With more than 300 franchisees operating in 550 territories, Tutor Doctor has solidified its position as a leading international education franchise. The Toronto, Canada-based brand differentiates itself with a unique business model—rather than focusing on bringing students to centers and having them participate in a pre-established curriculum, Tutor Doctor brings customized, one-to-one tutoring sessions to students all over the world. Its tutors build their programs based on each child’s school and homework and come directly to their home for individualized sessions.
Because that business model is so different from others operating in the same space, Tutor Doctor has caught the attention of entrepreneurs and aspiring franchisees all over the globe. However, while some owners want to bring the brand’s concept to their local communities, others want the opportunity to join the system as a business owner in the U.S. That is why Tutor Doctor launched an E2 Visa program.
“We are a very friendly franchise for E2 Visa candidates. Our main concern is helping them realize their dreams—we want to help people from different cultures bring their experiences and expertise into our system while giving them the tools they need to succeed,” said Jaime Rodriguez, Tutor Doctor’s international development director. “What makes this program successful, however, is that we are cautious with whom we select. The candidates who come into our system through the E2 Visa program are usually experienced entrepreneurs who have made an impact in their own countries. It is then a big advantage for us to have these people in our system because they become great franchisees who already have resources and experience to bring to the table.”
In the past year alone, Tutor Doctor has welcomed eight E2 Visa owners into the system who cover about 14 territories – and that number is expected to continue climbing. The program is simple for candidates and takes about 90 days to complete on average barring any delays. First, candidates have to select a territory. They are required to apply for Tutor Doctor’s Empire Builder model, which is three territories for the price of two. Once the brand confirms availability, they go through the discovery process. Tutor Doctor educates them on its concept and gives candidates time to do their due diligence to complete a mutual evaluation process. From there, Tutor Doctor places candidates in front of their selection committee to approve territories before starting the application process for the actual E2 Visa. That is when the brand’s team supports candidates by connecting them to immigration attorneys to help throughout the entire process.
What makes this process so unique in the franchising industry is the low cost for candidates. While the investment includes a $94,400 franchise fee for all three territories, it is refundable if an application is denied. However, to date, Tutor Doctor boasts a 100 percent E2 Visa approval rating.
“Tutor Doctor made the whole process as easy as it could be. Our application took about a year to be approved due to some delays back at home in the UK, but Tutor Doctor allowed us to go straight to training. Once we completed that, we were all set to get up and running,” said Jemma Lee-Fenyn, a Tutor Doctor franchisee in Sarasota, Florida who initially started her journey with the brand in the UK.
“Every franchisee in this system is unique and in a different situation. Our road to becoming franchisees included working alongside lawyers and franchise consultants to ensure that our E2 Visas were approved, but at the end of the day, we all have the same blueprint for success. Although I was moving from the UK back to the U.S., I felt like I was not starting from scratch. Tutor Doctor provides all of the necessary training, and then you can run your business as an independent owner.”
As Tutor Doctor continues to grow in markets across the U.S., the brand is eager to work with more E2 Visa candidates and franchisees. The program has experienced tremendous success so far, and according to the brand’s franchise development director, Dennis Campbell, that trend is one that’s expected to continue going forward.
“One of the cool things about our E2 Visa program is that over the years, we have created a semi-absent franchise ownership model where we do not require franchisees to be an owner-operator. They can buy into our model while also keeping their day job. That falls in line with this E2 Visa requirement perfectly,” said Campbell. “It is perfect timing for us to bubble our E2 Visa opportunity to the top. We are positioned as a corporate team to provide support for these candidates, and we are looking forward to continuing helping entrepreneurs from oth