What is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Visa restrictions apply to foreign nationals with dreams of working and living in the United States. With 185 different visa types to choose from, the process for immigrating to the United States can be complicated.

To boost foreign investment into the United States, American immigration policy favours foreign investors through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. This page will explain what the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is and how it can be applied to the business franchising model to facilitate higher return investments and entry into the United States.

The following is covered:

              1. What is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program?  
              2. How Does the EB-5 Process Work? 
              3. Franchising as an EB-5 Investor 
              4. EB-5 Investment Opportunity with The French American Academy  
              5. Advantages of an EB-5 Investment with the French American Academy

What is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program?

The U.S. government created the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program as an incentive for foreign investors to invest in U.S. businesses. In exchange for creating jobs for U.S. citizens, foreign nationals and their families are eligible to become permanent residents of the United States. The program’s name, “EB-5”, comes from the visa category for which immigrant investors apply – the Employment-Based Immigration: Fifth Preference EB-5 as described by the US emigration law.

There is an annual limit imposed under the United States Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In accordance with the immigration act, a maximum of 10,000 EB-5 Visas can be granted each year.

Processing times for EB-5 visa applications can take about 18 months, although if you combine this with the E-2 visa below, you may be able to enter the U.S. in about six months.

How Does the EB-5 Process Work?

There are five core steps to the EB-5 program:

    1. Invest $1,000,000 (or $500,000 in a TEA Zone) of legally sourced funds in an EB-5 eligible project.
    2. Create 10 jobs for United States’ workers.
    3. Obtain a two-year conditional green card for the investor, spouse, and unmarried children under 21.
    4. Move to the U.S. and live, study, and work anywhere.
    5. Apply to remove green card conditions, and obtain permanent green cards.

Franchising as an EB-5 Investor

EB-5 franchise opportunities have become a prudent option for an immigrant investor looking to obtain U.S. residency. The nature of a franchise is such that it withholds the ability to duplicate a successful business model, thus taking away some of the potential hardships an EB-5 investor may face with a start-up company.

Most importantly, by investing in a franchise, the EB-5 investor retains 100% ownership of the entity. 

Thanks to this direct ownership allotted to franchise investors, the EB-5 investor is eligible to apply for an E-2 non-immigrant visa. This combined EB-5 and E-2 strategy would allow them to enter the U.S. in about 6-months, faster than the 22-24 months needed to receive the conditional green card. 


Franchising model and the EB-5 visa

EB-5 Investment with The French American Academy

The French American Academy (FAA) offers direct investment opportunities for EB-5 investors through the franchising model.

With 15 years of experience operating bilingual schools, the FAA has the know-how for generating returns while bringing world-class bilingual education to thousands of students. The program will allow the investor to qualify for a green card and become a resident alien while generating a higher return on investment (ROI) than on typical EB-5 investments. The investment will serve the main purpose of job creation with a minimum of 10 jobs created in the first 3 years. The investor will maintain 100% ownership of the business entity.

For more information on how to open a French American Academy preschool franchise, watch our webinar, or click below to learn about the franchise process.

Advantages of an EB-5 Investment with The French American Academy

    •  Entity 100% owned by the EB-5 investor
    • Higher Return on Investment (ROI) than on real-estate EB-5 investment projects
    • Full Training and Support for Franchisees
    • Proven business processes
    • High demand for bilingual education
    • The preschool education sector is growing fast
    • Work authorization in the United States
    • Path to Naturalization
    • Higher business success rate than an enterprise started ‘from scratch’

If you are searching for an EB-5 investment where you maintain control of your capital with minimal immigration risk, investing in a French American Academy Franchise might be for. To schedule a call with our franchising team, click below.

For EB-5 specific inquiries, we invite you to contact Anna Morzy from Greenberg Traurig, LLP a seasoned emigration lawyer specializing in EB5 visas.

Anna Morzy

77 West Wacker Drive | Suite 3100 | Chicago, IL 60601

T 312 456 1026  | C 847 927 7089