US Franchise. L1 Visa

L1 Visa through the Franchise Model

A franchise investment in the United States can qualify a foreign national for an L1 or even an E2 work visa.  One of the driving factors to invest in a franchise is that it is tried and tested and affords some level of predictability.  A foreign national/franchisee can leverage the franchisor’s business network, resources and technical know- how and potentially, mitigate risk. 

For foreign entrepreneurs/business owners seeking to start a business in the U.S. intended to support their L1 visa (and possibly EB-1C green card), a franchise can be a viable option.

For an L1 visa, establishing the requisite “qualifying relationship” between the foreign national’s business abroad and the new U.S. petitioning entity is imperative.  And thus, carefully structuring the new U.S. entity in the franchise context is critical not only to meet this criterion, but also to ensure that the new entity will have necessary personnel to support an L1 “executive” position in the U.S.  Of equal importance is ensuring that the business structure affords corporate liability protection and likelihood of growth and success. 

There is no prescribed minimum regarding the investment or number of franchise businesses that own must own.  It’s important to demonstrate potential for scale and a reasonably robust organizational structure that will support the foreign entrepreneur’s executive role as an L1 and down the road, an EB-1C applicant.   A well-articulated business plan with realistic milestones and projections is key, particularly at the time of the new office L-1 extension.

D&A attorneys have been assisting foreign entrepreneurs in obtaining L1 and E2 visas through the franchise business option.  Our corporate advisors can assist business owners navigate corporate liability implications in the United States and thereby help minimize risk.


This article has been written by Zeenat Phophalia, Esq. Of Counsel, Davies & Associates, India Office.

Zeenat Phophalia is qualified to practice law in New York, United Kingdom and India. She practices in the area of U.S. immigration law with a focus on business immigration, and has represented corporate clients including large and medium sized companies and startups across sectors such as IT, consulting, consumer goods, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Looking for an US immigration lawyer? Request free consultation at Davies & Associates or find our closest location around the world.


Client Q & A on Eb-2 Visa

Options for Workers After Loss of Employment in the US

A non-immigrant worker in the US could working in L-1, E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, O-1, or TN status.  When such worker is laid off or they resign, they do no necessarily need to leave the United States within 60 days, which is often wrongly assumed; there are options they can explore.

Loss of non-immigrant visa employment either voluntarily or involuntarily results in the loss of the NIV status of the foreign worker.  A grace period of up to 60 days following termination is generally available to remain in the country.  However, if one of the following actions as applicable, is taken within the 60-day period, the foreign worker (and dependents) can remain in the US in an authorized stay beyond 60 days:

  • File an application for a change of nonimmigrant status;
  • File an application for adjustment of status;
  • File an application for a “compelling circumstances” employment authorization document; or
  • Be the beneficiary of a nonfrivolous petition to change employer.

If the individual fails to take any of the above actions, they and their dependents may then need to depart the country within 60 days, or when their authorized validity period ends, whichever is shorter.

The 60-day grace-period is a discretionary regulatory provision and starts the day after termination of employment, which is typically determined based on the last day for which a salary or wage is paid.

D&A attorneys have extensive experience with non-immigrant visas and can help you navigate options in what can be a nuanced and often, complex process following employment termination.  Please feel free to contact us if you require assistance in this regard.


This article has been written by Zeenat Phophalia, Esq. Of Counsel, Davies & Associates, India Office.

Zeenat Phophalia is qualified to practice law in New York, United Kingdom and India. She practices in the area of U.S. immigration law with a focus on business immigration, and has represented corporate clients including large and medium sized companies and startups across sectors such as IT, consulting, consumer goods, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Looking for an US immigration lawyer? Request free consultation at Davies & Associates or find our closest location around the world.


Tips on How to Get Your Green Card for the USA

Obtaining a green card for the United States is something which most people wish to achieve. The US green card gives you the permission to live in the United States and even work there permanently. It also grants you the permission to be able to apply for citizenship. You are allowed to travel freely to and fro from the US, study there and also can participate in the employment programs which are conducted in the US. You also get US government benefits if you own a green card in the US.

Obtaining a green card is a somewhat complicated procedure. Below listed are some of the tips which can be followed to get a US green card:

1) If you marry a citizen of the United States, then you can get a US green card easily. If your loved one belongs to the US and has American citizenship, then after marrying, you are eligible to obtain a green card. However, just for getting a green card for the US, if you marry or date someone, then it is regarded as a case of immigration fraudulence.

2) If any of your family member who resides in the United States and has American citizenship is willing to sponsor you for obtaining a green card, then you can also be able to acquire US citizenship. US citizens have the option of sponsoring their family or relatives staying in another country to obtain a green card through their sponsorship. However, this type of sponsorship can take up to a few months to even years for obtaining it. You should always carefully find out the priority dates and the approximate wait time before deciding to get a green card for the US through this method.

3) You can also obtain a green card if a US-based company sponsors you. If you have the required and necessary skills and knowledge which a US company needs, then you can get sponsored by that company for obtaining a green card. If you do not live in the United States, then you can contact employers of the US companies to sponsor you in this regard. It can be complicated for you to obtain a green card if you do not have any contacts or sources in the US.

4) If you have enough money and resources and can afford to start your own business in the United States or invest in any US-based company, then you can obtain a green card. However, this method involves large capital investments and money.

5) You can also try your luck by taking part in the Green Card Lottery. If you are lucky enough to be randomly chosen amongst all the other applicants, then the process of obtaining a US green card will be a rather more simple and quick process for you.

If you really wish to permanently live and work in the United States and acquire a green card, then you should keep in mind to apply for a green card in the US in such a way which offers you permanent residence in the United States quickly and easily.