separate franchise agreements

If you purchase an existing business through an escrow, it reduces the risk of delay or denial. However, with a franchise, there are separate franchise agreements and other requirements the company began franchising must meet.

Takes out some of the control from the investor

The franchisor may take some of the control during the application process as you will rely on them heavily for the relevant documents you will submit during your interview. This may consequently result to a delay in your application process.

Some franchisors require a franchisee to be a US citizen or permanent resident

There are franchisors that may require a prospective franchisee to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, which means that even if your really like the particular franchise business and you have the money to invest, you may not be able to.

Eligibility Requirements for an E2 Visa

There are several E2 Visa requirement that you must meet to be eligible:

  • You must be a national of a E2 treaty country. A treaty country is a country that maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S., or with which the U.S. maintains a qualifying international agreement, or which has been designated as qualified by law;

  • You must invest or in the process of investing a substantial amount of funds in a genuine U.S. enterprise;

  • You must be entering the U.S. to develop and direct the E2 business;

  • Your E2 enterprise must have the capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a living for you and your family, and create jobs for qualified U.S. citizens, permanent residents or even foreign nationals with valid work authorization.

  • Your capital must be subject partial or total loss if the investment fails.

Business Choices for an E2 Visa

Existing Business

Aside from a franchise business, investors also have the option to buy existing businesses. You will then acquire the market and financial situation of the business, so you have to be extra diligent in making sure the business satisfies the requirements of an E2 Visa.

While the visa category itself doesn't specify the minimum business size, it still requires that you invest in a non-marginal enterprise.

Independent Business

If you already have your own business in your own country or if you have a unique business idea, you might want to establish an independent business in the U.S. Should you decide to do so, you would need to create a detailed and comprehensive business plan to be included with your application. In this case, you have to provide evidence that your investment is substantial enough to qualify for the E2 Visa.

Franchise Business

Since there are many risks and uncertainties surrounding with opening a new business in a new country, there are investors who would prefer a choice that has minimal risks in losing investment. This is why most would prefer to invest in franchises as they are already established business models.

Moreover, investors can receive support once they choose to invest in a franchise business. There are also franchise consultants who can guide you through the process of identifying and investing in franchise businesses should you need assistance with your search for your venture.

Davies & Associates have helped multiple investors to move to the U.S. through an E2 Visa. We're one of the first law firms to receive a CBI-based E2 Visa for a client. Inquire with our E2 Visa lawyers today.

FAQs

Yes, your dependent family members such as your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible for a derivative E2 Visa. The validity period of their visa is the same as yours, and can also be extended indefinitely.
The validity of an E-2 visa depends on a reciprocity schedule. For most countries, the reciprocity schedule is 5 years, but you have to remember that for other countries, it could be 3 or 4 years or even 3 months. Regardless, of the visa validity, you will be given a period of authorized stay of 2 years in your I-94. Prior to the expiration of the 2-year period in your I-94, you need to leave the U.S. and re-enter the U.S. if your visa is still valid to get another two years. If your E2 visa has expired, you will have to apply to renew it. If you need to remain in the U.S. beyond the 2-year period, you also have the option to apply to extend your status with USCIS.
Yes, your spouse can work for your E2 franchise business without securing anymore an Employment Authorization Document. They can also work in another business or for another employer should they wish to do so.

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Why make Davies & Associates Your E2 Visa Lawyers

Davies & Associates has helped hundreds of families move to the United States on the E2 Visa. In fifteen years we have yet to have any E2 visa application we have prepared denied when our clients have followed our recommendations.

Our immigration attorneys were one of the first law firms to obtain a CBI-based E2 Visa for a client. We achieved this through the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program and have also used Turkish Citizenship by Investment.

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Eranjan Venura Parua
Eranjan Venura Parua
3 weeks ago

"After finding D&A through an internet search in 2020, my wife and I had several free consultations with David Cantor. Despite our initial attempt at filing for our E2 visa independently ending in failure, we decided to hire D&A for their expertise and support. Over the course of four long years, Verdie and Cristina were incredibly patient as we took our time to prepare for the E2 submission. Verdie became our E2 Attorney in 2021, and from the start, Verdie and Cristina's patience was evident. Despite our intermittent engagement over the years, they always treated us with the utmost attention. Working with Verdie and the D&A team was a pleasure; their professionalism and support were unwavering. Verdie's calm demeanor and succinct communication style made navigating the process much smoother, even during complex discussions. I wholeheartedly recommend Verdie and D&A - Davies & Associates, to anyone seeking an immigration law firm who can efficiently handle their case with precision and without unnecessary fanfare. Their ability to get things done speaks volumes about their dedication to their clients' success."

Jeremy Abernathy
Jeremy Abernathy
3 months ago

I had the pleasure of working with Verdie and Nessa to obtain my E2 Visa. Their in-depth knowledge and experience allowed me to be fully prepared in my application and they were able to answer all questions leading up to the Visa interview.

Saeed Muhammad
Saeed Muhammad
3 months ago

Verdie was an amazing attorney, providing exceptional client care throughout the process. He had a great depth of knowledge in all areas on business visas in the US.

hoshino ryuichi
hoshino ryuichi
7 months ago

Thanks to them for handling my E2 visa very professionally. I had a study visa from F1 and changed it to E2. I encountered many problems during the application process. Verdie and Etta were very patient in helping me and it took a long time. I highly recommend this place.

Satyabrat Chowdhury
Satyabrat Chowdhury
6 months ago

I had a great experience with Davies & Associates. They are very thorough in the approach and their have experts in this field who know the domain very well.I would certainly be leaning onto them for any future needs as well.

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