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International business requires the swift movement of key executives, management personnel, and technical staff across national borders without disruption and legal entanglements. To meet this need, Nelson Mullins offers the services of its immigration counsel as an integral part of its international legal services provided from the International Practice Group.

We assist clients in preparing and executing business immigration plans, obtaining non-immigrant and immigrant visas, securing key employees in merger and acquisition scenarios on expatriation of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals seconded to foreign assignments, installing export trade control programs to comply with restricted access rules imposed on foreign nationals, and compliance with E-Verify requirements for federal contractors. We have counsel with experience in agency matters including hearings, appeals, and trials before state and federal agencies and courts.

Since the enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Congress has dealt with immigration reform in every session with limited success. The creation of the United States Department of Homeland Security in 2002 to oversee the application of immigration policy, procedures, and practices has attempted to administer an overlay of multi-jurisdictional laws and rules which have made Human Resource Administration of employer legal duties difficult to understand and achieve in the United States. Employers face new burdens in employing international workers.

Nelson Mullins’ experience in business immigration planning and strategy enables clients to minimize or avoid potential problems and delays. Nelson Mullins attorneys assist clients in preparing immigration plans for starting, acquiring, merging or spinning off a business in the United States. In addition, they assist companies in obtaining non-immigrant visas, extensions, and changes of non-immigrant status to maintain continuity of employment for key executives and staff. The Firm also helps secure permanent resident and citizenship status for eligible persons, including labor certifications, provides counsel and guidance securing key employees in merger and acquisition scenarios, gives advice on expatriation of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals seconded to foreign assignments from a U.S. post and performs numerous other associated services vital to international staffing needs.

Nelson Mullins attorneys conduct employer immigration compliance audits and utilize a specialized software (Immigration Tracker ®) which affords client access to its own database residing on the Firm server for tracking employment and lawful presence status under immigration law. With this software, the client can track numerous time-sensitive events associated with status for every foreign national and family member and can check the progress of the Firm in filing petitions and applications with a minimum of disruption and cost.

The Firm also offers seminars and customized training programs. These programs may be customized workshops designed to teach companies to monitor its compliance and equip human resource managers to respond to the myriad of rules required to meet the needs of a transient international labor force.

Where appeals or litigation are required, the Firm has experienced attorneys who prepare motions, petitions, applications, and complaints for appearances before the Bureau of Immigration Appeals, the Bureau of Alien Labor Certification, the Executive Office of Immigration Review, administrative law judges, immigration courts, and the federal courts.

Recent representative work includes:

  • Representation to qualify a U.S. investment as treaty trader or treaty investor qualified entity.
  • Representation of several investors to qualify for permanent residency based upon a multi-million dollar investment.
  • Representation of U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-based manufacturers in all in-bound and outbound immigration, ex-patriation of U.S. workers to foreign countries and secondment of third country nationals to obtain multi visa combinations for foreign travel.
  • Establishing international internship programs for apprenticeships in the U.S. as a part of a worldwide program for multi market training of technicians for a large OEM automotive manufacturer.
  • Advice and counsel on immigration compliance in the context of defense procurement and export controls over technology exports and "deemed exports."
  • Advice and counsel on federal law and regulatory constraints over foreign ownership in sensitive industries and industrial sectors regulated by the Committee On International and Foreign Investment in the United States (CIFUS).
  • Immigration plans for start-up green-field operations in the U.S.
  • Immigration plans for acquired entities which are merged in U.S. companies.
  • Defense of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigatory actions for a major regional grocery chain.
  • Defense of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigatory actions for a multinational corporation operating numerous Foreign Trade Zones.
  • Advice and counsel for an OEM automotive company surveyed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).