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EB-5 Visa Through Buying a Franchise

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa is a great option for foreign entrepreneurs seeking to operate a business and to reside in the United States because it leads directly to a green card. To qualify, the applying foreign national must invest $500,000 or $1,000,000 in a new business in the United States. One way to do this is through opening a franchise. Opening a franchise involves receiving permission to use the brand, trademark, and product line of a company that is already established. Common examples of franchises include Wendy’s or Burger King.

Benefits of Buying a Franchise

Opening a franchise can be a great route to an EB-5 Visa for foreign nationals who want to invest directly, but who lack prior business experience because foreign nationals can take advantage of an already established business model. Franchises often come with established company recognition, so an immigrant investor will not have to start from scratch. Similarly, established franchises often already have training and advertising systems in place and the franchisor has good reason to support their franchisees. Part of an EB-5 application is convincing the USCIS that the business will be successful and immigrant investors can point to the success of other franchisees to support the claim that their franchise will be successful, too.

In addition to the investment amount, there are several requirements an immigrant investor must fulfill to obtain an EB-5 visa through buying a franchise.

Job Creation

To qualify for an EB-5 visa, the immigrant investor’s business must create 10 full-time jobs. Franchises like restaurants with cooks, dishwashers, and servers or other labor intensive service franchises like commercial cleaning enterprises are often good ways to meet the job creation requirement.

Opening a “New” Business

Opening a new franchise business location qualifies as a “new business” for EB-5 purposes. On the other hand, if an immigrant investor simply purchases an already established franchise, the already established franchise will not count as a new business. In order for an immigrant investor to meet the new business requirement when purchasing an already established franchise, he or she will have to create or preserve 10 new employment positions within that business.