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.


H1-B visa India Interview

The Pilot Program to Renew H-1B Visa Applications within the U.S 

The Department of state has launched a pilot program to resume visa renewals for qualified H-1B non-immigrant visa applicants within the U.S. nearly after two decades.

The program has started from January 29, 2024, through April 1, 2024, or when all application slots are filled, whichever comes first. Under this program the department will make a maximum of 20,000 application slots available for approximately 4,000 per week for applicants whose most recent H-1B visa was issued by U.S. Mission India with an issuance date of February 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021, and for applicants whose most recent H-1B was issued by U.S. Mission Canada with an issuance date of January 1, 2020, through April 1, 2023.

This move will help to reduce the workload on officers at the U.S. consulate abroad and also the H1-B beneficiary could continue stay within the country while the visa is being processed. This move will surely a good start, if and when the program becomes permanent it would be a smooth renewal process.

Who are eligible for renewal within the country?

Applicants who fulfil the below criteria shall be eligible for renewal within the country

· Seek to renew an H-1B nonimmigrant visa only;

· Prior H-1B visa that is being renewed was issued by U.S. Mission India or by U.S. Mission Canada;

· Are not subject to a non-immigrant visa issuance fee also known as commonly “reciprocity fee”;

· Are eligible for a waiver of the in-person interview requirement;

· Have submitted ten fingerprints to the Department in connection with a previous visa application;

· Prior visa does not include a “clearance received” annotation;

· Do not have a visa ineligibility that would require a waiver prior to visa issuance;

· Were most recently admitted to the United States in H-1B status;

· Are currently maintaining H-1B status in the United States;

· Have an approved and unexpired H-1B petition;

· Period of authorized admission in H-1B status has not expired; and

· Intend to re-enter the United States in H-1B status after a temporary period abroad.

If the above criteria’s are met then the applicants must submit following list of documents and fees to renew the visa within the U.S.

· A DS-160 barcode sheet for a properly completed and electronically filed form DS-160, Online Non-immigrant Visa Application

· A passport valid for travel to the United States, which is valid for at least six months beyond the visa application date, and contains at least two blank, unmarked pages for placement of a visa foil. RECOMMENDED: A passport containing the most recently issued H-1B visa if the visa is not in the current passport

· Non-refundable and non-transferable $205.00 MRV application processing fee

· One photograph not older than six months

· Copy of current Form I-797, Notice of Action

· Copy of Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record

The department is processing only H-1B Visa and not H-4 visas under the program. However, if the program becomes permanent then maybe more non-immigrant visa category shall be added such as L-1 visas, E-2 Visa, etc.


This article has been written by Sukanya Raman, Davies & Associates, India Office.

Sukanya is an Independent Consultant working the capacity of Associate of the firm’s Bengaluru office. She earned her first undergraduate degree in Commerce from Mumbai University in 2013 and her second undergraduate degree in Law from Indian Law Society’s Law College, Pune at Savitribai Phule Pune University in 2017.

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


Employment-Based Green Card Quotas

US Releases 100,000 New Visa Appointments in India

The US embassy in India has announced that it is releasing 100,000 new appointments for H visa and L visa applicants. The move will go some way towards clearing the backlog caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The US embassy in New Delhi and the five satellite consulates suffered long closures that have caused delays to visa processing. This is a particular problem in a country that tops the list for a number of different US visas categories.

Over the past year we have had to get creative for our clients facing long waits. For example, we have helped clients obtain quicker appointments by booking slots at the US consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam instead. This requires careful planning between our India teams and our Vietnam team. Our Vietnam team has been on the ground to provide in-country support once our Indian clients arrive. Indians require a visa for Vietnam, which can be applied for online.

However, many do not have the time or means to get the Vietnam, so the news of new slots for H and L visa appointments is welcome.

The H-1B visa for highly skilled professionals is the most popular visas in India. In fact, Indians account for around three quarters of all H-1B applicants globally. D&A assists H-1B clients with exploring options for staying in the United States before their six years time limit is reached. For example, it is possible to file and Adjustment of Status from H-1B to EB-5 through the Investor Visa program.

The L Visa is for intracompany transfer to the related US office of the Indian firm. The L-1A is for managers & executives and the L-1B is for specialized knowledge employees. Under the L visa rules, it is possible to establish a new US office of your company and transfer yourself as the owner, or other qualifying employees. You must establish a qualifying relationship between the Indian business and the new US business that is being created.

The US has five consulates in India in addition to the embassy in Delhi. They are located in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata. If you are booking an appointment for EB-5, you can only do so in Mumbai. Watch our how-to video:

Applying for an EB5 Visa appointment in India

See also

L Visa Appointment Guide: Chennai

L Visa Appointment Guide: Mumbai

L Visa Appointment Guide: New Delhi

L Visa Appointment Guide: Hyderabad

L Visa Appointment Guide: Kolkata


This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.


US Immigration Lawyer

Numerous Recent Visa Approvals for D&A Clients

The clients of our firm have been granted a number of different visa approvals over the past week, with the feeling that the Covid pandemic is increasingly behind us. Here are some examples:

E2 Visa for Singapore National Setting Up Advisory Firm in California

We are happy to share that we have secured an approval for another E2 Treaty Investor Visa applicant from Singapore. The applicant will operate as an advisory firm in California. The Company will raise money from qualified investors who will acquire limited partnership interests in a limited partnership fund, and then advise the fund to make minority equity investments in selected startups. The Company will receive advisory fees from the fund and a profit in the form of carried interest when the equity held by the fund in a startup is acquired by an acquirer, or when the startup goes for an initial public offering. 

The E2 company will be committed to partnering with frontier tech entrepreneurs as they start out, becoming their trusted advisor and providing them with the necessary advice to succeed. The Company’s investment philosophy will be to patiently identify and invest in highly-qualified entrepreneurs and accelerate growth through its network of executives in the IT Industry. It will coach frontier tech startups on initial customer selection and how to create compelling marketing pitches. The Company will facilitate meetings with lighthouse customers to help startups achieve success fast. Lighthouse customers are consumers who embrace a product soon after its launch. They will provide considerable and critical feedback to help startups develop and refine their products. Identifying and developing strong relationships with these customers is crucial for startups’ future success.

E2 Treaty Investor Visa for a Swiss National

The E2 Treaty Investor invested in a farm management company based in California. The company will provide custom harvesting and farm management services. The Company purchased selected farming equipment to provide local farmers with harvesting services that will maximize their output and profitability. Additionally, the company will hire agricultural advisory who will help farmers select crops for planting and organize their entire annual cycles to increase their operations’ cost-effectiveness. 

The company will provide its services to farmers from Fresno, Woodland, and Lodi, Californian cities known for their disproportionately high agricultural output and excellent products. The Company will focus on nut tree farmers, primarily those that cultivate almonds and pistachios. 

L1 Visa Extension for a Polish Shipping and Logistics Executive

We have helped a US company secure an extension of status for its current President on L-1A visa. Established on January 8, 1992, the US company was founded with the purpose of securing proper representation of a state-owned shiping company in Poland in North America and to conduct business in the lucrative North American market.  The US Company represents the Polish company’s  interests in all aspects and matters concerning North and Central America and the Caribbean markets; providing the closest and most effective link between Poland’s largest ship owner and all current and future business partners and customers.

As General Agent for the PZM Group in North American and Caribbean ports, the US company provides the following services:

  • Serving as financial center (treasury department/cash manager) for various financial transactions involving United States currency
  • Serving in a similar capacity for North American and Caribbean operational activities 
  • Serving as Chartering Broker for the Polish company’s vessels
  • Supervising execution of shipments performed by vessels within North and Central America
  • Arranging port operations through local Agents’ network, dealing with contractors and sub-contractors, including tugs, pilots, stevedores, terminal operations, holds/tanks cleaners, slop disposal services, ship chandlers, etc.
  • Arranging bunkers and spare parts supplies for vessels, including dealing with suppliers and bunker brokers
  • Controlling all costs and expenses regarding ship’s call to North American market
  • Arranging and coordinating crew changes
  • Arranging cargo, ship, draft, bunker, class, technical surveys and all necessary reports

H-1B for an Indian Developer

The US Company was set up in 2016 and it aims to empower enterprises to unleash the power of cloud on their terms by helping them rapidly achieve continuous and autonomous cloud governance at scale. The company enables enterprises to realize outcomes across FinOps, SecOps and CloudOps such as 40% decrease in cloud costs and 50% increase in operational efficiencies by governing operations, security, cost, access, and resources. CoreStack also assures 100%compliance with standards such as ISO, FedRAMP, NIST, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, AWS CIS & Well Architected Framework (WAF).

Enterprises face significant cloud challenges including unpredictable and unabated cloud costs, ever growing security risks, stringent regulatory compliance needs and operational complexities as they navigate the digital transformation journey. The company helps enterprises overcome these challenges by offering deeper cloud visibility, preventative governance

guardrails, and automatic remediation. With a unique Cloud-as-Code approach that uses deep AI/ML, declarative definitions, connector-less model, and a patented cloud service-chaining technology, CoreStack continually innovates to harness the real power of cloud. The company works with many large global customers across multiple industries including Financial Services, Healthcare, Retail, Education, Telecommunications, Technology and Government.

The H-1B beneficiary will assume the position of a Developer who will perform highly specialized duties in the occupation of application development and analysis with a focus on software application design and development and engineering support.

By Verdie Atienza, Head of E2 & L1 Visa Practice Group