Debt Dialogue: November 2016
The Potential Impact of the U.S. Presidential Election on Business Immigration
In today’s global economy, industries, markets – and opportunities – transcend borders, time zones and cultures. Taking advantage of opportunities – whether opening new divisions, entering new markets or innovating new products and services – requires having the right people in the right place at the right time. For many organizations, this necessitates bringing talented foreign nationals to the United States.
Fluid workforce mobility – the kind that drives growth and enables expansion – is an ongoing challenge in an era of increasingly complex immigration policies and increasingly restrictive interpretations of the immigration law and policies by immigration agencies. Strict timelines and even stricter quotas in key visa categories complicate the application processes, and even a minor misstep or unanticipated problem can mean the difference between success and failure. At the same time, stepped-up enforcement and a hard line on compliance by government agencies like U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of Labor have escalated risk – with costly consequences for errors.
Global workforce management
Our internationally recognized Business Immigration Group works with companies and organizations, from startups and emerging ventures to many of the largest global companies in the world, to develop optimal workforce mobility strategies to meet our clients’ specific talent needs and achieve their goals and objectives. We enable clients to:
We advise our business clients on the best long- and short-term approaches for their specific needs, including the use of H-1B specialty occupation visas and L-1 visas for intracompany transfer of executives, managers and employees with specialized knowledge, as well as all other types of nonimmigrant and permanent residence classifications. In addition to serving organizations across a number of industries, our attorneys represent individuals who, because of their extraordinary ability in their fields or because of their substantial investments in the U.S., do not require corporate sponsorship to immigrate.
The Business Immigration Group not only includes three of the top 20 business immigration lawyers in the country as designated by Human Resource Executive, we also maintain a global network of prominent business immigration lawyers in all major countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australia to provide full global immigration services and comprehensive advice on the international aspects of cross-border personnel transfers.
Our attorneys handle all cases on an individualized basis, devising creative solutions to find the best approach. Our lawyer-led representation, with partner contact on every matter, allows us to anticipate, identify and solve problems before they arise, maximizing our clients’ ability to secure the necessary visa approvals and ensuring the global workforce mobility that our clients demand.
The Business Immigration Group also counsels corporations on international workforce management in the context of corporate restructurings – including mergers and acquisitions, successors in interest, divestitures, spinoffs and buyouts, and corporate reorganizations – to strategize and structure these transactions to ensure both optimal global workforce management and compliance with U.S. immigration law. We take an integrated approach, working with other practices – including our Employment, Tax, Corporate, and White Collar Criminal Investigation and Defense groups – to provide enterprise-level solutions. We also regularly partner with the attorneys in our Employment Law practice to support our clients’ broader human resource and talent management needs, including:
Solving industry-specific challenges
The Business Immigration Group advises on a comprehensive range of business immigration issues across a wide and diverse range of industries, in particular advertising; banking and financial services; media, communications and education; technology and business consulting; fashion and luxury brands; health care; insurance; and sports, arts and entertainment.
The strength of our industry understanding and knowledge – of both the needs of organizations and the specific backgrounds and talents of the professionals – in these industries gives our lawyers the ability to anticipate and address industry-specific issues, in particular the critical challenge of establishing the essential credentials of visa candidates in the context of both the requirements of the position they will fill and the visa category.
Legal compliance ensured in an enforcement-minded world
The Business Immigration Group provides comprehensive guidance to organizations on compliance issues, including H-1B and L-1 employment verification audits, Department of Labor LCA (Labor Condition Application) audits, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) I-9 audits, as well as audits in connection with wage requirements and wage leveling for H-1B visas.
Shaping policy at the highest levels
The leaders of our Business Immigration Group collectively have served for more than 35 years as leaders of the immigration bar, including one as a past national president and general counsel, and three as past heads of the New York Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and have served as chairs of national liaison committees with all immigration-related government agencies. They have spent their careers developing active relationships with key members of Congress and decision-makers in the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State and the Department of Labor. They have testified before Congress on how to reform our immigration system. We not only keep abreast of proposed changes to legislation and regulations, helping our clients anticipate and prepare for changes, but we also act as the voice of clients, advocating for their interests and helping shape immigration policy, regulations and legislation through relationships at the highest levels.
Technology-based, real-time solutions
Our sophisticated, technology-based case management and tracking system offers our clients real-time information, as well as tracking and monitoring of the status of their matters.