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EB-5 visas provide funding to South Florida restaurants

Many individuals living in the Miami area may be aware that there is more than one way to obtain legal residency in the United States. As it turns out, one of those ways may be through an investment in restaurants. According to a recent report a couple of chain restaurants are seeking investors from other countries to provide funding.

In exchange for funding an eligible business, investors can obtain residency in the U.S. and eventually even secure a green card or citizenship. Investors who participate in the program may come from any country.


Several restaurants in South Florida have benefitted from these investors already. One of the more successful businesses that has used this method of funding has investors from countries including Canada, China and Nigeria. In some of these situations the EB-5 visas were secured in less than a year.

There are several reasons these visas are appealing to restaurants as well as investors, including:

  • The ease in which visa requests are approved
  • Difficulty in obtaining bank funding
  • The appeal of franchises to investors


The use of EB-5 is becoming more popular as years pass. Through the end of the third quarter of 2012, a total of 3,677 visas were issued. This is up from 1,563 approved in 2011. That is likely due in part to the smaller amount of money necessary to obtain the visa. Instead of the $1 million requirement initially required, investors now only need $500,000.

As is the case with any immigration program it is possible that complications can arise. There are many requirements that a potential investor must meet, including providing information on the amount of funding available and where it is coming from.

Source: SunSentinel, "Restaurant chains turn to foreign investors to expand," Doreen Hemlock, April 12, 2013