• Kramer Levin’s internationally recognized Immigration group is among the largest and most respected immigration practices in the United States. Our team, named the 2021 "Law Firm of the Year" for Immigration Law in the United States in U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers’ annual Best Law Firms rankings, consistently receives top-tier rankings from Chambers USA and Chambers Global and includes two of the top 20 business immigration lawyers in the country, as designated by Human Resource Executive.

    With decades of experience, our immigration lawyers advise global brands and pre-eminent corporations across a wide range of industries, including media and advertising, financial services, law, technology, and performing and fine arts. We anticipate, identify and resolve issues before they become problems. Our lawyers help companies develop global workforce plans and mobility strategies, navigate complex immigration laws and policies, and ensure that their mergers, acquisitions, spinoffs and other corporate restructuring transactions both meet their global workforce management needs and comply with U.S. immigration law.

    We enable clients to: 

    • Recruit, hire and move innovators, professionals and employees with essential education, skills or backgrounds from around the world
    • Transfer existing employees to fill new roles that require deep company knowledge and an understanding of company culture
    • Bring talent with extraordinary abilities — whether in creative fields, arts and entertainment, athletics, business, science, or education — to the United States

    We advise our business clients on the best long- and short-term approaches based on 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. We also represent individuals who, because of their extraordinary ability or substantial investments in the United States, do not require corporate sponsorship to immigrate.

    Our lawyers have cultivated strong working relationships with key members of Congress and decision-makers in the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State and the Department of Labor, which have enhanced our ability to advocate for clients and help shape immigration policy, regulations and legislation.

    Our Paris office provides a wide array of business immigration services to companies and individuals in need of assistance in navigating French immigration laws. We work closely with clients to develop effective strategies and handle all types of business visas.

    Our industry representation includes:

    Advertising. The Immigration group handles all immigration matters for more than one-third of the 50 largest advertising agencies in the United States. We have a thorough understanding of the key role that each position plays at an advertising agency and a comprehensive knowledge of all of the industry’s key awards and honors. We are adept at developing effective immigration solutions for our advertising clients. Our most notable work includes successfully petitioning U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the presidents of three of the global leaders in marketing and advertising, as well as handling the high-profile permanent residence case for the chief creative officer of one of the world’s most storied and best-known advertising conglomerates, based on a showing of extraordinary ability in the creative advertising field.

    Arts and Entertainment. Talent is global. It transcends cultures and knows no borders. Our knowledge of the approvals for the USCIS O and P visa classifications and our understanding of how the organization interprets its regulations allow us to quickly assess whether the accolades of an individual are strong enough for an extraordinary ability finding. We advise some of the most prestigious theater production companies, including many on Broadway, to ensure the ability of foreign talent to take on both long- and short-term engagements in the U.S. We also represent many of the leading talents in the entertainment world, including individual actors, singers, directors, producers, writers and designers whose extraordinary abilities have garnered them Tony, Olivier, Oscar, Emmy and Grammy awards. In addition, we represent some of the world’s leading arts institutions/nonprofit organizations and advise them on successfully navigating complex legal issues unique to their industry including H-1B cap-exemption, global talent transfer and strategies for novel immigration issues specific to the nonprofit arts industry. 

    Banking, Financial Services and Hedge Funds. A vital global financial network is key to the growth of international business. The international scope and time-sensitive nature of investments require having key employees and professionals where and when they are most needed. Global financial services and investment organizations striving to expand their cross-border reach and accessibility rely on our Immigration group to secure the needed access to foreign employees and professionals. Our fluency in foreign and domestic markets; the laws and compliance regulations governing banking and investment practices; and U.S. immigration laws, policies and procedures, especially in connection with E visas, enables us to develop effective strategies for the most complex transfer cases for our banking, financial services and hedge fund clients. Our clients include many of the largest Asian and European banking and investment firms, as well as U.S.-based global financial services companies and hedge funds ranging from established to startup funds.

    Fashion and Luxury Brands. Our Immigration group advises many well-known European and American clients in the fashion and luxury goods market on business immigration policies, including handling all immigration matters in connection with their foreign national managerial and professional employees; immigration cases for a number of their most senior executives; and matters involving secondment, expatriation and other aspects of workforce mobility.

    Health Care. Our Immigration group serves as ongoing immigration counsel to several of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in the country, including the largest health care provider system in New York City. We have deep experience in the complex issues related to sponsoring foreign physicians and allied health care professionals and to the associated waiver of foreign residency requirements. We work regularly with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, CGFNS International (the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools) and other accreditation agencies. And we know the pathways to permanent residency, including extraordinary ability petitions, national interest waivers and PERM labor certificates.

    Legal Services. We are lawyers’ lawyers. Our Immigration group advises leading international law firms and legal service organizations, providing strategic advice on a broad range of matters. We obtain immigrant and nonimmigrant work visas and advise on talent planning, transition planning, secondments, and other aspects of workforce mobility.

    Media, Communications and Education. The internet has dramatically transformed this sector over the past ten years, shifting the focus to technology-based delivery platforms and digital content. Leading global media, communication and education companies rely more than ever on the mobility of their skilled, professional, managerial and executive workforces, and we’ve developed creative business immigration solutions to help our clients meet those needs. Our most notable work includes handling all immigration matters relating to the foreign national managerial and professional employees of one of the largest branded media companies in the world, assisting the company in accomplishing full enterprise compliance with complex regulatory schemes governing employer sanctions. Another client, one of the “big three” educational publishers and the publisher of reference and trade publications for the medical, business and engineering professions which currently operates in 44 countries and has more than 6,000 employees worldwide relies on the Immigration group to assist it in bringing highly skilled foreign national professionals to the U.S. to work in its product research and development areas.

    Sports. Serving as immigration counsel for professional sports leagues, as well as prominent foreign athletes and entertainers, requires knowledge and understanding of the immigration benefits available for professional major and minor league athletes and essential support personnel, including O-1, P-1 and P-1s visas. The Immigration group represents clients involved in world championship title events, playoffs, and high-profile athletic competitions and series. We are well-versed and highly experienced in the requirements for these visa categories, as well as in how to expedite petitions and visas through the relevant government agencies, including the U.S. Department of State and USCIS.

    Technology and Business Consulting. Innovation drives growth in the technology sector, and innovation requires access to global talent. Winning the race for new discoveries, new ideas, and new tech-based products and services requires finding, hiring and moving innovators and professionals from around the world. Companies need to know their optimal immigration and mobility options for new hires and their existing workforce. We represent the foremost providers of technology consulting services on the hiring and transfer of foreign nationals and on internal compliance, investigative and enforcement matters. Recently, we advised one of the foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services and a global technology services company on the immigration aspects of their $4 billion merger, which resulted in one of the largest technology consultant companies in the world.