Florida restaurant chains, such as Sonic’s, Miami Subs, and Voodoo BBQ are encouraging foreign investors to invest at least $500,000 into their business in exchange for an EB-5 visa from the U.S. Government.
A group expanding their high-end restaurants, including Scarpetta and the Fontainebleu in Miami Beach resort are also encouraging foreign investors through this program.
An EB-5 visa allows for foreign investors, along with their spouse and children under the age of 21, to live in the United States if they invest at least $500,000 into an economically disadvantaged area or $1 million to a non-disadvantaged area. The investor must also create at least 10 jobs, which is why investing in a franchise is so convenient.
Franchises are also attractive for investors because they tend to succeed at higher rates than stand-alone businesses, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Restaurant groups are jumping on the “EB-5” bandwagon because they find it hard to get funding from U.S. banks after the recession and easier to go through the immigration process. With the new immigration bill on the horizon, we will see how long this holds true.
From January to September, 2012, the government approved 3, 677 EB-5 visas for foreign investors. This number does not include those investors’ spouses and children.
Source: Sun Sentinel