Best Lawyers for Immigration Law in America

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Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Santa Monica, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2020
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2013
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
Christian S. "Chris" Allen  was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

Christian S. "Chris" Allen

AMS Global Immigration, PC
  • Recognized Since: 2006
  • Location:
    Royal Oak, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 1991
  • Location:
    Denver, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2020
  • Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2011
  • Location:
    Dallas, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2019
  • Location:
    Newark, New Jersey
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2020
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2001
  • Location:
    Memphis, Tennessee
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2016
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2015
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2010
  • Location:
    Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2006
  • Location:
    San Francisco, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2020
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 1991
  • Location:
    Omaha, Nebraska
  • Practice Areas:
    Employment Law - Management Litigation - Labor and Employment Immigration Law Labor Law - Management
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2007
  • Location:
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2003
  • Location:
    Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Litigation - Labor and Employment Employment Law - Management Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2016
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2013
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2016
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Denver, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2018
  • Location:
    Miami, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    San Francisco, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2009
  • Location:
    Duluth, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2018
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2016
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2019
  • Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2010
  • Location:
    Burlington, Vermont
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2016
  • Location:
    Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2010
  • Location:
    Denver, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2006
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2018
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2003
  • Location:
    Portland, Maine
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2016
  • Location:
    Woodland Hills, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2017
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2018
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    San Francisco, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Bethesda, Maryland
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2007
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2005
  • Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2008
  • Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2001
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2015
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2018
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2013
  • Location:
    Moore, Oklahoma
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2003
  • Location:
    Savannah, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Health Care Law Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 1991
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2007
  • Location:
    Miami, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2019
  • Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2020
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2010
  • Location:
    Santa Monica, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2020
  • Location:
    Richardson, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2010
  • Location:
    Santa Monica, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2019
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    McLean, Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2019
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2016
  • Location:
    San Francisco, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2018
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2012
  • Location:
    Gaithersburg, Maryland
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2015
  • Location:
    Gaithersburg, Maryland
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2011
  • Location:
    Reston, Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2018
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2010
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2019
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2001
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2020
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2020
  • Location:
    Southfield, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2013
  • Location:
    Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2012
  • Location:
    Boca Raton, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2017
  • Location:
    Aurora, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2008
  • Location:
    Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2015
  • Location:
    Denver, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2017
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2010
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2010
  • Location:
    Bethesda, Maryland
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2013
  • Location:
    Boulder, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2015
  • Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
  • Practice Areas:
    Civil Rights Law Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2019
  • Location:
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2006
  • Location:
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2020
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2008
  • Location:
    Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law Land Use and Zoning Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2008
  • Location:
    Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 1997
  • Location:
    Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Practice Areas:
    Government Relations Practice Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 1991
  • Location:
    Dallas, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2010
  • Location:
    Aurora, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2019
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 1997
  • Location:
    St. Louis, Missouri
  • Practice Areas:
    Education Law Immigration Law Employment Law - Management
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2009
  • Location:
    Bingham Farms, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2015
  • Location:
    Omaha, Nebraska
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Los Angeles, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Fremont, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2017
  • Location:
    Marietta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2003
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2020
  • Location:
    San Francisco, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2013
  • Location:
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law Employment Law - Management
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Denver, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2009
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2009
  • Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 1991
  • Location:
    Coral Gables, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law Administrative / Regulatory Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2015
  • Location:
    San Francisco, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2006
  • Location:
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2010
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 1991
  • Location:
    Irving, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2008
  • Location:
    Reston, Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2007
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2018
  • Location:
    San Francisco, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
Jared C. Leung was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

Jared C. Leung

JCL Immigration Attorneys
  • Recognized Since: 2019
  • Location:
    Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2009
  • Location:
    Troy, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2018
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2009
  • Location:
    Pacific Palisades, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2008
  • Location:
    Austin, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2020
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2016
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2007
  • Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2005
  • Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2010
  • Location:
    White Plains, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
Matthew J. Maiona was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

Matthew J. Maiona

Maiona Ward Immigration Law
  • Recognized Since: 2016
  • Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2019
  • Location:
    Tampa, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2017
  • Location:
    Dallas, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2011
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
Siana J. McLean was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

Siana J. McLean

Muscato & Shatkin
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Buffalo, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2013
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2010
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2009
  • Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2018
  • Location:
    West Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2013
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2020
  • Location:
    Reston, Virginia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2017
  • Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    San Francisco, California
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2005
  • Location:
    Portland, Oregon
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2019
  • Location:
    Denver, Colorado
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
Michael D. Patrick was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

Michael D. Patrick

Michael D. Patrick, Esq.
  • Recognized Since: 1995
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2010
  • Location:
    Omaha, Nebraska
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2018
  • Location:
    Portland, Oregon
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2008
  • Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2018
  • Location:
    Troy, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2013
  • Location:
    Bingham Farms, Michigan
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2015
  • Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2021
  • Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2011
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2005
  • Location:
    Coral Gables, Florida
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
M. Edwin Prudhomme was awarded  "Lawyer of the Year" in

M. Edwin Prudhomme

The Law Offices of McLeod, Alexander, Powel & Apffel, PC
  • Recognized Since: 2007
  • Location:
    Galveston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2007
  • Location:
    Houston, Texas
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2008
  • Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2006
  • Location:
    Bethesda, Maryland
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2016
  • Location:
    New York, New York
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2009
  • Location:
    Seattle, Washington
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law
Lawyer
  • Recognized Since: 2006
  • Location:
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Practice Areas:
    Immigration Law

  • Recognized Since: Ones to Watch Since:
  • Location:
  • Practice Areas:

Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Our methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. Our belief has always been that the quality of a peer review survey is directly related to the quality of the voters.

Practice Area Definition

Immigration Law Definition

All countries place limits on the ability of non-nationals to enter, live, and work in the country, and impose penalties on those who do not comply with those limits. When an individual wants to travel to another country – whether it’s for a business trip, to take an overseas work assignment, to study or to live permanently – he or she will confront the immigration laws of the country of destination. It is the job of the immigration attorney to help individuals, their families, and their employers navigate the complex array of rules, applications, and government procedures that dictate the immigration process.

Immigration law is divided into two basic tracks: Family-based immigration is the process by which an individual is sponsored for permanent residence in a foreign country by a spouse, parent, or other qualifying family member. Business immigration is the process by which individual can obtain temporary or permanent residence in a foreign country on the basis of employment, self-employment, or investment.

Immigration practice isn’t limited to the entry of foreign nationals to the United States. Rather, a full-service immigration firm will have expertise in many jurisdictions. One of the most important facets of the practice is the ability to assist multinational organizations with the mobility of their global workforce – whether it’s to help a German executive obtain permission to visit China for a critical business meeting, or to assist when a United Kingdom company wants to hire a leading United States scientist to lead its R&D efforts.

The guidance of an immigration lawyer is particularly critical in the employment context. Most countries place stringent restrictions on the ability of non-citizens to work, in order to protect their native workforce. In many cases, a company that wants to hire a foreign national must get authorization from both immigration and labor authorities – a complex process that requires the sure hand of a lawyer experienced in practicing before all the relevant government agencies.

The work of the immigration attorney doesn’t stop when visas and other government authorizations are obtained. Once an individual enters a foreign country, there may be important compliance responsibilities facing him or her, family members and employers, from registration with local police, tax, or social insurance authorities to reporting obligations before government agencies. Failing to comply with these responsibilities can mean fines, penalties, and restrictions on an individual’s future travel or an employer’s ability to sponsor additional foreign nationals. The advice of an immigration lawyer is critical throughout an individual’s overseas stay.

In our global economy, the ability to move across international borders has never been more important to professionals and their employers – and the role of immigration lawyers has never been more important to global mobility.

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP logo

All countries place limits on the ability of non-nationals to enter, live, and work in the country, and impose penalties on those who do not comply with those limits. When an individual wants to travel to another country – whether it’s for a business trip, to take an overseas work assignment, to study or to live permanently – he or she will confront the immigration laws of the country of destination. It is the job of the immigration attorney to help individuals, their families, and their employers navigate the complex array of rules, applications, and government procedures that dictate the immigration process.

Immigration law is divided into two basic tracks: Family-based immigration is the process by which an individual is sponsored for permanent residence in a foreign country by a spouse, parent, or other qualifying family member. Business immigration is the process by which individual can obtain temporary or permanent residence in a foreign country on the basis of employment, self-employment, or investment.

Immigration practice isn’t limited to the entry of foreign nationals to the United States. Rather, a full-service immigration firm will have expertise in many jurisdictions. One of the most important facets of the practice is the ability to assist multinational organizations with the mobility of their global workforce – whether it’s to help a German executive obtain permission to visit China for a critical business meeting, or to assist when a United Kingdom company wants to hire a leading United States scientist to lead its R&D efforts.

The guidance of an immigration lawyer is particularly critical in the employment context. Most countries place stringent restrictions on the ability of non-citizens to work, in order to protect their native workforce. In many cases, a company that wants to hire a foreign national must get authorization from both immigration and labor authorities – a complex process that requires the sure hand of a lawyer experienced in practicing before all the relevant government agencies.

The work of the immigration attorney doesn’t stop when visas and other government authorizations are obtained. Once an individual enters a foreign country, there may be important compliance responsibilities facing him or her, family members and employers, from registration with local police, tax, or social insurance authorities to reporting obligations before government agencies. Failing to comply with these responsibilities can mean fines, penalties, and restrictions on an individual’s future travel or an employer’s ability to sponsor additional foreign nationals. The advice of an immigration lawyer is critical throughout an individual’s overseas stay.

In our global economy, the ability to move across international borders has never been more important to professionals and their employers – and the role of immigration lawyers has never been more important to global mobility.