Donahue Fitzgerald’s Immigration practice includes advising and representing domestic and international companies that are hiring aliens to work in the United States, transferring U.S. personnel abroad, or employing foreign nationals to work outside of the U.S. We also assist individuals and families in immigration matters. Depending upon client requirements, our immigration attorneys coordinate efforts with the firm’s corporate, employment, intellectual property, and international law practitioners.
Planning personnel transfers allows employers and workers to reduce or avoid processing delays and expenses. Our attorneys have in-depth experience evaluating employer/worker circumstances and then designing visa and immigration strategies that meet short- and long-term goals. We represent U.S. high technology companies seeking to hire foreign software engineers, technical specialists, scientists, and marketing and operations personnel, as well as companies in other business sectors from architecture to zoological science.
In appropriate cases, we secure approvals for workers who live in the U.S. and abroad through international agreements such as Treaties of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation (FCNs), Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), and NAFTA. A thorough analysis of the worker’s nationality, citizenship, and resident status can also reveal options that facilitate international employment.
Certain positions offered by U.S. employers to high-level foreign executives and managers or to foreign workers of exceptional ability may qualify for exemptions from complex visa processing. We assist employers in structuring employment situations that allow aliens to take advantage of these exemptions. Where foreign nationals require training within the U.S. to work for a company’s international operation, our employment and immigration attorneys help employers design worker training programs that meet government specifications.
In response to the government’s increasing focus upon prevailing wage issues related to foreign workers, our attorneys help employers to design job descriptions and structure credential and experience requirements to ensure that aliens qualify for work visas within the employer’s wage budget. When employment involves access to trade secrets and other proprietary information, our intellectual property and immigration attorneys work together, assisting employers in evaluating the alien’s background and structuring appropriate agreements to protect client assets.
For companies planning international personnel transfers, our attorneys work with foreign lawyers to ensure transfer strategies that take into account how a foreign nation’s laws will affect employment, taxation, family member transfers, and restrictions on exit and re-entry. In addition, we work with U.S. and foreign consulate staff to coordinate all aspects of visa procedures.
We also provide guidance and support for individual (self-sponsored) aliens seeking to enter the U.S. through business operations, investment, or extraordinary scientific achievement, evaluating alternatives that reflect current developments in immigration policies. We are experienced in handling government-to-government exchanges and visas for business observers as well as more traditional temporary work visas and green card applications.
Donahue Fitzgerald also represents individuals and their families wishing to bring relatives into the United States. In these cases, we evaluate the alien’s status, goals, and job skills to help shape immigration/visa strategies. In some instances, U.S. resident aliens (green card holders) are helped to become citizens through naturalization so that they can confer benefits on relatives abroad.
Once a strategy is defined, our attorneys assist clients in completing the necessary paperwork and supporting materials (e.g., evidence of a worker’s credentials; proof of an employer’s efforts to recruit U.S. workers). We prepare clients for interviews with key agencies and, when appropriate, represent them before the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Labor, and state and local government departments.
The firm’s immigration attorneys also represent U.S. citizen parents in international adoptions, working with state and local social service agencies and foreign counsel to process the adoption abroad and secure clearance to bring home a foreign-born child before visa processing is complete.