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United States

How foreign franchisors can expand into the United States using foreign franchisees

Foreign-based franchisors may wonder how difficult it would be to expand their businesses into the United States. One possible solution is for the foreign-based franchisor to initially sell its U.S. franchises to citizens of its home country, or citizens of other countries where it may already have an established presence. Fortunately, in most cases, a foreign franchisee will be eligible to own and operate a franchised business under the E-2 treaty investor category.


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Business travellers: Admissions may result in inadmissibility to the United States

The media recently reported on an incident involving a British Columbia woman who admitted to a United States Customs and Border Protection officer that she had recently smoked marijuana.  Although she had never been convicted of any criminal offense, this admission alone was sufficient grounds to ban her from entering the United States.  The incident raised some interesting legal points, many of which will apply equally to business travellers. 


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Violence and threats against lawyers is a growing concern in Canada

The shocking death of an Arizona law firm partner last month at the hands of a mediation opponent has shaken up legal communities across North American and has brought the issue of workplace violence in the legal profession to the fore. In Canada, the issue of violence against lawyers has received little attention yet available research and anecdotal evidence suggest that many law professionals face a higher-than-average risk of work-related violence and threats.


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Citizenship and Immigration Canada announces start-up visa program

On January 24, 2013, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Citizen Jason Kenney announced that Citizenship and Immigration Canada would launch a Start-Up Visa Program to recruit innovative immigrant entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and spur economic growth. This program differs from existing investor and entrepreneur options to the extent that the entrepreneur will not need to be the source of investment capital. Such a program will enable entrepreneurs who establish start-up businesses using capital contributed by third parties, such as venture capital firms or angel investors, to seek permanent residence in Canada. The Start-Up Visa Program begins on April 1, 2013.


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CIC announces consultations for a Canadian start-up visa program

On April 18, 2012, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney launched consultations on the possible creation of a new program to attract immigrant entrepreneurs. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will consult with industry associations in the development of a “start-up” visa program for innovative entrepreneurs in the coming months. A start-up visa program differs from existing investor and entrepreneur options in that…


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USCIS proposes regulatory change to permit stateside processing of unlawful presence waivers

On January 6, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it was proposing a regulatory change that would allow spouses and children of U.S. citizens who are in the United States but need an immigrant waiver of unlawful presence bar to apply for the waiver within the United States.


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Canada-U.S. Beyond the Border Action Plan proposes immigration-related initiatives

On December 7, 2011, US President Obama and Canada’s Prime Minister Harper released their Beyond the Border Action Plan, which discusses their shared vision for perimeter security. In furtherance of this objective, the plan proposes several immigration-related initiatives.


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When does your Canadian employee need a U.S. work permit?

On occasion, Canadian HR professionals will be asked if one of their employees requires a work permit to enter the United States. The answer to this question depends on whether the proposed activity falls within the scope of the B-1 business visitor category. The problem lies in the lack of clear guidelines for B-1 business visitors and the considerable amount of discretion given to USCBP officers, who inspect foreign travelers seeking admission to the United States.


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