Our immigration practice serves as a natural extension of the firm’s labor and employment, corporate, health law, international, and tax departments, in which our immigration lawyers coordinate and consult with lawyers in these specialized areas, in order to provide comprehensive services to all of the firm’s clients, while addressing each client’s unique immigration needs.
Our immigration lawyers thus have experience addressing the immigration issues inherent in a range of specialties, which complements their extensive expertise in business-related immigration matters. This comprehensive strategy is most evident when reviewing the firm’s immigration client list, which includes:
- individual entrepreneurs
- family-owned businesses
- Tier-1 automotive suppliers
- international chemical manufacturers
- international tire manufacturers
- religious-based community centers
- a variety of hospitals, physicians and other medical and dental related companies
Our consultations begin with an extensive examination into the client’s particular immigration needs, with an emphasis on compliance with immigration related regulations applicable to all employers. Our lawyers will advise employers regarding employment eligibility verification and recordkeeping requirements, while at the same time ensuring compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, both those specific to immigration and on a wider scale. In addition, our immigration lawyers will assist clients in drafting corporate policies that comply with the varying laws, without sacrificing administrative ease and efficiency. We also provide comprehensive assistance with I-9 audits—both self-audits and those initiated by the government.
Government Agency Interaction
Our expertise includes coordination with the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS,” the former “INS”), the Customs and Border Protection, the United States Department of State, and the United States Department of Labor in addressing visa processing, labor certifications, employment eligibility verification, anti-discrimination and recordkeeping issues. In addition, we regularly advise whether any regulated information is “deemed to be exported” to a nonimmigrant worker, and compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
Strategies for Nonimmigrant Visa Processing
Our immigration lawyers specialize in obtaining nonimmigrant visas to the United States for our clients’ foreign workers. Our lawyers will assist clients not only in finding the most appropriate temporary visa classification, but also with compiling the strongest supporting documentation that will demonstrate entitlement to the visa classification sought. Our lawyers have successfully obtained a variety of nonimmigrant visas, including:
- B-1 business visas, including the B-1 in lieu of H-1B and B-1 in lieu of H-3 visas.
- E-1 and E-2 treaty trader and investor visas, for both multinational corporations and individual investors seeking to open new businesses in the U.S.
- E-3 visas for citizens of Australia seeking to work in a specialty occupation.
- H-1B professional worker visas in a wide variety of industries, including the health care field.
- J-1 exchange visitor trainee and intern visas, including drafting individualized training plans and sponsorship packages.
- Obtaining waivers of the J-1 visa two-year home residency requirement for foreign physicians who are graduates of U.S. medical schools and others subject to the home residency requirement.
- L-1A and B, intra-company transferee visas, including establishment of new offices, and “blanket L” visas.
- O-1 visas for foreign workers with extraordinary ability.
- R-1 visas for religious workers.
- TN visas for citizens of Canada or Mexico who work in a variety of occupations.
Permanent Residency for Foreign Workers and Their Family Members
In addition to working with clients to develop nonimmigrant visa strategies, our immigration lawyers also specialize in obtaining permanent residence for foreign workers, including navigating the complex foreign labor certification program overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor, which is a prerequisite to most types of employment-based permanent visa classifications. In the rapidly changing world of labor certification, our immigration lawyers are on the cutting edge of developments involving the electronic PERM certification process. In addition to our expertise in obtaining the required labor certification allowing immigrant visa petitions to proceed, we also have successfully obtained immigrant visas for foreign workers in a range of classifications, including Multinational Managers and Executives, Outstanding Researchers, and Extraordinary Ability Aliens, each of which allows foreign workers and their family members to apply for permanent residency without first obtaining an approved labor certification application. We regularly file permanent residency applications for foreign workers and their dependent family members, both within the U.S. and at U.S. consulates abroad.
In addition to the assistance we regularly provide our clients with obtaining nonimmigrant and immigrant visas for foreign workers to legally work in the U.S., we are increasingly assisting our global client-base with visas to other countries, for both U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries, with an emphasis on temporary and permanent visas to Canada, China, Mexico, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Outbound immigration at Shumaker is thus an integral part of the firm’s international practice group.
Advice and Consultation Regarding Travel
Our lawyers have developed a special expertise in advising foreign workers on their interactions with Customs and Border Protection Officers at ports-of-entry throughout the country. Our expertise extends beyond ports-of-entry to consular posts located all over the world, which are staffed by Department of State officers. Our immigration lawyers have extensive experience advising foreign workers on how to successfully navigate the complex electronic visa application form and appointment process, as well as how to successfully conduct their personal interviews with consular officers.
In the rapidly changing world of immigration law, perhaps the most important service our immigration lawyers provide is regular communication, conveying crucial information regarding new statutes, regulations and government guidance memorandums, fee increases, visa allocation cut-offs and other impending deadlines.
Our immigration practice also includes each client within the firm’s inter-disciplinary team of experts, enabling us to fully understand each client’s business requirements while developing the client’s specialized immigration strategy.