Brian J. Coughlin


Practice Focus and Experience

Brian Coughlin practices in the Business Law area, focusing on U.S. immigration and global workforce mobility. Brian counsels established and emerging corporate clients on immigration issues related to employment authorization, company policy drafting, employee training, and general enforcement and regulatory compliance issues. He also advises on immigration due diligence and risk management in connection with corporate mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, and startups.

Brian regularly assists clients in the preparation of employment-based and family-based immigrant visa petitions, applications for U.S. lawful permanent residence, and all categories of nonimmigrant visa petitions. He advises in areas including professional and executive employment strategies, complex labor certification matters, immigrant investor petitions, and immigration concerns for international scientists, researchers, athletes, and entertainers. Brian represents clients in matters before the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Embassies and Consular posts abroad. His practice encompasses a wide range of industries, including information technology services, management consulting, financial services, insurance, energy, and healthcare.

Brian frequently speaks on business immigration topics at global mobility and HR industry conferences, and has published extensively on immigration-related legislation and trends. Prior to joining Davis Malm, Brian practiced immigration law for more than ten years at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, and at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Representative Matters

  • Assisted an Indian data analytics company in demonstrating sufficient U.S. activities and parent/subsidiary corporate ties to warrant the approval of a New Office L-1 petition by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, allowing the business to establish a U.S. location with an experienced office manager from the company’s Bangalore headquarters.
  • Assisted a Spanish IT consulting firm with an E-2 Registration with the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, allowing for qualifying, essential Spanish employees to travel freely to and from the U.S. for client project work.
  • Assisted a U.S. aircraft manufacturer with an H-3 Occupational Trainee program and associated multi-beneficiary nonimmigrant petition, allowing between 20 and 30 overseas fabrication workers to travel to the U.S. for an in-depth, six-month immersion training conducted by the U.S. R&D team.
  • Assisted a U.S. outdoor apparel manufacturer in securing a Multinational Manager approval for the company President, allowing him to relocate from Germany to the company’s U.S. headquarters, to assume control of operations.
  • Assisted a Boston area university research scientist with an ‘Outstanding Researcher’ petition, to further pursue her study of the economic consequences of health and demographic change in low and middle income countries.
  • Assisted a celebrity chef with an ‘Extraordinary Ability’ green card process, allowing him to cofound a national, Boston-based candy company.
  • Assisted a U.S. airline ticketing vendor, in creating a new corporate employment policy for foreign employees to include green card sponsorship criteria tailored to the client’s existing competency scaling, and with limited benefit reimbursement provisions for departing employees.
  • Assisted various clients with full audit in connection with Public Access File maintenance, for H-1B Labor Condition Application filings with the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Assisted various consulting clients in developing a standard Business Invitation Letter process for B-1 travel, to ensure strict compliance with legal prohibitions associated with the B-1 nonimmigrant classification.
  • Managed the annual preparation and filing of thousands of H-1B ‘cap’ petitions on behalf of corporate clients.


  • Distinctions: Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2013-2016.
  • Admitted: Massachusetts; U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts; Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
  • Member: Boston Bar Association, (Co-Chair, Business Immigration Law Section); American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA); Council for Global Immigration.

Community Involvement

  • Doctors Without Borders: Volunteer (2013 - Present).
  • Catholic Charities: Volunteer (2007 - Present).

Publications and Speaking Engagements

  • Trump Admin Adds New Hurdle To US Green Card Process, Law360, 2017, Brian J. Coughlin (author)
  • A Proactive Approach to Immigration in a Changing World, India Symposium - Fragomen, 2017, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • Employment-Based Immigration And Trump: What to Expect, Law360, 2017, Brian J. Coughlin (co-author)
  • Corporate Employee Immigration Policy Drafting and U.S. Business Immigration Updates, Northeast Human Resources Association Webinar Series, 2016, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • The ABCs of PERM Labor Certification: A Step-by-Step Overview,, webcast, 2016, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • Employment-Based Immigration: Three Things That All HR Managers Must Know, New England Human Resources Association Annual Conference, 2016, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • The Changing Landscape of Global Immigration: Trends and Case Production Strategies, India Symposium - American Chamber of Commerce and Fragomen, 2016, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • Surprise! Government Inspectors Are At Your Office, And Want To Meet Your Foreign National Employee: Homeland Security Site Visits and Tips for Employers, Immigration Law360, 2016, Brian J. Coughlin (co-author)
  • Top Five Considerations: A Comprehensive Corporate Immigration Policy, Insights Magazine, 2017, Brian J. Coughlin (co-author)
  • U.S. Immigration Essentials for HR, SHRM Training Program, 2016, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • Recap of the H-1B Cap Session, and Updates to Employment Rules for Foreign Students in the U.S., Northeast Human Resources Association Webinar Series, 2016, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • International Business Travel: Practical Tips, Talent Without Borders, 2nd Annual International Human Resources Conference, North Alabama International Trade Association, 2016, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • Modernizing Labor Certification In The Information Age, Immigration Law360, 2016, Brian J. Coughlin (co-author)
  • Navigating the H-1B Cap Lottery, and Related Employee Immigration Considerations, Northeast Human Resources Association Webinar Series, 2016, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • United States Business Immigration Policies: Key Updates, Fragomen India Forum, 2015, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • A Brief Window: Border Security Fee Sunset Won't Last, Immigration Law360, 2015, Brian J. Coughlin (co-author)
  • Stepping into the Business of Boston, 2nd Annual Harry H. Dow Lecture Series on Immigration Law, Suffolk University Law School, 2015, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • How Does Executive Action Affect our Family & Employment-Based Clients, 12th Annual AILA New England Immigration Law Conference, 2015, Brian J. Coughlin (author and presenter)
  • Business Immigration Toolkit: Current Trends in the Movement of International Personnel, PZI-NAITA International HR Global Mobility Conference, 2014, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • Immigration Compliance - Immigration is Boring but Non-Compliance is Expensive!, SRRC - 25th Anniversary Silver Gala, Southeastern Regional Relocation Council, 2013, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • Major Developments in UK Employment Law & US Immigration Practice: A Workshop for HR Professionals and In-House Counsel, Mass Technology Leadership Council, 2013, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • HR Boot Camp - Completing the I-9 Form - Plus a Look at E-Verify!, Strategic HR Convention, 2013, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • Issues Pertaining to Entrepreneurship and Startups, The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Immigration Workshop, 2013, Brian J. Coughlin (presenter)
  • Third-Party Worksite Locations in H-1B Employment: Addressing LCA Requirements, Establishing a Valid Employer-Employee Relationship, and Changes in Work Location, 11th Annual MCLE Immigration Law Conference, 2012, Brian J. Coughlin (author and presenter)


  • Brian J. Coughlin