Top 10 American Franchises

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Taking Advantage of an Opportunity: E-2 Visas Provide Alternate Route to Franchising


America is known as the land of opportunity in many countries. The idea of relocating to the United States in hopes of owning a business and being able to provide for your family is still the dream for many immigrants. E-2 Visas provide that opportunity for some who may otherwise not have an opportunity to chase that dream. E-2 Visas, also known as the E-2 nonimmigrant classification, allow a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.



The E-2 Visa program is a classic win-win opportunity for immigrants and franchising. For franchisees, it’s a great opportunity for accomplished people and people who aspire to own a business to make a better life for themselves. Franchising is a natural fit for those individuals. Someone utilizing the E-2 Visa program must be in a position to own and operate a legitimate business, and what’s better than a franchise. It is a proven business model.

Franchises, by their very nature, offer proven systems that assist franchise owners with important aspects of running a business such as marketing, structure, business procedures, branding, and much more. Coming to the U.S. from another country and getting into franchising helps that individual with adjusting to a new culture while providing proven business strategies and systems to help them thrive. It’s systemizing a successful recipe. Whether they are coming from South America, Canada, or somewhere across the pond, they have a stronger opportunity for success when buying a franchise as opposed to starting an independent business.

Highly Motivated Franchisees

While the E-2 Visa program is an excellent opportunity for immigrants, it is also a major service for franchisors. When selling a franchise to a prospective owner, franchisors want someone who will put in the time and effort to make the new franchise location a success. Immigrants who are utilizing the E-2 program embody that hard work. 

Those who are leaving their home country to chase ownership in the U.S. showcase the dedication that franchisors are looking for in a franchisee. E-2 Visa holders are giving up a significant amount to pursue ownership. They are willing to leave behind family, friends and a country they are accustomed to for the opportunity to be an entrepreneur, and that shows a high level of dedication and commitment. 

These individuals are typically accomplished as well. One of the requirements for the E-2 Visa program is having the capital to invest in a business. In most cases, that means they have achieved some level of success in their home country. Franchisors are always looking for high-level, accomplished individuals that are going to be a credit to their brand, and E-2 Visa holders are great fits for franchisors.

The Red Tape

While the E-2 program is an excellent opportunity for franchisors and immigrants, it isn’t a simple program to utilize. Remember, E-2 Visa candidates must invest in a business. This is the intent of the program as a whole – to give immigrants a chance to come to the U.S. and start a business. So, these individuals must be capitalized. In addition, there are different laws, procedures and qualifications that must be adhered to depending on the various countries. Typically, those attempting to obtain an E-2 Visa have consultants they work with in their home countries to help navigate the process. Being dedicated to working their way through the red tape is another way these individuals showcase their dedication to owning and operating a business.

Successful E-2 Visa Franchise Owners

Being able to succeed and provide for your family is something that all business owners want to achieve, regardless of if you’re an immigrant or a U.S. citizen. While the E-2 program doesn’t guarantee success, there are plenty of stories of visa owners thriving in the franchise industry. When individuals set out to acquire ownership in the U.S. through the E-2 program, it’s usually because of a combination of two factors: they no longer want to be in their home country, and they perceive the U.S. as having more opportunities. 

Two of those is Andre and Marcella Vasconcellos of Gotcha Covered of Orlando and Space Coast. The young couple came to the U.S. from Brazil. The two decided to come to the U.S. for various reasons that include runaway inflation and political issues in Brazil. So, they started the E-2 Visa process. Once they begin working with an adviser, they were connected with Gotcha Covered. They were young, energetic and well-spoken. In addition, they were sales, design and marketing oriented. Once they moved to the U.S., they settled in Orlando. Florida possesses many individuals from South American countries, so the cultural transition went smoothly. 

Andre and Marcella had tremendous language and business skills, which assisted them with getting their business off the ground and to a strong start. Since then, they have grown at an exponential rate. They are among our top performers consistently. In my view, they achieved the pinnacle of what someone would want from the E-2 Visa program. They made the transition, they have a community in their new country, and they are living the American dream. They have a business that gives them the lifestyle, income, and equity that dreams are made of.

Paul Linenberg is the president of Gotcha Covered, a custom window treatment franchise that has over 120 franchises in the United States and Canada combined. The company specializes in providing end-to-end consultation to its clients. For more information, please visit For more information regarding Gotcha Covered franchising opportunities, please visit