Shipman & Goodwin has a full-service immigration practice. Our primarily employment-based clientele includes both small and large health care institutions, manufacturers, investment firms, scientific research firms, computer engineering firms, and accounting and actuarial firms throughout the United States. We serve as counsel to public and private schools regarding all their immigration needs, including F-1 foreign student visas and SEVIS registration and reporting obligations. For the individual, we facilitate family-based and naturalization petitions for our clients with international backgrounds.
We help our business clients realistically develop appropriate strategies for obtaining timely U.S. work authorization for foreign workers who are critical to the implementation of business plans and realization of business goals. We work with the appropriate agencies in the U.S. and abroad to prepare, file and obtain the necessary nonimmigrant visa to permit the foreign worker to work temporarily in the U.S. If the client wishes to retain the foreign worker indefinitely, we assist in obtaining the required immigrant visa, commonly known as a "green card."
Shipman & Goodwin attorneys also work to protect clients from the threat of civil and criminal sanctions for employing illegal foreign workers directly or through subcontractors, arising from increasing audits and workplace raids conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") officers. We achieve this objective by advising clients on how to comply with the immigration law that requires all U.S. employers, regardless of size, to verify the U.S. employment authorization of every member of their workforce. We give counsel on appropriate I-9 verification systems and responses to Social Security Administration "No-Match" letters. We assist human resources in conducting an audit of their I-9 verification system and in correcting deficiencies. We regularly advise clients on "best practices" in order to avoid or respond to a government compliance investigation. Similarly, we deal with any issue that the Department of Labor might raise regarding the payment of foreign nationals through our alliance with the Labor and Employment group. Moreover, in the event of a criminal investigation under the U.S. criminal laws that prohibit the harboring and employment of unlawfully-present workers, our Immigration Compliance and Enforcement Task Force, with its vast experience in government investigation defense, works with both government agencies and federal prosecutors to resolve any issues that might arise from an investigation or indictment.
Finally, for our international clients with family-based immigration needs, we assist in obtaining immigration visas and U.S. citizenship for them and family members.