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Employers seeking to hire global talent in the United States face an increasingly complex and dynamic tapestry of laws, regulations, executive orders, and treaties. With a diverse workforce, unexpected travel and visa-related restrictions, the ongoing need for litigation due to unpredictable adjudications, and ever-changing immigration policies, our immigration group offers a very deep bench strength created over thirty years using technology to deliver pragmatic, effective solutions as well as innovative strategies for our clients.
As a full-service law firm with offices and immigration lawyers across the U.S. and in Canada, along with a strong presence on the southern U.S. border, our immigration practice works seamlessly cross-border to ensure that our clients’ businesses remain unaffected as they navigate through the immigration system. Working closely with lawyers in the firm’s other practice areas, we provide representation on a wide range of immigration concerns for domestic and foreign-based businesses, including tax, employee benefits, government audits, and entertainment law. We also provide immigration-related assistance to our dedicated Japanese, Indian, Chinese, South Korean, and USMCA international practice groups within the firm.
Some of our most seasoned immigration lawyers have spent over thirty years practicing immigration law and frequently speak on business immigration topics to various legal, human resources, and technology industry organizations, including the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA); the Practicing Law Institute; the American Society of Employers (ASE); the American Payroll Society; the Society of Human Resource Professionals Management (SHRM); and various state bar organizations.
In addition, our team has written or co-written articles on assorted immigration topics for various publications, including state bar journals, Immigration Briefings, and AILA’s NAFTA Handbooks. All of our immigration lawyers are members of the AILA and many have been active in various leadership positions within AILA. The team includes a prior national president and general counsel for AILA. Additionally, our lawyers keep current through a variety of professional activities on developments in immigration law including working on policy changes. We tailor the delivery of updates to our clients, as desired, including publishing and presenting client alerts, seminars, webinars, and posting on our Immigration Insights and Issues Blog.
Awards and Recognitions
Members of our immigration team have been recognized for their work in immigration law by Chambers Global®, Chambers USA®, Super Lawyers®, Best Lawyers®, the National Law Journal, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Leading Lawyers, Arizona Business Magazine, DBusiness Magazine, the Texas Lawyer, Who’s Who Legal in Corporate Immigration, and HOUR Detroit Magazine.
The immigration team not only works to hone a cutting edge knowledge of immigration law and policy but, in addition, works behind the scenes as to immigration legislation and policy. For example, in 2014, Practice Group Co-Chair Kathleen Campbell Walker was award the AILA Founder’s Award, which is awarded from time to time to the person or entity having the most substantial impact on the field of immigration law or policy.
Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas: We regularly assist businesses and their new hires in obtaining a variety of immigrant and nonimmigrant visas in addition to helping them pursue permanent residence, U.S. citizenship, and naturalization. We also advise clients on the types of visas to best serve their needs for foreign and domestic operations, mergers, acquisitions, corporate restructurings and divestitures, and maintaining work authorizations of foreign nationals. We prepare various petitions and applications on behalf of our clients and strategize solutions encompassing the various components of admission to the U.S. (e.g. consular, ports of entry, and status upon admission) as well as paths to permanent residence, if desired. Some of the typical nonimmigrant categories are:
• B-1 Business Visitors
• E-1/E-2 Treaty Traders and Investors
• E-3 Skilled Workers from Australia
• F-1 Foreign Students (Study and Employment Options)
• J-1 Exchange Visitors (including foreign medical graduates)
• H-1B/H-1B1/H-2A/H-2B/H-3 Professional/ Skilled/Temporary Workers
• K-1 Fiancés
• L-1A/L-1B Intracompany Transferees Multinational Managers and Executives
• O-1A/O-1B Extraordinary Ability Individuals (e.g. Entertainers/Artists/Athletes)
• O-2 Support Personnel
• P -1 Athletes/ Performing groups
• Q-1 Cultural Visitors
• R-1 Religious Workers
• TN NAFTA (USMCA) Professionals
For permanent residence options, we addressed strategy options involving a test of the U.S. labor market (PERM) and those that involve more direct alternatives based on the position and the individuals. Our experience is extensive as to all immigrant visa options in both the family and employment-based contexts.
Additionally, our team assists with waivers, grounds of inadmissibility, consular processing, administrative processing issues, frequent traveler program qualifications, and port of entry related issues.
Workplace Compliance: We provide proactive advice to our clients to help them avoid violating immigration laws and regulations. Our lawyers provide risk assessment and compliance reviews on immigration-related regulations and policies to limit exposure prior to a merger and acquisition. Beyond offering prospective guidance, our lawyers are well-equipped to help clients respond to Form I-9 audits and penalty determinations. We counsel on:
• Document retention related to H-1B employment and labor certification recruitment
• Company compliance manuals and policies
• Documentation of employment eligibility
• Preparation for unannounced visa petition immigration verification audits
• Appeals of penalty determinations
• E-Verify compliance issues and the use of the Image program
• Merger and acquisition challenges in the Form I-9 context
Our lawyers also provide training for human resources staff and legal departments to help them gain an understanding of the immigration process, address compliance issues, and develop internal compliance programs. We also keep them up-to-date on the latest changes in immigration laws and what those changes mean for them on a daily basis.
Federal Investigations: When our clients face the threat of government action or investigation, we advise and represent organizations at all stages through final resolution. Our lawyers regularly represent companies in federal and state courts, before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), as well as before the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Department of State (DOS) consular offices worldwide, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). We have experience addressing workforce emergencies such as enforcement actions of Homeland Security Investigations, the Fraud Detection and National Security Division of USCIS, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). And if it comes to it, the firm also has a strong white-collar criminal defense practice to support clients of our immigration team, as needed.
Representative Case Matters
–Advised on and assisted with immigration requirements applicable to intracompany transferees, investors, foreign nationals of extraordinary ability, trainees, foreign nationals with advanced degrees, as well as skilled workers.
–Advised on the types of visas to best serve our clients’ needs for foreign and domestic operations, mergers, acquisitions, corporate restructurings and divestitures, and maintaining post-transaction work authorizations of foreign nationals.
–Advised entertainers, artists, athletes, and other individuals in the arts/entertainment industry outside the U.S. on the requirements, classifications, and process of obtaining O and P visas.
–Coordinated global immigration strategies and guided clients through immigration application processes for nonimmigrant visas and green cards as well as permanent employment-based immigrant visas for multinational executives, managers, critical foreign employees, and their family members.
–Represented foreign nationals in obtaining U.S. citizenship administratively and through federal court litigation.
–Represented foreign national investors in obtaining permanent residence through EB-5 investments in new businesses or regional centers.
–Counseled major corporations encountering U.S. Department of State consular resistance to issuance of E, L, H, or other work-authorizing visas.
–Counseled major corporations seeking entry of specialized knowledge, managerial, and executive-level foreign personnel.
–Represented employers in connection with Form I-9 inspections and other work site enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and related litigation before the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO).
–Advised employers in connection with Form I-9 compliance and E-Verify.
–Represented clients in federal mandamus and declaratory judgment actions involving immigration law and regulations.
–Represented employers charged with violating the Arizona Legal Workers Act (LAWA).
–Assisted with waivers, grounds of inadmissibility, consular processing, administrative processing issues, frequent traveler program qualifications, and port of entry related issues.
–Represented clients in the Department of Labor audits of H-1B labor condition applications and PERM labor certification applications.
–Assisted clients with seasonal staffing for operations using the H-2B visa category.