TRUMP IMPACT ON THE E-2 VISA - UPDATE
E-2 Visa Program Continues with a Higher Bar
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Here we are 9 months after Trump took office and has that impacted what we are seeing our E-2 visa clients facing? Yes it has. Our original video prior to Trump's election surmised that due to the E-2 visa being an economically positive program it would not be as impacted as other immigration programs. While we do see continued approvals for the E-2 we have also seen what we refer to as "enhanced scrutiny"
Unfortunately the E-2 visa does not have many set parameters making the criteria for approval somewhat ambiguous. Our general criteria has always been a minimum of $100,000 investment, however in some cases that amount could be slightly lower if the applicant had a strong business plan and business background.
Many factors come into play when the official is making their decision. It is up to you to convince them your business plan is sound and will have a positive impact on the US economy. And you have to consider your case as a whole. While one applicant may be approved with very solid business experience and a strong accent, you might now. And while there is nothing really on paper suggesting these are essential requirements, we have seen the bar raised and the candidates that are accepted seemingly have to bring more to the table under Trump.
One example - in circumstances where the prospect had less than $100,000 to invest we would suggest service based businesses or those with intellectual property as the primary investment, rather than assets. So consulting type businesses, recruitment or property management that use a small office as opposed to a large retail space.
Since Trumps election these types of businesses have come under enhanced scrutiny and many times the prospects are being asked to release escrow and show proof the business is capable of sustaining itself. Meaning they have to actually start the franchise which can be scary to release all your funding with no guarantees. This doesn't happen every time, however it does happen and lower budget applicants using this strategy should be prepared for this eventuality.
Another low investment budget strategy has been to buy a resale business that is financially distressed. This has always been scrutinized and I'll put a link to our bargain resale video above. In this case you need to provide a business plan for a turnaround and give credible reasons as to why you, a new immigrant to the US will be able to turn the business to profitability when the US resident owner could not.
Traditional brick and mortar franchises with higher investment have not appeared to have been affected so if you are investing $200k and up and all other criteria are met you should not have an issue.
Everyone is adjusting to the new bar Trump has raised and we are still learning how to best adjust. There are still approvals however it takes a bit more work, a stronger business proposition and often some creativity to obtain the E-2 visa approvals.
Here at Franchise City we help match E-2 applicants with popular American franchises. A well known franchise will often have benefits over a start up business plan. There is no charge for our service and you can learn more here E-2 Visa Franchise program