Can starting a franchise lead to someone’s legal immigration?

There are many different visa programs available for professionals in a variety of fields. Most of them require a pre-existing career or a position at a company that will qualify a visa applicant for an intracompany transfer. However, some people immigrate based on future career developments, often generated by their decision to invest capital in the United States economy. For example, the L visa program provides visas for those with financial resources who want to invest within the United States.

Every new business venture comes with a degree of risk, and the possibility of losing capital and one’s visa simultaneously may make some people nervous. Many would-be immigrant investors would prefer to have a sure thing when starting a business. Can someone buying into a franchise qualify for an investment visa?

Yes, franchises can qualify as business investments

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does recognize the capital invested in a franchise business as a qualifying investment. Those who have enough capital to qualify for a franchise opportunity could use that new business as grounds to seek an L visa.

Applicants need to know that the amount of capital required for the typical franchise may not meet the current requirements for a qualifying investment. Someone hoping to invest in a franchise may need to open more than one location to meet the current investment requirements or go well beyond the basic requirements to start their franchise. They also need to ensure that they generate enough new jobs to qualify. Additionally, choosing to open a franchise in a rural location might reduce the investment amount required but would likely also reduce the revenue generated by the franchise.

Exploring different investment opportunities can help those hoping to turn their personal financial resources into an immigration opportunity to better leverage their assets. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to begin.

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