Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

E2 – Success Story – Dunbar Family

This is yet another success story and whilst this family has only just begun their American dream getting here was not as easy as they might have imagined. Every immigration story is different but if you are considering moving from one country to another these stories may help in some way.  The Dunbar’s story began ten years ago when they first came to Florida on vacation, as many of us Brit’s do. Although the climate wasn’t favorable, (hot, humid and with unpredictable storms), the lifestyle was and it became obvious that the Dunbars  had gotten the emigration itch.   Originally from Wales, the Dunbars led fairly normal lives; Julian was a Mac Tools distributor and his wife, Llinos, ran a hobby store/model shop. The two owned a home together and lived the quiet lifestyle of a small bustling village. They have one daughter, Chrissie, who worked for Boots the Chemist.

Julian began researching into Solicitors based in the UK but found most of them specialized in emigration to Australia and New Zealand. It seemed not many of them wanted to touch US immigration, or whilst Julian spoke with them he got the feeling that they were neither confident nor had enough knowledge of US Immigration.  He never-the-less persisted and stumbled across an immigration web site that caught his eye. Reading the profile of Chris Ingram(Immigration Attorney), Julian learnt of Chris’ own plight to emigrate to the US which inspired Julian to dig a little deeper into this company. The fact that Chris Ingram  had gone through the immigration maze and was now living his own American dream and he had accomplished this for not only himself but also his family (wife and three children) convinced Julian and his family they were getting closer to finding the right person for the job. He did however have some valid concerns that this immigration company was not based in London or even England but somewhere in California. Julian decided to complete the quick questionnaire that promised a free consultation. He wasn’t expecting much but was pleasantly surprised when he received an email the next day with a scheduled appointment to speak to Chris in person. The appointment was a 20 minute consult which turned into an hour or so conversation. This put Julian’s mind at ease as the two got into a really good question and answer meeting. I asked Julian if Chris charged for the extra time and he replied “To the contrary, this was not the last consult we had before reaching our decision as I had explained to Chris we were at the beginning of our decision making period and we had more research to cover before we put pen to paper or pass our credit card details to anyone. Chris was fine with that.”

One of the other  important issues that had to be addressed was in what part of the US did they want to move to? They knew Florida wasn’t for them so they needed to look into one of the other states, but which one?  They would need somewhere safe, that had work opportunities, that house prices were favourable and where the climate was good all year round. In 2007 they made a trip out to Arizona and took a good close look at all their options. Julian discovered that not only was the weather great, the area safe but  there could also be an opportunity to purchase a franchise with Mac Tools. On their return the family got together and made a joint decision that Arizona was the perfect destination for them. The added bonus was that there was very little chance their home would be taken out by either a tornado or hurricane!

So the scene is set. The Dunbars have their destination and have now secured their immigration attorney.  In the following interview I wanted to address some questions that “you” as a potential client would have liked to ask if you could sit down with the Dunbars. There are many more questions that The Immigration Law Offices of Chris Ingram are happy to help you with as we understand that no two immigration processes will be the same, and we urge you to complete our questionnaire in order for us to schedule your own private consultation. The Dunbars came out on what’s known as an E2 Investment visa. With this visa, the applicant invests monies into a US business either as a start up or buys a going concern (out right or as a 50/50 partnership). In the Dunbar’s case, Julian bought a franchise and his daughter (being over 21) came out on a separate visa called an F1 Student Visa and we will tell her story in “The Dunbar’s Success Story- Part Two”.

I asked Julian “What were some of the most difficult aspects about Emigrating to the US?”  Now although Julian was well informed on the fee’s and how long the process could take he admits that even he was overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork US Immigration required and how detailed every stage was. He even admitted that due to situations going on in the UK, he sometimes forgot to send this document off or that piece of information back, which may have added to the delay. Sometimes it was the Immigration department just spinning their wheels in their own sweet time but it seemed to go on for ages. One of the hardest stages was trying to run and then sell their business in the UK whilst purchasing the franchise here in the US. Making sure all the documents were in and the bank statements showing that monies had been transferred. At this point timing is everything. You cannot afford to leave anything out including signatures and making sure that when asked for ‘true’ documents,  that is what is sent!  The scariest time was waiting for the answer knowing if refused / declined that you have put everything into this venture. So many emotions are flowing at this point I can tell you. This is when you hope that the Attorney you’ve chosen is the best your money could buy!

I’m glad to report that the business is doing well. He has even doubled up on his break even figure.  He is looking to employ American citizens within the time frame of the E2 visa and is determined to remain at this steady pace to ensure their success. His Daughter has started a college course and his wife Llinos is enjoying being a stay-at-home Grandma and where better to do that than in beautiful Arizona?

What advice would you offer someone contemplating the E2 Investment visa? Research, research, research and make sure you have a healthy bank account. We discussed his investment and I asked if it would be possible for anyone to do what he did and buy into a Mac Tools franchise? His advice was that Mac Tools want people who are in it to win, so ideally you would need some experience in the trade as you really have to be able to hit the ground running. Capital is a must. I had to purchase a truck and a large amount of tools. Mac do help with the marketing aspect of things but at the end of the day it’s your business so you have to make every minute count. I made an approximate investment of $117,000.00 which was a bit of a stretch as we didn’t sell out home in England but had to rent it out through a management company so the monies came from selling the UK business. My saving grace is I know the business I’ve bought into and I have a goal and that is to succeed.

As closure to this success story;  Julian and his family had a dream that started more than ten years ago whilst on vacation in Florida. That dream took shape through determination, hard work, many sleepless nights and a good immigration law firm behind them. One day they will ask themselves this question..”If someone told us 15 years ago that in 15 years time we would be looking out over our back fence onto an Arizona landscape with some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world, would we have believed them?”  The answer of course would be no…stranger things have happened but every wish that has come true starts with a dream – For the Dunbars their American dream is now a reality!  We wish them every success and happiness for the future as their story continues.

E2 Success Stories
Patricia – Beauty Store
Ron and Helen – Opticians
Julian – Mac Tools

Business Immigration Home Page
E2  Guide – Buy/ Start Your Own Business
L1  Guide – Transfer to/Open New US Branch
Success Stories
Visa Approvals





Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
520 Broadway, Suite 350,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 310 496 4292

Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.

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