Our Approach

Baker Donelson’s Immigration Group helps businesses, institutions, and individual clients from throughout the world to select the immigration option best suited to the situation and then to pursue the chosen option to completion as efficiently as possible. We have developed experience and relationships that help us cut through to practical solutions. The Immigration Group has broad and longstanding experience with all types of business-based temporary and permanent immigration status, including:

  • Specialty occupations (H-1B) and NAFTA professionals (TN)
  • Individual and blanket international transferee programs (L-1)
  • Traders and investors (E-1/E-2/EB-5)
  • NAFTA professionals (TN)
  • J-1 home residency and other waivers
  • Religious workers (R-1, EB-4)
  • PERM labor certification
  • National interest waivers (EB-2)
  • Extraordinary ability and outstanding researchers (O-1, EB-1)
  • Removal defense in immigration court
  • Litigation to require government action or overturn government denial

In the current environment of worksite enforcement and proliferating “catch-22” requirements, we deliver practical advice and training tools for paper and electronic I-9 completion, E-Verify employment verification, and corporate compliance. We have been intimately involved in numerous significant worksite investigations and corporate prosecutions. We have testified in Congress and provided expert court testimony about employment verification issues. We support our White Collar Crime Group in defense of government charges and private RICO lawsuits.

Institutional and business clients served include multinational corporations, medical, financial and academic institutions, information technology providers and users, foreign investors, and manufacturers. The Immigration Group has cross training in employment law and benefits issues, which aids in understanding the human relations backdrop for many business immigration issues. The Group participates in the firm’s Employment Law and International Law practice groups and reflects the depth of both groups at the point where they intersect: the international movement of business personnel in a global economy. The Group’s situation within a full service, multi-office firm of over 540 attorneys from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans and in Beijing, China, assures that the Group monitors trends of industry demands and labor shortages.

We understand that business is global and multi-directional. Thus, we have a network of immigration lawyers in full-service law firms throughout the world ready to facilitate coordinated global movement of business personnel and to provide other business and employment law assistance.

Nevertheless, the Group appreciates that every immigration matter boils down to the aspirations of one or more human beings who need to receive personal attention and assurance in confronting a confusing array of regulations and procedures. The Group employs best practices for client satisfaction, including prompt return of calls and emails, regular and technologically dynamic status notification, copies to the petitioning employer and the alien worker on every government filing, second opinion on strategic decisions, and heavy use of customized systems for workflow process. Our robust immigration web site provides background understanding and builds confidence for workers and HR managers in our client companies. Most of the Group’s attorneys practice immigration law exclusively, and it shows. Our attorneys and staff have native language capabilities in Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Mandarin Chinese. Our attorneys operate from numerous offices within the Firm but work seamlessly with an array of well trained legal assistants.

Immigration law involves a large number of relatively smaller matters, and the Group uses case management, database imaging, forms production, internet research and communication technologies to improve efficiency and quality of client service seamlessly and paperlessly from the various firm offices where immigration professionals work. Technology clients are pleased with the Group’s comfortable use of technology as a means to deliver legal service.

The Group considers both in-depth understanding and up-to-the-minute awareness of developments in immigration practice to be keys to quality service. The Group’s members study (and contribute to) numerous daily, weekly and monthly immigration news publications and participate actively in the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA), which provides daily news updates and other resources via the Internet and meaningful seminars and publications throughout the year. We are active leaders in AILA and on the cutting edge. Group members respond as generously as possible to invitations to speak to groups about immigration, and we are quoted frequently in national and regional media on immigration issues.

The Group works closely with the firm’s well-connected and well-respected Public Policy group, which was founded by former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker. Our Immigration Group is led by the former first Chief Counsel of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services who served also as acting director for a time. In cooperation with these colleagues, the Immigration Group can represent clients in seeking statutory changes, influencing regulatory developments, and contacting officials in particular cases.

Although focused on business, the firm’s Immigration Group sees the importance of versatility in all areas of immigration practice, and the Group’s members routinely handle family sponsorship cases, naturalization applications, defense of clients in removal (deportation and exclusion) proceedings, asylum cases, and immigrant visa “lottery” registrations, along with pursuit of other sundry remedies that constantly change with the political and regulatory tide. We provide free representation to numerous battered women, crime victims, and abandoned juveniles in numerous pro bono matters. The Group is prepared to litigate immigration matters with comfort in the courtroom at any level.