Practice/Industry Group Overview
Make a Global Impact.
When large multinational companies look for depth, breadth, and sophistication in immigration matters, their go-to firm is Mintz Levin. We’ve earned our national and international reputation for excellence and innovation, and our Immigration Practice attorneys serve as trusted business advisors for top-tier companies with offices throughout the world.
Mintz Levin has a successful track record working with—and lobbying—government entities involved in immigration and naturalization matters, including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the State Department (including consular offices abroad), and the Department of Labor. Our far-reaching network of contacts and other resources consistently benefit clients on both routine and extraordinary matters. We’re also particularly skilled at getting the attention of consular officials making critical decisions on visa applications for our clients.
Guidance on Growth Initiatives
From high tech to the professions to the performing arts, Mintz Levin provides legal services and expertise on all aspects of immigration and nationality law to major corporations and individuals.
But the story doesn’t end with helping our clients achieve success in immigration. Since we understand and appreciate our clients’ business interests, we’re able to provide ongoing counsel to them on the ramifications of their business plans and decisions from an immigration point of view. This kind of partnership in the growth of your business adds value to our work and peace of mind to yours.
Whether it’s a Fortune 500 company or an ambitious start-up in London, the Middle East, or Asia, with plans to open a U.S. office, clients rely on us to guide them through the immigration consequences of mergers and acquisitions and the creation of subsidiaries—frequent paths for gaining a presence in the U.S. marketplace.
Find Strategic Solutions
When the more obvious avenues to immigration are no longer available, our clients benefit from the creative, strategically advanced thinking that we bring to identifying workable solutions. That’s where our Immigration attorneys rise above the rest and it’s why both new and existing clients choose Mintz Levin. We obtain temporary work visas and permanent resident status for foreign nationals, help clients become naturalized U.S. citizens, file for political asylum, and solve problems with the USCIS or State Department that may have developed before our involvement.
For example, in early 2008, a major venture capital company called Mintz Levin to say that they had been to several immigration attorneys already, all of whom said there was no way they could get a work-authorized visa for a promising young MBA/scientist just finishing up his optional practical training at the end of his student visa. They looked to us for our expertise and creativity, and that’s just what they promptly received. Our immigration team assisted the company—and its prized candidate—in securing a part-time H-1B visa with a non-profit laboratory that qualified for a cap-exempt H-1B. We then immediately followed with an application for a full-time H-1B for the same MBA/scientist to work for the original company under a special exception to the H-1B cap. The entire process took less than one month.
Another example is Rosetta Genomics, an Israeli-based innovative molecular diagnostics company that develops tests for various cancers and women’s health indications. When Rosetta’s business imperatives called for opening an office in the U.S., and they needed to bring several of their leading entrepreneurs and scientists here as well, they reached out to Mintz Levin. We advised them on how to get their key personnel here legally, developed a game plan, and got them here on time, allowing Rosetta to maintain seamless operations in their new setting.
Moreover, we never forget the human side. We understand the stress of uprooting oneself and one’s family, of being in new surroundings, and of navigating a system that’s unfamiliar. Our clients count on us to provide a consistent, informed presence that helps keep them—and their employees—calm, well informed, and focused on the work at hand.
Susan Cohen, who founded and co-chairs the Section, is a nationally-recognized authority in employment-based immigration matters and is frequently invited to speak and write on relevant immigration issues. She has represented global corporations as well as individual foreign nationals from around the world.
Reduce global barriers
Mintz Levin’s experience covers the planning and application process for all temporary visas to the U.S., whether for employment in an existing situation, entrepreneurial activity, education, or tourism, including:
- Visas for foreign nationals to work in the U.S. as foreign traders or investors (E Visa)
- Specialty occupation workers (H-1B)
- Temporary unskilled workers (H-2) or trainees (H-3)
- Exchange program participants (J Visa)
- Intracompany transferees (L-1 Visa)
- Extraordinarily talented individuals in science, the arts, business or athletics (O Visa)
- Performing artists and athletes (P Visa)
- Cultural exchange visitors (Q Visa)
- Religious workers (R Visa)
- Professional workers from Canada or Mexico (TN Visa)
- B-1 Business Visitor Visa and the B-2 Tourist Visas
Outbound Visas and Work Permits
We assist U.S. companies with transfer of their U.S.-based employees to countries abroad. We prepare and file visa applications and supporting documents with foreign consulates in the U.S. and, where necessary, prepare and file work permit applications with foreign government agencies. We also work extensively with outside counsel to prepare outbound visa applications.
Permanent Resident Status
We routinely help obtain permanent resident (green card) status for the foreign national employees of our corporate clients and for individuals. We prepare all necessary paperwork, prep clients for their interviews with the USCIS or consulate abroad, accompany clients, if appropriate, to USCIS interviews, and serve as liaison between clients and the USCIS.
Preserving Permanent Resident Status
We frequently advise clients on proactive steps they can take to preserve their permanent resident (green card) status when they leave the U.S. and reside overseas for work or family reasons. This often involves filing for a Reentry Permit to obtain the maximum protection available. We also file applications to preserve our clients’ residency for naturalization purposes.
Obtaining U.S. Citizenship
The firm has substantial experience obtaining U.S. citizenship for eligible permanent residents. Besides filing the relevant paperwork, we help clients prepare for the required interview with an immigration officer. We also assist clients considering dual citizenship or renunciation of U.S. citizenship.
Foreign National Export Licenses
Attorneys in Mintz Levin’s Business and Finance practice routinely prepare and file foreign national export licenses with the U.S. Department of Commerce and work closely with the Immigration practice to coordinate visas and export licenses.
Crisis Management and Strategic Planning
Many of our clients approach Mintz Levin after an unfavorable decision is made by the USCIS, Department of Labor, or State Department (through a consular officer). We develop strategic solutions to difficult immigration problems and achieve results that satisfy all interested parties. We often assist individual and corporate clients with long-range strategic immigration planning.
To manage our clients’ immigration needs efficiently, Mintz Levin uses a web-based immigration case-management system. This extranet system allows a company’s HR managers and other authorized personnel to access our website through a protected password to initiate new cases; view the status of any case in progress; run reports; and update company information. Through our site, employer-sponsored foreign nationals may submit completed immigration questionnaires online. The extranet also contains visa checklists, informational memos, immigration law advisories, and updates. This extranet may be found at: https://immigration.mintz.com/default.htm.
Resources in Related Areas
Immigration law issues usually do not occur in a vacuum; they frequently touch upon other areas of law, including tax, estate planning, business, employment law, and potential issues around Homeland Security. We alert clients to such areas of overlap and provide them with meaningful advice in a holistic manner.
For the past two years (2009 and 2010), Mintz Levin was named Corporate Immigration Law Firm of the Year for North America by ACQ Magazine. ACQ Law Awards are presented across 33 geographical regions, and were created to recognize and salute the organizations and advisers that have performed to exceptional levels of service during the most difficult period the global economy has experienced for decades. In addition, Mintz Levin was selected as Corporate Immigration Law Firm of the Year in 2010 by DealMakers Monthly magazine. The practice was also selected for a 2010 Global Award by InterContinental Finance Magazine.
- Susan Cohen has been recognized by her peers as a top lawyer in her field as evidenced by having achieved a rating of “AV” from the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest rating given to participating attorneys. She is also listed in the Best Lawyers in America and the International Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers as a top-rated immigration attorney, and in the Chambers Global Guide as a Leader in her Field for Immigration: Business. For several years, Susan has been recognized by Boston Magazine as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer for immigration law. She was also selected by Global Law Experts as their exclusive recommended and endorsed attorney in the state of Massachusetts for immigration law for 2010–2011.
- Larry Bastone was named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer from 2006 through 2010, and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the immigration category first appeared in 1991. He has also been recognized by An International Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers from its first edition and earned an “AV” rating in the Martindale-Hubbell directory every year since 1986.
- Bee Mandell has been recognized as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer Rising Star in the field of immigration law from 2005 through 2010.
Pro Bono Work and Recognition
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s standing committee on Pro Bono Legal Services selected Mintz Levin as one of three recipients of the prestigious John and John Quincy Adams Pro Bono Publico Award, with special recognition to Immigration practice member Susan Cohen for her work on behalf of the PAIR Project.
And the following example is a fine illustration of Mintz Levin’s Immigration practice at its best:
For over 10 years, Robert, a politically-active teacher, demonstrated and spoke out publicly against government tyranny and educational inequalities in his home country of Cameroon. He soon became the target of governmental persecution facing threats, arrest, imprisonment, and physical abuse at the hands of Cameroonian law enforcement officials. After one of several arrests, government officials ripped off his clothes and made him stand outside a local police station, naked and humiliated, as punishment for organizing a large teachers’ demonstration.
Eventually, Robert fled Cameroon to the U.S. but found himself facing a new challenge: the difficult process of filing an asylum claim in a new country. Unable to afford counsel and desperately needing representation, he turned to the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project for relief. His team worked quickly and due to their determination and hard work, Robert was granted asylum in July 2006.
Robert’s case is representative of the firm’s long-standing dedication to political asylum casework. Since the early 1990s, attorneys from all areas of the firm have partnered with PAIR in Boston and, more recently, with Human Rights First in New York, to provide free legal counsel to people like Robert who have fled persecution in their native countries.