Gunster’s Immigration team strives to develop comprehensive and pragmatic strategies to further the business initiatives of corporate clients requiring the services of foreign nationals. Our commitment to excellence starts with an in-depth understanding of our client’s industry, operations, corporate culture and financial goals. Our dedication to supporting clients extends to employers and investors in a variety of specialized market sectors, including banking and financial services, health care, technology, leisure and resorts, real estate, construction, energy, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and agriculture, to name only a few.
Gunster attorneys are committed to seeing the big picture. Our lawyers are aware that immigration legal counsel affects and is affected by myriad aspects of our clients’ businesses. Our attorneys integrate, when appropriate, the services of our international, labor and employment, tax and corporate practices to strive to achieve optimal benefits and solutions to complex business immigration matters. Our attorneys address a wide range of employment-based immigration needs, including:
- Employment-based temporary (nonimmigrant) and permanent (immigrant) visas for executives; managers; investors; professionals; aliens of extraordinary ability; essential, specialized and skilled workers
- Corporate strategy, policy and compliance documentation regarding sponsoring foreign nationals for employment-based visa classifications
- I-9 employment eligibility verification (EEV)
- H-1B labor condition application compliance
- Immigration planning for global personnel transfers
- Immigration-related due diligence for mergers and acquisitions
- Consular applications, naturalization and citizenship
- Immigration program administration and monitoring
- Training programs for human resources personnel and program managers on the practical application of immigration policies, procedures and compliance obligations
- Guidance and counseling on evolving areas of immigration law
Gunster attorneys endeavor to respond quickly and with scrupulous attention to government requirements to support client objectives in a timely manner. Gunster’s Immigration team values responsiveness, and strives to be available across international and national time zones. Our attorneys focus on partnering with clients through open communication and flexibility in structuring the representation as desired. In addition, Gunster’s Immigration team offers fluency in Spanish and Portuguese in order to better serve our global client base.
To effectively compete in the global race for talent, companies seek to employ corporate executives, managers, professionals and individuals with extraordinary accomplishments, as well as essential, specialized and skilled workers who are foreign nationals needing sponsorship. Whether these individuals relocate from abroad, transfer within the U.S. from another employer, or enter the U.S. workforce with student status, our Immigration team is dedicated to counseling employers on immigration strategies geared toward achieving both long- and short-term goals. Our attorneys work with clients to implement such strategies through the preparation of employment-based, nonimmigrant and immigrant visa petitions with a strong focus on ensuring compliance with the employer’s responsibilities under U.S. immigration laws. Our team frequently represents applicants in consular proceedings so that they may obtain visas to travel internationally. Our lawyers facilitate global transfers of employees through our firm’s active participation in highly regarded international networks of employment and immigration law services.
Our Immigration attorneys seek to assist corporate clients in meeting their obligations to employees and in maintaining and documenting a legal workforce. Government scrutiny of operational practices with respect to employment eligibility has increased significantly and is now a boardroom-level concern. Our attorneys provide I-9 employment eligibility verification (EEV) audits, trainings and custom designed policies for clients with the goal of incorporating government expected best practices. Trainings conducted by our team have been approved for Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) credits through the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). Our attorneys often advise companies who are in highly regulated industries and subject to public scrutiny.
Gunster attorneys advise on immigration-related due diligence in mergers and acquisitions. When conducting due diligence in connection with a merger or acquisition, our attorneys advise clients on essential information regarding the status of the target company’s foreign employees, as well as how those employees may be affected by the acquisition transaction. Immigration-related due diligence can provide our clients with critical information pertaining to the necessity and feasibility of transferring the target’s sponsorship of nonimmigrant employment visas in order to sustain work authorization.
In addition, if our client is sponsoring employees for lawful permanent residence, our attorneys assist with filing “successor in interest” petitions with immigration authorities. Our lawyers provide advice on potential liabilities under U.S. immigration laws and policies mandating that employers only employ a legal workforce, as well as craft solutions compatible with the merger and acquisition transaction strategy.
2016 UPDATE: Attorneys Sarah Lea Tobocman and Mariana Ribeiro from Gunster’s Immigration Practice Group are returning to Brazil in October 2016 and visiting São Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Curitiba, where they will be presenting on the topic, “U.S. immigration essentials: What Brazilian businesses and investors need to know”. Presentation materials will include:
- U.S. immigration essentials: What Brazilian businesses and investors need to know (downloadable PowerPoint); View in Portuguese