Daniel Shaffer, Esq.
E2 Approval With Less Than $100K Investment in Fitness Gym Franchise
Shaffer Immigration Law recently received approval for an E2 investor visa for a UK citizen who invested a total of $80,000 to start a new franchise of a fitness gym in the US.
The investor visited the US on an ESTA multiple times over the course of the past year to set up the investment. While here on the ESTA, he imported fitness equipment, found and rented a suitable location, and hired a manager to run the business in his absence while the E2 case was pending.
By the time the new gym was functioning and able to accept new members, the investor had spent a little over $80,000. Most of this money was spent on the franchise fee, and the second biggest expense was the fitness equipment. The business plan contemplated opening a second location of the gym franchise and hiring a total of 6 employees over the course of five years in addition to several part-time contractors.
The interview was held in London and the visa was approved after a few simple questions about the nature of the business and the investor's future plans.
There is a myth that E2 investors must invest at least $100K. The truth is that the investment must be "substantial." When the investor is starting up a new business, this means that the investment amount must be enough to get the business to the point that it is functioning as a viable enterprise.
For example, if an applicant is investing in a large capital-intensive business, like a manufacturing plant, an investment amount of even $200,000 may not be enough. This is because bringing a manufacturing plant to the point that it is functioning as a viable enterprise requires a much larger investment. However, if an applicant is investing in a less capital-intensive enterprise, like a local gym, then an investment of only $80,000 can be enough because this is all of the capital it takes to bring the business to the point that it is functioning as a viable enterprise.
In sum, the proper investment amount ultimately depends on the business that the applicant is investing in and the amount of capital it takes to turn that business into a viable enterprise. An investment of less than $100K is absolutely doable with the right business, a solid business plan, and a strong E2 application.
If you are interested in investing in the US and obtaining an E2 visa...
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