Investing in a franchise opportunity isn’t an option only for people who live in America. Others from outside the United States can invest in a company and enter the country by obtaining an E-2 Visa. AdvantaClean offers opportunities for foreign investors to invest in franchises, allowing them to move to a new country to buy into a proven business model that values community, accountability, respect, excellence, and service.
What Is an E-2 Visa?
An E-2 Visa is an investor visa that allows entrepreneurs from other countries to come to the United States. The investor’s home country must have a Treaty of Trade and Commerce with the United States. Investors may start their own businesses, or they may start franchises of an existing business to obtain this visa.
The typical person who applies for an E-2 Visa is someone who wants to start a business or become a franchisee in the United States, often for a better quality of life. Others who apply for this type of visa may wish to deal with real estate or spend their retirement within the United States.
This type of visa is valid for a maximum of up to five years, though the length may vary based on the country. After the initial visa period, the visa holder may renew the application indefinitely for a period of two years at a time, as long as the business remains successful. Family members of the visa holder can stay for two years and must apply for extensions once that time is up.
The application process involves proof of financial investment in a legal business endeavor. The type of business may lead to additional paperwork for the applicant.
Are You Eligible?
Before attempting to obtain an E-2 Visa, it is best to understand if you are eligible. Most application rules require a level of investment in a business, but your home country must hold a Treaty of Trade and Commerce with the United States to qualify for the visa. Central and South American countries that currently hold this treaty are:
- Costa Rica
Individuals from other countries in Central and South America that do not have this treaty may instead qualify for the EB-5 Green Card, which has different investment levels, employee quotas, visa lengths, and processing times.
If you are from a qualifying country, you will need to present proof of investment in a legal endeavor, which involves several forms:
- All tax returns
- Payroll summaries and quarterly wage reports
- Licenses to do business
- Assignment of an Employee Identification Number from the IRS
- Organizational chart for the business
- Lease agreements
- All financial statements
- Utility bills
In addition to this information, you may need to complete more paperwork related to the specific business venture. You, as the applicant, must come to the United States with 50% ownership in the business, and the investment must be large enough to become lucrative, not solely to improve your family’s lifestyle. You will also need to provide proof you will leave the country when the business has concluded.
While you do not need to submit a business plan with your application, it is ideal if you can do so.
The level of investment must be between $100K and $250K in terms of capital. You will need to place the money in a bank or with a closing agent with release to the seller of the business after you’ve received visa approval.
Your investment must also create employment opportunities. Unlike an EB-5 Green Card, you will not need to meet a specific quota of employees.
If you’re aiming for an E-2 Visa to help improve the quality of your family’s life, then you likely don’t want to come to America alone. As an E-2 Visa holder, you will be able to bring your spouse and any children under 21 along with you.
Out of your dependents, only your spouse will be qualified to work so long as he or she obtains a work permit. Your spouse does not have to work at the same business as you, she can work at any company, anywhere in the United States. Your children may not receive a work permit.
The visas of your spouse and children will last for two years, and they may travel both inside and outside the country. Your E-2 Visa will renew so long as you continue to meet the requirements and submit regular applications, but your dependents’ visas will not. They will need to apply for any necessary extensions.
The average issue time for an E-2 Visa is about six weeks, though the process can take up to three months. Different home countries have different processing and approval times, with visas from Vancouver taking about two weeks. Your visa may fall anywhere within this time.
However, it is a much shorter wait than for the EB-5 Green Card, which takes about 20 months on average to complete. With an E-2 Visa, you can complete the application and approval process quickly, allowing you to finish your preparations and start moving your family in a little over three months.
Renewing Your E-2 and Green Card Eligibility
Renewing your E-2 Visa follows many of the same steps as your initial application. You will need to provide evidence of your business, your position, and your level of investment once more, to show that you have continued your work at a bona fide business venture. Other necessary files to submit with your application for renewal include:
- Personal and business tax returns
- Employer letter documenting why the extension is necessary
- A copy of your passport and current E-2 Visa
- Petition to extend status
You will need to meet strict application timelines so that you may continue working and directing your business. Failure to do so may necessitate leaving the United States. Working with an attorney can help you make sure that you’ve submitted all proper information on time.
Can You Transition to a Green Card?
After holding an E-2 Visa and working in the United States for some time, you may be interested in obtaining a green card. It is possible to apply for an EB-5 Green Card. To do so, you will need to increase your investment to between $500K to $1M. That investment amount must come from personal funds and not retained earnings.
You will also need to satisfy other EB-5 criteria, such as creating 10 full-time permanent employment positions. This green card has a two-year conditional period, then it lasts for life. For those seeking permanent residence in the US, transitioning from an E-2 to an EB-5 may be a worthwhile endeavor once they have established a way to provide a larger investment in their business.
Qualifying for an E-2 Visa doesn’t have to be all about starting a completely fresh business opportunity. Your investment can also go into a franchising venture, where your business will be under the umbrella of a larger corporation. While you’ll still oversee the company and its operations, you will be working in a business already established under another name, which takes some of the pressure out of developing and starting from scratch.
Becoming a franchisee under AdvantaClean is the perfect investment opportunity for anyone looking to qualify for an E-2 Investor Visa. One of our core values is bettering the lives of everyone around us – and that doesn’t apply only to our customers. We want our franchise owners and employees’ lives to be better, too.
As a Central or South American citizen, you face unique challenges. We want to help you improve your family’s well-being and become established in a new country so that you can obtain the best quality of life possible for you and your loved ones. Anyone who wants to invest in an AdvantaClean franchise will receive our full support.
We’ve established franchises before, so we know what you need to do to start your own. We can walk you through all the necessary steps. We’ll share with you our proven business plan that has given us some of the highest online ratings in the mold and water restoration industry. Our extensive network will be there for you every step of the way.
Help With the E-2 Visa Process
We’ve helped several investors with the E-2 Visa process, and we’d like to do the same for you. AdvantaClean has connections to skilled immigration lawyers who know the E-2 Visa process well and can make sure you meet all the requirements for your initial application and renewal. If you ever decide to change your E-2 Visa into an EB-5 Green Card, we can help with that as well.
Starting a new business venture can be an overwhelming prospect, especially if you’re planning on moving outside your home country to do it. We at AdvantaClean provide a valuable support system that can make the transition straightforward for you and your family.
Come join the company that values community, accountability, respect, excellence, and service above all else. Invest in a franchise through AdvantaClean.