Practice Areas & Industries: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Ogletree Deakins has one of the largest business immigration practices in the United States and provides a wide range of legal services for employers seeking temporary business visas and permanent residence on behalf of foreign national employees. Our immigration practice group consists of experienced and dedicated immigration lawyers who work with domestic and international corporations and businesses in developing appropriate strategies to facilitate the international transfer of skilled employees. Our full-service immigration practice assists our clients in obtaining temporary employment visas for executives and managers, researchers and other specialized technical employees; obtaining permanent residence status for foreign nationals; assisting clients in planning for the immigration impact of mergers and acquisitions; and providing guidance with regard to I-9 compliance and related anti-discrimination provisions.

Emigra Ogletree Worldwide is a joint venture between Ogletree Deakins and Emigra, a leader in global immigration services. This cutting-edge company offers multinational businesses a unique, single source for integrated U.S. and global immigration services with a view to providing seamless and consistent global immigration strategy, visa preparation and case management. Designed to meet the increasingly global demands of businesses, Emigra Ogletree Worldwide offers client-focused service to companies in over 130 countries throughout the world.

Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

House Passes Bill Enhancing Security of Visa Waiver Program in Wake of Paris Terror Attacks
Diane M. Rish,Stephen H. Smalley, December 16, 2015
In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, to tighten security measures and impose new restrictions on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The VWP permits citizens of 38 designated countries, mostly in Europe, to travel to...

Latest USCIS Procedural Changes Add Delays and Uncertainty to Green Card Application Filing
Jamie M. Dietz, December 15, 2015
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has again revised its procedures for determining whether foreign national applicants waiting to file their employment-based or family-sponsored preference adjustment of status applications may proceed onto the last stage of the...

Fifth Circuit Upholds Injunction Against Obama's Immigration Actions
Ashley Karen Kerr, November 27, 2015
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the preliminary injunction against President Barack Obama’s executive action that would potentially have shielded approximately 4.4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowed them to immediately apply for work authorization....

Contingency Planning for the Upcoming H-1B Season
Sara E. Herbek,Miguel A. Manna, November 02, 2015
The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows foreign workers in certain occupations to legally live and work in the United States for a U.S. employer. In recent years, a growing number of foreign workers have applied for H-1B visas, resulting in a “cap” on the number of visas that are awarded...

U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery Offers Alternative Immigration Path for Employees Subject to Backlogs
Ann Louise Brown,Rebecca L. Sigmund, October 26, 2015
The U.S. Department of State opened the Diversity Visa (DV) lottery registration for FY 2017 at noon eastern standard time (EST) on October 1, 2015. It will close on Tuesday, November 3, 2015, at noon (EST). The DV program allows individuals from countries with historically low rates of immigration...

Update on STEM OPT Work Permit Extension: Administrative Process for Regulation Is Underway
Ashley Karen Kerr,Bernhard Mueller, October 26, 2015
In response to Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle’s ruling in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., No. 14-529 (August 12, 2015) that vacated the previous regulations on STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) work permit extension, on October 2,...

USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2017 on April 1, 2016
Katherine C. MacIlwaine, October 20, 2015
The filing period for new H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (or H-1B cap) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 will begin on Friday, April 1, 2016. Cap-subject H-1B petitions will have an employment start date of October 1, 2016 or later. In preparation for the opening of the FY 2017...

EB Filing Dates Pushed Back in Revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin
Ann Louise Brown,Rebecca L. Sigmund, September 28, 2015
On September 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) issued a revised Visa Bulletin for October 2015 that supersedes the original Bulletin dated September 9, 2015. In the current Bulletin, the dates for certain categories on the “Dates for Filing of Employment-Based Visa...

A Potential Federal Government Shutdown: The Immigration Implications for Employers
Charles Edward Gillman,Ceridwen J. Koski, September 25, 2015
Congress has until September 30, 2015 to reach an agreement on the 2016 Fiscal Year federal budget. If an agreement to fund the federal government is not reached, immigration processes are expected to be impacted as they were in the shutdown that occurred in October of 2013. Some federal agencies...

White House Report Offers Roadmap for Modernizing & Streamlining the U.S. Immigration System
Diane M. Rish, September 24, 2015
On July 15, 2015, in an action that sought to confront a number of the U.S. legal immigration system’s lingering problems, the White House issued a report entitled “Modernizing & Streamlining Our Legal Immigration System for the 21st Century.”

Steep Fines Underscore Value of I-9 Compliance
Katherine C. MacIlwaine, September 23, 2015
A recent ruling by the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (which has jurisdiction over cases arising under the Immigration and Nationality Act) underscores the importance of employers revisiting their internal policies and procedures for verifying employees’ ability to legally...

Important Changes to the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin
Charles Edward Gillman, September 10, 2015
On September 9, 2015, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced important changes impacting certain individuals in the permanent residence (“green card”) process. This change will allow some individuals to file the last step of...

Unanticipated Retrogression of Visa Numbers for China and India in September 2015
Ann Louise Brown,Rebecca L. Sigmund, September 04, 2015
The U.S. Department of State recently released its September 2015 Visa Bulletin, reflecting a significant retrogression for China and India in the employment-based Second Preference category (EB-2). The EB-2 category for mainland China and India retrogressed to January 1, 2006. This is a...

Changes to Obligations for Filing H-1B Amendment Petitions Under Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC
Vanessa Olivar,Stephen H. Smalley, August 25, 2015
As of August 19, 2015, full enforcement of a recent Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, 26 I&N Dec. 542 (AAO 2015) will commence.

USCIS Final Guidance on L-1B Adjudications Offers Some Comfort—But No Cure—for Employer Concerns
Whitney Larson,Jordan C. Mendez, August 24, 2015
On August 17, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a policy memorandum aiming to clarify the standard required for L-1B specialized knowledge visas. The memorandum notably begins by reminding adjudicating officers that the L-1B visa category, which allows for the...

Court Finds STEM OPT Extension Rule to Be Deficient: Vacatur Stayed Temporarily to Allow DHS to Cure
Ann Louise Brown,Rebecca L. Sigmund, August 17, 2015
On August 12, 2015, in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., No. 14-529 (August 12, 2015), Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the 2008 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule extending...

Proposed Expansion of E-Verify Services and Obligations Could Add New Burdens for Employers
Sara E. Herbek, August 07, 2015
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced its intention to expand not only its E-Verify communication services but also implement new obligations for employers that participate in the E-Verify program (either voluntarily as a federal contractor or as required by state...

USCIS Issues Final Guidance on Recent AAO Decision in Simeio
Ann Louise Brown,Rebecca L. Sigmund, August 07, 2015
On Tuesday, July 21, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued its final guidance on the recent Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision in Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC. Under Simeio, employers must file an amended H-1B petition, along with an updated Labor Condition...

MSHA Workplace Examination “Clarification” Places Enforcement Target Squarely on Operators
William K. Doran, August 04, 2015
Over the years, the Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) has tried on two different occasions to overhaul the workplace examination standard at 30 CFR §56/57.18002 by issuing program policy letters. The agency’s primary goal in each of those efforts was to expand the recordkeeping...

Who’s That Knocking at Your Door? USCIS Plans House Calls to Retrieve Erroneous EADs
Ann Louise Brown,Rebecca L. Sigmund, August 04, 2015
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is taking extreme measures to get back all the three-year Employment Authorization Document (EAD) cards erroneously issued to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. On February 16, 2015, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in...

U.S. Embassy in London to Be Temporarily Closed August 7 and 10
Lowell Sachs, July 31, 2015
The Bureau of Consular Affairs of the United States Department of State has announced that the Embassy of the United States of America in London will be closed from Friday, August 7, 2015 through Monday, August 10, 2015. Specific reasons for the closure have not yet been made public. As a result of...

Fifth Circuit Hears Arguments on the Proposed Reversal of the Block on Executive Actions
Rebecca L. Sigmund, July 28, 2015
A three-judge panel in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, hearing arguments in State of Texas v. United States of America, questioned the attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice and 26 states about whether the block on President Barack Obama’s recent executive actions on immigration...

Retailers Should Review I-9 Processes in Light of Recent DOJ Settlement
Rebecca L. Sigmund, July 28, 2015
Late last month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a settlement agreement with a large clothing retailer to resolve claims that the company discriminated against a non-U.S. citizen in violation of the federal immigration laws. The agreement requires the payment of substantial back pay...

AAO Guidance Clarifies That Worker Mobility May Come at a Cost
Miguel A. Manna,Lowell Sachs, June 16, 2015
In a move likely to elicit equal parts appreciation and exasperation among the employer community, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued guidance on the need to file an amended H-1B petition when there is a change in worksite locations. The guidance, which was issued on May 21,...

FY 2016 H-1B Cap Petition Not Selected: What Are the Options?
Sara E. Herbek,Lowell Sachs, June 16, 2015
Most “new” H-1B petitions must be counted against an annual H-1B cap. This limit, or “cap,” administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is currently set at 65,000 plus an additional 20,000 reserved for those who hold an advanced degree from a U.S....

OSC “Pattern and Practice” Investigations to Continue
Jacob D. Cherry, June 16, 2015
Over the past few years, the number of employer investigations—and perhaps more noteworthy, the amount of the penalties assessed—by the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) has steadily increased. All indications suggest that this trend...

Fifth Circuit Rejects Obama Administration’s Effort to Free Executive Actions From Injunction
Lowell Sachs, June 02, 2015
On May 26, 2015 a three judge panel for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request by the Obama administration to lift an injunction currently blocking aspects of President Obama’s executive action on immigration. The injunction, imposed by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen on...

Changes to Insurance Requirements for J-1 Visa Exchange Programs
Maria Fernanda Gandarez,Matthew Kolodziej, June 01, 2015
In October of 2014, the U.S. Department of State revised Subpart A of the exchange visitor regulations. Changes to the reporting and English language proficiency requirements for exchange programs went into effect on January 5, 2015. Another major change that went into effect on May 15, 2015,...

Temporary Suspension of USCIS ‘Premium Processing’ for H-1B Extensions
Jacquelyn P. Maroney,Caroline Tang, June 01, 2015
On May 19, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a temporary suspension of its “premium processing” program as it relates to H-1B extensions in the United States. The suspension will be in effect from May 26, 2015, until July 27, 2015. Premium processing is...