Attorney Profile:

Ian R. Macdonald



Ian R. Macdonald focuses his practice on developing, assessing and managing global mobility programs for multinational companies on a range of challenges affecting the movement of people capital domestically and internationally, including secondment agreements, benefits transferability, local host country employment concerns and immigration.

Ian and his team work closely with companies to manage and modify, where needed, corporate immigration programs to maximize efficiency, service and regulatory compliance levels. He is experienced with the full range of business immigration sponsorship categories (visas and permanent residence), anti-discrimination rules to reduce or eliminate risk of employment litigation, employer sanction cases, and I-9 and E-Verify compliance. Ian assists clients with establishing risk-based performance standards (RBPS) and Department of Homeland Security protocol, providing risk assessment assistance to corporations subject to Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) and assisting clients with ITAR/Export Control compliance within the immigration context.

Ian has developed strategic relationships abroad that he utilizes when working with clients to ensure compliance with foreign registration requirements. He is experienced with analyzing complex global mobility opportunities on country-specific matters to facilitate the transfer of personnel. Ian is also experienced in counseling employers on immigration strategy as well as immigration consequences of mergers and acquisitions, reduction in workforces, and furloughs.

Prior to joining the firm, Ian worked for the United Nations, various non-governmental think tanks and corporate law firms in London, Washington, D.C., New York and Atlanta.

Articles, Publications, & Lectures

Articles & Publications

•Co-Author, Employment Laws Update , Vineyard & Winery Management, January-February 2017
•Quoted, The Biggest Immigration Cases of 2016 , Law360, December 16, 2016
•Quoted, The Trump Era Could Mean Big Changes For Biz Immigration , Law360, December 13, 2016
•Quoted, Five Employment Visa Issues to Watch In a Trump Presidency, Corporate Counsel, December 7, 2016
•Co-Author, Wine Businesses Can't Outsource Liability for Labor Practices, North Bay Business Journal, October 10, 2016
•Quoted, New L-1 Visa Form Probes Further into Work History , Society for Human Resource Management, August 26, 2016
•Quoted, Proposed 'Social Media ID, Please' Law Draws Outrage , Computerworld, August 25, 2016
•Author, Too Little, Maybe Too Late: The Real Impact of Ending the STEM OPT Program, Daily Report, February 8, 2016
•Quoted, How a Little-Known Program for Foreign Students Became Embroiled in a Hot-Button National Debate, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 20, 2016
•Quoted, 4 Takeaways from OSC's Letter on Contracted Workers, Law360, January 7, 2016
•Quoted, Immigration Regulation and Legislation to Watch in 2016, Law360, December 24, 2015
•Quoted, OPT Rule Nabs Broad Praise, But Some Groups Cry Foul, Law360, November 20, 2015
•Co-Author, Recent Lawsuit Reminds Employers to Offer the Same or Higher Wages and Benefits to H-1B Workers as U.S. Workers, Inside Business Immigration, November 11, 2015
•Quoted, Fine Reductions Continue Under New OCAHO Judge, Law 360, November 9, 2015
•Editor, No. 1 Immigration Blog (Traffic), Inside Business Immigration , LexBlog Am Law 200 Blog Benchmark Report, 2015
•Editor, No. 22 Overall Blog of 962 Unique Blogs (Traffic), Inside Business Immigration , LexBlog Am Law 200 Blog Benchmark Report, 2015
•Quoted, Visa Bulletin Resolution Could Follow Path From 2007, Law360, October 1, 2015
•Quoted, White House faces tight deadlines for saving STEM program , Computerworld, September 8, 2015
•Quoted, New L-1B Policy Takes Effect Aug. 31, Society for Human Resource Management Online, August 31, 2015
•Quoted, Ruling Could Spell Disaster for Foreign STEM Workers , Corporate Counsel, August 20, 2015
•Quoted, Working STEM Students May Be Forced to Leave U.S. Next Year, Says Court, Computerworld, August 14, 2015
•Quoted, Guidance on H-1B Work Moves Leaves Penalties in Play, Law360, July 22, 2015
•Author, Premium Processing of H-1B Extension Petitions Resumes Service After Temporary Suspension , Inside Business Immigration, July 13, 2015
•Author, USCIS Requires DACA Recipients Receiving 3-Year EAD's After 2/16/2015 to Return EADs by 7/17/2015 , Inside Business Immigration, July 10, 2015
•Author, DOS August 2015 Visa Bulletin - Some Progression , Inside Business Immigration, July 10, 2015
•Author, State Department Shifting E-1 and E-2 Visa Processing Locations in Mexico to Provide Applicants with Higher Levels of Service , Inside Business Immigration, July 8, 2015
•Author, DHS Launches eFOIA App in Push to Reduce Backlog and Improve Customer Experience , Inside Business Immigration, July 8, 2015
•Author, TPS extension for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone , Inside Business Immigration, June 26, 2015
•Author, I-9 Alert: Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nepal Announced , Inside Business Immigration, June 25, 2015
•Quoted, Visa Review Stymied For Now, But More Challenges May Come, Law360, June 15, 2015
•Quoted, Attys React to Term's Final High Court Immigration Rulings, Law360, June 15, 2015
•Quoted, 6 Pro Tips for Submitting L-1B Visa Petitions, Law360, June 12, 2015
•Quoted, Q&A With Greenberg Traurig's Ian Macdonald, Law360, June 5, 2015
•Author, Federal Register Announces TPS Extended for Somalia - I-9 Update , Inside Business Immigration, June 5, 2015
•Author, DHS Aims to Expand CBP Preclearance Operations to 10 Additional Airports Abroad , Inside Business Immigration, June 1, 2015
•Quoted, AAO Work Site Ruling Still Troubles Attys, Despite Guidance, Law360, May 22, 2015
•Author, Long-Awaited Guidance on L-1B Visa Category Released, The Corporate Counselor, May 2015
•Quoted, If H-1B Work Location Changes, Employers Now Must Amend Petitions, Society for Human Resource Management Online, April 23, 2015
•Author, May 2015 Visa Bulletin Updates , Inside Business Immigration, April 16, 2015
•Quoted, H-1B Site Change Ruling Spells Trouble for IT Employers, Law360, April 15, 2015
•Author, This Year's H-1B Cap - 233,000 Petitions Received by USCIS , Inside Business Immigration, April 14, 2015
•Co-Author, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: Restrictive AAO Decision Finds Change of Work Area Requires H-1B Amendment Filing , Inside Business Immigration, April 13, 2015
•Quoted, Which Lawmakers Will Take the Reins on Immigration? Law 360, April 10, 2015
•Quoted, New L-1B Visa Guidelines a Mixed Bag for Employers, Daily Business Review, April 9, 2015
•Co-Author, As Expected: 2016 H-1B Cap Met, USCIS to Conduct Lottery , Inside Business Immigration, April 8, 2015
•Quoted, New L-1B Visa Guidelines a Mixed Bag for Employers , Corporate Counsel, April 1, 2015
•Quoted, Stronger Economy Means More H-1B Petitions For 85K Slots, Law360, April 1, 2015
•Co-Author, Was it Worth the Wait? USCIS Releases Guidance on L-1B Visa Category , Inside Business Immigration, March 25, 2015
•Quoted, Immigration Executive Actions an Ethical Minefield for Attys, Law360, March 16, 2015
•Quoted, 3 Tips From Attys to Improve the E-Verify Program, Law360, March 9, 2015
•Quoted, 4 Tips For Employers Looking To Boost Ranks With L-1B Visas, Law360, March 6, 2015
•Quoted, H-1B Spouses Now Can Work in the US Too, Corporate Counsel, March 3, 2015
•Author, Fiscal Year 2016 H-1B Cap, The Corporate Counselor, March 2015
•Co-Author, Work Authorization for (Some, But Not All) H-4 Visa Holders , Inside Business Immigration, February 24, 2015
•Quoted, Experts Predict Record-Breaking H-1B Visa Demand, HR Magazine, February 20, 2015
•Author, Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Present at Houston Totally Expat Show , Inside Business Immigration, February 12, 2015
•Author, Greenberg Traurig Webinar Covers 'Everything You Want to Know About Immigration Compliance' , Inside Business Immigration, February 11, 2015
•Quoted, Turbulent Times in Hydrocarbon-Rich Areas Call for Preparation, Exploration & Production magazine, February 9, 2015
•Co-Author, Prepare Now for Fiscal Year 2016 H-1B Cap , Inside Business Immigration, January 21, 2015
•Quoted, Obama Immigration Plan: New Perils Could Await Some Workers, The Wall Street Journal, November 21, 2014
•Featured, Avoiding the Pitfalls: Companies Expanding Globally Can Learn from These Five Lessons, Corporate Counsel, November 1, 2014
•Quoted, China: Shanghai Issues Preferential Visa Policies to Attract Multinational Companies, Bloomberg BNA, October 9, 2014
•Featured, 6 Immigration Law Mistakes GCs Make When Going Global, Corporate Counsel, July 23, 2014
•Author, Hidden Employment Risks In 3rd-Party IT Sourcing , Law360, March 25, 2014
•Quoted, Hiring? Better Get Ready for H-1B Visa Season, Corporate Counsel, February 5, 2014
•Quoted, 5 Tips for Handling the H-1B Visa Process, Law360, January 31, 2014
•Quoted, As Feds Wander on Immigration, S.C. Blazes Its Own Tough Trail, McClatchy - Washington Bureau, January 21, 2014
•Quoted, S.C.'s Workplace Immigration Program Gets National Spotlight, State, January 21, 2014
•Quoted, S.C. Leads in Immigration Workplace Compliance, Charlotte Observer, January 20, 2014
•Quoted, Absent Immigration Reform, Cos. Face Increased Enforcement, Law360, January 10, 2014
•Author, Embracing the Uncertainty: The Challenges of Practicing US Immigration Law in a Continuously Changing Landscape, Chapter 3, National Trends in Immigration Law, Aspatore Special Report, Thomson Reuters, January 1, 2014
•Quoted, 5 Visa Tips in the Wake of the Infosys Settlement, Corporate Counsel magazine, November 13, 2013
•Quoted, $34M Infosys Settlement Highlights Visa Pitfalls, Corporate Counsel magazine, November 1, 2013
•Quoted, U.S. Accuses Infosys of 'Fraud and Abuse' in Visa Case: Company to Pay $34 Million Penalty, Says Claims Against It Were Untrue, The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2013
•Quoted, Infosys to Pay Record $34M to Settle Visa Violation Claims, Law360, October 30, 2013
•Featured, Immigration Team Leaves Littler for Greenberg, The Daily Report, October 11, 2013
•Featured, Greenberg Launches Atlanta Immigration Practice, Atlanta Business Chronicle, October 4, 2013
•Featured, Greenberg Traurig Expands Global Immigration Practice with Prominent Atlanta Attorneys - Immigration Practice Expands Presence in Atlanta, GT Press Release, October 4, 2013
•Author, 5 Reforms to Watch as the Immigration Debate Heats Up,, May 23, 2013
•Author, Legal Immigration Fix Key to Reform Bill, Atlanta Business Chronicle, April 26, 2013
•Author, Immigration Reform Bill Offers Employers a Mixed Bag,, April 18, 2013
•Author, Practitioners Warn of Potential Pitfalls in Completing New I-9 Forms for Employees, Bloomberg BNA Workplace Immigration Report, April 15, 2013
•Author, H-1B Visa Logjam Leaves Employers, Clients Stuck, Lawyers USA, April 15, 2013
•Author, 5 Tips for Employers on a Smooth Transition to the New I-9,, April 5, 2013
•Author, H-1B Demand This Year Will Be Fast, Furious, Computerworld, April 1, 2013
•Author, Immigration Reform: Which States Would Feel It Most? California, for One, Christian Science Monitor, January 30, 2013
•Author, Higher Visa Fees, Penalties Foreseen with Immigration Reform, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), January 30, 2013
•Author, For Employers, Devil Is In Details of Immigration Reform,, January 28, 2013
•Author, Stakes High for Employers in Immigration Reform Push,, January 14, 2013
•Author, How the Immigration Policy Stalemate is Hurting Businesses and the Economy, InsideCounsel, August 1, 2012
•Author, The Death Of Ariz: Immigration Law SB 1070,, July 12, 2012
•Author, Justices' Ruling on Arizona Immigration Law Has Limited Workplace Impact, Analysts Say, Bloomberg BNA, July 10, 2012
•Author, Supreme Court's Immigration Decision Also Keeps E-Verify in Operation, TLNT, July 5, 2012
•Author, Employment Eligibility, Columbus CEO, June 26, 2012
•Author, Ariz. Immigration Ruling May Save Cos. from State Law Hassles,, June 25, 2012
•Author, E-Verify Mandate About to Hit Ga. Businesses, Atlanta Business Chronicle, December 2, 2011
•Author, An ICE Storm of Immigration Audits is Coming, Corporate Counsel, June 22, 2011
•Author, Lawmakers May Expand E-Verify Rules, Atlanta Business Chronicle, March 8, 2011
•Author, Most Employers May Have to Use E-Verify System, Atlanta Business Chronicle, February 4, 2011
•Author, Immigration Enforcement, Practical Law The Journal, April 2010
•Author, Hurdles Hamper State Illegal Immigration Law, Atlanta Business Chronicle, July 6, 2009
•Author, Finesse the Visa Crisis With a Worker-Mobility Plan, Harvard Business Review, November 28, 2008
•Author, The Department of Homeland Security Wants to Put Employers at the Forefront of the Battle Against Illegal Workers, Columbus CEO, June 2008
•Author, Tech Firms Line Up at U.S. Visa Window, The Washington Times, April 1, 2008


•Speaker, H-1B Visa Season Filing and Compliance for Employers, C4CM, March 4, 2014
•Speaker, Immigration Update, Employer Aid 2013: A Year in Review and a Look Forward, GT Labor & Employment Seminar, Phoenix, AZ, October 2, 2013
•Speaker, Immigration Reform and Federal/State Compliance from an Employer's Perspective, Society for Human Resource Management - Atlanta, April 30, 2013
•Speaker, The New I-9 Form and Compliance Challenges, Webinar, April 30, 2013
•Speaker, Trends. Innovations. Practices. Asia Pacific Global Employer Services Conference, Deloitte, Singapore, November 28, 2012
•Speaker, International Employment and Global Mobility, Society for Human Resource Management - Atlanta, Atlanta, GA, November 13, 2012
•Speaker, Immigration in a Patchwork Global Economy, Annual North American Global Employer Services Conference, Deloitte, Dallas, TX, October 18, 2012
•Speaker, Recent Developments in Immigration Compliance: Office of Special Counsel's Focus on Discrimination in 2012, ICE's Continued Emphasis on Employer Enforcement Actions and Increased Intra-Agency Cooperation, Atlanta Employer Conference, Atlanta, GA, September 28, 2012
•Speaker, Recent Developments in Immigration Compliance: Office of Special Counsel's Focus on Discrimination in 2012, ICE's Continued Emphasis on Employer Enforcement Actions and Increased Intra-Agency Cooperation, Houston Employer Conference, Houston, TX, August 2, 2012
•Speaker, The Bewildering Landscape of State and Federal Immigration Compliance: From E-Verify to Incentivized, Executive Employer Conference, Scottsdale, AZ, May 11, 2012
•Speaker, Employers' Duties and Problems, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA, February 10, 2012
•Speaker, The Bewildering Landscape of State and Federal Immigration Compliance: From E-Verify to Incentivized IMAGE Enrollment, Society for Human Resource Management Webinar, Atlanta, GA, November 17, 2011
•Speaker, Immigration Law Panel Breakfast, Birmingham Business Journal, Birmingham, AL, November 15, 2011
•Speaker, The Top Ten Issues HR Professionals Need to Know About International Labor and Employment Law, Annual Conference, Society of Human Resource Management, Atlanta, GA, October 18, 2011
•Speaker, Immigration Law, Department of Administration for the State of Arizona, February 20, 2011
•Speaker, Immigration Reform and Compliance for Clients and Companies, Southeastern Business Law Institute, October 28, 2010
•Speaker, Managing the Global Workforce: Recent Issues in Global Migration and Non-Competition Agreements, Global Employer Institute, September 25, 2009
•Speaker, Meeting Your Compliance Priorities through Effective Audit Programs, Employment Law Conference, September 21, 2009
•Speaker, Meeting Your Compliance Priorities through Effective Audit Programs, Executive Employer Conference, April 14, 2009
•Speaker, Trends in UK and U.S. Immigration Law, London Stock Exchange, Ius Laboris International Conference, February 6, 2009
•Speaker, Managing a Mobile Workforce - Tax and Work Authorization Issues in International Assignments, Global Employer Institute, October 23, 2008
•Speaker, More Enforcement and Fewer Visas: What Else is on the Immigration Horizon? Employment Law & Leadership Conference, September 23, 2008

Awards & Recognition

•Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Georgia Super Lawyers, 2017
•Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2016-2017
•Listed, U.S. News - Best Lawyers Best Law Firm rankings for Nationwide (Tier 1), 2011-2015
•Listed, The Legal 500 United States, Labor and Employment - Immigration, 2009-2016
•Listed, Georgia Trend magazine Legal Elite, 2015-2016
•Team Member, a Law360 Employment Practice Group of the Year, 2011, 2013
•Listed, Chambers USA Guide, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2009-2010
•Listed, The Legal Times, Leading Lawyers in Immigration

Associated News & Events

Press Releases

02.23.17 40 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Listed in 2017 Edition of Georgia Super Lawyers Magazine; Lori Cohen Ranked #3

06.16.16 100-Plus Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Recommended in The Legal 500 United States Guide to Outstanding Lawyers

12.10.15 16 Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Included in Georgia Trend's Legal Elite List Across 11 Categories

08.27.15 19 Greenberg Traurig Atlanta Attorneys Recognized in 2016 Best Lawyers in America

07.27.15 Two Greenberg Traurig Blogs Earn Top Rankings from 2015 LexBlog Am Law 200 Blog Benchmark Report

06.08.15 100-Plus Greenberg Traurig Attorneys Recommended in The Legal 500 United States 2015 Guide to Outstanding Lawyers

09.08.14 Greenberg Traurig Labor & Employment Practice Receives Multiple Recognitions

07.15.14 Greenberg Traurig Ranked in 2014 Legal 500 United States Guide

10.04.13 Greenberg Traurig Expands Global Immigration Practice With Prominent Atlanta Attorneys Immigration Practice Expands Presence in Atlanta

09.30.13 Greenberg Traurig Attracts Littler Immigration Attorneys

Published Articles

01.10.17 Employment Laws Update: Understanding these five issues will ensure your business' labor force is within federal compliance

10.10.16 Wine businesses can't outsource liability for labor practices

02.08.16 Too Little, Maybe Too Late: The Real Impact of Ending the STEM OPT Program

03.27.14 Hidden Employment Risks In 3rd-Party IT Sourcing


02.17.17 Employer Guidance - National Immigrant Protests

07.07.16 Brexit: Immigration and Emigration

01.21.15 Fiscal Year 2016 H-1B Cap - You've Been Warned, Now Here Are This Year's Key Dates

01.13.15 Keeping You Up-to-Date: GT Immigration Newsletter (January 2015)

12.15.14 Inside Business Immigration: Weekly News Round Up, Dec. 8-12, 2014

11.10.14 Inside Business Immigration: Weekly News Round Up, Nov. 3-7, 2014

10.27.14 Inside Business Immigration: Weekly News Round Up, Oct. 20-24, 2014

10.13.14 Inside Business Immigration: Weekly News Round Up, Oct. 6-10, 2014

10.06.14 Inside Business Immigration: Weekly News Round Up, Sept. 29 - Oct. 3, 2014

10.01.14 Keeping You Up-to-Date: GT Immigration Newsletter (October 2014)

Areas of Practice (6)

  • Business Immigration & Compliance
  • Global Human Capital Solutions
  • Labor & Employment
  • Global
  • Global - Africa Practice
  • Retail

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
678.553.2467  Phone
678.553.2212  Fax
University Attended:
The New School, B.A., 1996
Law School Attended:
American University Washington College of Law, J.D., 1999
2000, New York; 2009, Georgia

Professional & Community Involvement

•Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association

Birth Information:
London, United Kingdom, 1970

Peer Reviews

  • 4.7/5.0 2 reviews
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  • Legal Experience

  • 5.0/5.0 by a Member on 04/24/14 in Immigration and Naturalization

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  • 4.4/5.0 by a Senior Associate on 04/24/14 in Immigration and Naturalization

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  • Atlanta, GA
    Terminus 200 , Terminus 200, 3333 Piedmont Road NE, Suite 2500
    Atlanta, GA 30305

    678.553.2467 Phone

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