Immigration and Naturalization
Stevens & Lee supports employers who wish to attract and retain top-tier international talent and move personnel across borders by helping them to navigate successfully through the complicated maze of U.S. immigration laws and procedures.
Every foreign national who wishes to work in the United States must have some type of valid employment authorization document (“EAD”) or a hold a work authorized status (colloquially called a “visa”).
Our team is highly experienced with the different qualification requirements and various restrictions of each classification. We are adept at counseling clients on both nonimmigrant and immigrant visa classifications, the two general categories of visas offered by the U.S.
Nonimmigrant visas are available for temporary admission into the U.S. for specific work, school, or leisure purposes. Some of these classifications allow for a pathway to Permanent Residency (a “green card”), while others do not.
We partner with employers to obtain nonimmigrant work authorization in classifications including (but not limited to):
- B-1 Business Visitors and Entry under the Visa Waiver Program
- E-1/E-2 Treaty Traders/Investors
- H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 Specialty Occupations
- J-1 Exchange Visitors
- L-1A Managerial or Executive Intracompany Transferees
- L-1B Specialized Knowledge Intracompany Transferees
- O-1 Extraordinary Ability Individuals
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students
- TN NAFTA Professionals
Our immigration attorneys also assist employers and their foreign national employees obtain permanent residence (“green cards”). In the employment-based context, these are granted to a limited number of individuals in certain “preference categories.” We routinely assist with petitions and applications under the employment-based first, second, and third (EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3) preference categories. When labor certification is required, we guide employers through this complex and time-consuming process. Our range of services for immigrant employment pathways include (but are not limited to):
- PERM Labor Certification Applications (EB-2 and EB-3)
- Extraordinary Ability and Outstanding Researchers (EB-1)
- Multinational Managers and Executives (EB-1)
- National Interest Waivers (EB-2)
- Schedule A Nurse and Physical Therapist Occupations (EB-2)
Our firm assists individuals in applying for Adjustment of Status within the United States and for immigrant visas at consular posts abroad based on these pathways. We also assist with a wide range of related matters and processes.
Our attorneys counsel clients on naturalization, the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act. We also have experience with re-entry permits, which can preserve lawful permanent resident (LPR) status for an LPR who will be absent from the U.S. for six months or more.
With regard to immigration compliance, our attorneys are experienced in designing and managing compliance aspects of U.S. immigration programs for companies of all sizes, ranging from startups to multinational corporations and Fortune-ranked businesses. We can help your business address immigration in all stages of a full employment lifecycle, including onboarding, employment and separation. In addition, we provide guidance in maintaining compliant employment eligibility and immigration records (e.g., I-9, eVerify). Stevens & Lee attorneys also advise clients on their obligations when they receive Social Security “mismatch” letters and regarding issues pertaining to E-Verify enrollment and administration.
Corporate Transactions and New Entities
In the context of mergers, acquisitions and other corporate transactions, we assist organizations in identifying and managing the often significant and potentially disruptive immigration consequences that can arise, and provide guidance on changes in petitioning employer, I-9, and other compliance issues related to the transaction.
For new enterprises and investments, our attorneys have extensive experience assisting foreign national entrepreneurs with securing nonimmigrant status in the U.S. (e.g., H-1B, L-1, E-1, E-2) and establishing immigration programs for their workforces.