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Navigating Visa Programs with Visa Franchise: The Key to Unlocking Franchise Opportunities

Updated 26.04.24 5 minutes read
Business PlansImmigration

Setting foot on the path to launching a franchise venture in the United States can evoke a mix of excitement and apprehension. Beyond the initial rush of entrepreneurship lies a labyrinthine terrain of visa regulations, a critical facet often underestimated by ambitious franchise hopefuls. Grasping the intricacies of visa protocols emerges as a pivotal necessity for international visionaries setting their sights on the American market, wielding substantial influence over their capacity to establish and expand their entrepreneurial endeavors.

In this comprehensive guide, crafted by the Visa Franchise Team, we delve into the intricacies of US visa programs tailored for franchises. Whether you’re considering the E-2 Visa or the EB-5 Visa, we provide insight into the pros and cons of each option. Our aim is to empower potential franchisees with clarity and confidence as they navigate the path to success.


The E-2 Visa: Your Gateway to Franchise Ownership in the US


For individuals aspiring to venture into entrepreneurship in the United States, the E-2 visa offers a promising avenue. Classified as a non-immigrant visa, the E-2 visa caters specifically to individuals from treaty countries who aim to invest in and oversee a business in the US. What distinguishes the E-2 visa is its adaptability and accessibility, rendering it an appealing option for prospective franchisees. Unlike alternative visa pathways, the E-2 visa imposes no minimum investment requirement, allowing individuals with varying financial means to enter the US market. This adaptability facilitates a diverse spectrum of entrepreneurs to explore franchise opportunities, ranging from burgeoning startups to well-established brands, fostering an environment ripe for innovation and expansion.

If you’re curious about the processing time for this visa, at Visa Franchise, we’ve had clients who, from the moment they engaged with us to initiate their journey, received their approvals in less than 6 months. But that’s not all. We’ve seen aspiring entrepreneurs take the leap into their own ventures and secure their visa approvals in under 5 months, an incredible timeline for this industry.

Can you imagine the thrill of having your business idea or selecting your ideal franchise and not just envisioning its profitability, but also envisioning yourself living in the US, embracing all the opportunities and benefits it has to offer? Well, let me tell you that that is totally possible, and we will dive into how you can achieve that later on in this article.

If you are contemplating buying a franchise and pursuing an investor visa, we invite you to click here to request our complimentary guide. Within this guide, you will find comprehensive insights into the earnings potential across various investment ranges, as well as essential strategies to enhance your approval rate and more.


Pros of the E-2 Visa


Now, let’s delve into the advantages of the E-2 visa for potential franchisees.

The E-2 visa stands out for its unmatched flexibility and renewability, making it an enticing choice for aspiring franchise owners aiming to establish their foothold in the United States. Initially granted for a specific period, the E-2 visa can be renewed indefinitely as long as the qualifying investment and business operations persist. This unique feature not only provides franchisees with the freedom to extend their stay in the US but also ensures stability and continuity for their business ventures, offering peace of mind amidst the dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, one of the most compelling aspects of the E-2 visa is its lack of a fixed minimum investment requirement. Unlike some investor visas that mandate a specific capital threshold, the E-2 visa offers flexibility in investment amounts, allowing applicants to invest a substantial sum based on the nature of the business and industry norms. This flexibility empowers potential franchisees to tailor their investment according to their financial capabilities and strategic objectives, ensuring accessibility to a diverse range of entrepreneurs. It’s worth noting that from the Visa Franchise Team, we always suggest making an investment of a minimum of $100,000.

Additionally, the eligibility of spouses and unmarried children under 21 to accompany E-2 visa holders to the US, with spouses being able to apply for work authorization, further enriches the potential for familial support and involvement in the franchise venture.


Cons of the E-2 Visa


While the E-2 visa offers numerous benefits for potential franchisees, it also comes with several drawbacks that merit consideration. Firstly, the treaty country requirement imposes a significant limitation on eligibility. The E-2 visa is exclusively available to individuals from countries that have a commerce and navigation treaty with the United States. Consequently, citizens of countries without such treaties are automatically excluded from applying for this visa category, narrowing the pool of prospective investors and franchisees who can avail themselves of this opportunity. However, one strategy for individuals from non-qualifying nationalities is to explore the possibility of obtaining a second citizenship, which would allow them to apply for the E-2 visa through a country that does qualify under the treaty agreement.

Moreover, one of the inherent risks associated with the E-2 visa is the requirement to demonstrate that the investment is “at risk.” Applicants must prove that their capital is genuinely committed to the business venture and is subject to the potential for partial or total loss in the event of business failure.

This condition underscores the necessity for careful financial planning and due diligence, as the stakes are high for investors who must navigate the delicate balance between entrepreneurial ambition and financial prudence.


Understanding the EB-5 Visa Program


The EB-5 Investor Visa program offers another avenue for foreign investors to secure residency in the United States by making a substantial investment in the country’s economy. Under this program, investors are required to inject a minimum of $800,000 into a qualifying project, although this amount can vary depending on the project’s location. In areas designated as Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) with higher unemployment rates, the minimum investment is $800,000, whereas outside these areas, the standard minimum investment is $1 million. The primary objective of the EB-5 program is to stimulate job growth in the US, with investors mandated to create at least 10 full-time jobs for skilled American workers, which must be maintained for a minimum of two years.

Additionally, applicants must provide substantial documentation to demonstrate the legal source of their investment funds, ensuring compliance with USCIS regulations. Many investors opt to collaborate with USCIS-approved regional centers, which streamline the investment process and ensure projects meet EB-5 standards through meticulous scrutiny and oversight.


Pros of the EB-5 Visa


The EB-5 Visa program presents several enticing advantages for foreign investors seeking residency in the United States. One of the most significant benefits is the opportunity to obtain permanent residency status for themselves, their spouses, and their unmarried children under the age of 21. This pathway offers investors and their families the chance to live, work, and study anywhere in the United States without the constraints of temporary visas. Additionally, the EB-5 program allows investors to diversify their investment portfolio by allocating funds into various qualifying projects, ranging from real estate developments to infrastructure initiatives.

Another advantage lies in the potential for favorable returns on investment, as successful projects can yield profits while also fulfilling the program’s job creation requirements. Furthermore, investors may enjoy greater flexibility in managing their investments, as they have the option to invest individually or through USCIS-approved regional centers, which facilitate the investment process and mitigate risks. Overall, the EB-5 Visa program offers a unique pathway to residency in the United States, coupled with opportunities for financial growth and stability.


Cons of the EB-5 Visa


Despite its advantages, the EB-5 Visa program also presents several challenges and drawbacks for prospective investors. One significant concern revolves around the substantial financial commitment required to participate in the program. With a minimum investment threshold of $800,000 or $1 million, depending on the project location, investors must be prepared to allocate significant capital, which may pose a barrier for some individuals.

Additionally, the lengthy processing times associated with the EB-5 program can lead to delays in obtaining permanent residency status, creating uncertainty and potential disruptions to investors’ plans. Another notable drawback is the risk inherent in investing in qualifying EB-5 projects. While the program aims to stimulate job growth and economic development, not all projects succeed, and investors may face the possibility of financial losses if their chosen project fails to meet its objectives.


Why Work with Experts for Your Immigration Journey?


At Visa Franchise, we are dedicated to helping individuals achieve their American dreams. If you’re considering taking this important step, we’re here to offer our full support. With the trust of over 1,200 families whom we’ve successfully guided through the migration process, earning their visa approvals, we’ve established ourselves as a reliable partner since 2015. Our clientele continues to grow steadily each year.

Whether you’re seeking job opportunities while obtaining a visa, starting your own business, or exploring franchise options, our comprehensive assistance is tailored to your unique requirements. Our meticulous, step-by-step approach ensures a smooth journey towards your goals. Beyond simply facilitating visa approvals, our aim is to help you achieve sustainable profitability, granting you the peace of mind and stability you desire.

We understand the challenges involved in relocating from your home country, which is why we strive to streamline the entire journey for you. Whether you’re interested in investment visas such as the E-2 or EB-5, seeking employment opportunities like the O-1, or aiming for a green card based on your professional expertise through the EB-2 NIW, our team is dedicated to providing expert guidance every step of the way. If you are ready to begin your process, click here and fill out the following form to schedule a free 30-minute call with us!



In conclusion, embarking on the journey to open a franchise in the United States entails both excitement and challenges. Beyond the thrill of entrepreneurship, understanding the intricacies of visa programs is essential for international entrepreneurs eyeing the American market. Through this comprehensive guide, the Visa Franchise Team has provided valuable insights into US visa programs tailored for franchise endeavors, empowering potential franchisees to make informed decisions.


Disclaimer: Joorney Business Plans is not a law firm nor an immigration consulting firm, and all information provided in this document has been provided by Visa Franchise. All information provided in this document should be verified by a licensed or certified immigration professional before the reader can act on this information. As such, it is understood that Joorney Business Plans Inc. shall not be liable for any loss or damage of whatever nature (direct, indirect, consequential, or other), whether arising in contract, tort, or otherwise, which may arise as a result of your use of (or inability to use) this document, or from your use of (or failure to use) the information on this document.