After a year, one partner was eligible for merchant exemption.
In the immigration interview, he told officers about the restaurants. Who his partners were. What were his duties. He detailed the finances as well.
Witnesses showed up to support his case. The law required two non-Chinese individuals in merchant applications. Restaurant owners typically called on vendors for help.
With papers in hand, Chinese restaurant owners went to China. They had been away a long time. Chinese laborers had to save for many years to become partners in restaurants.
They intended to reunite with their family. Many restaurant owners left behind wife and children in their hometowns.