Immigration-related regulations and laws impact companies of all sizes and types. To handle increased government scrutiny and enforcement pressure faced by employers in today's global markets, McGuireWoods offers a comprehensive approach to immigration matters. Unlike boutique firms that deal solely with immigration law, we provide a wider perspective. We have corporate and employment lawyers who know the ins and outs of creating foreign-owned U.S. business entities or employing foreign nationals; and our government investigations lawyers are experienced in representing companies in government investigations of employment of non-immigrants, permanent residents and U.S. citizens.

McGuireWoods provides immigration legal services to a broad range of business clients, including multinational corporations, emerging businesses, universities, hospitals, nonprofits, hospitality companies, religious organizations and entrepreneurs.

The firm has extensive experience handling ICE workforce enforcement measures. We provide I-9 compliance advice and auditing, conduct internal investigations, and design and implement employment eligibility verification programs.

When advising on and preparing visa petitions, we know that all relevant laws must be considered – not just those that specifically apply to immigration. Employers also must comply with labor and employment laws in making submissions to the Departments of Homeland Security, Labor or State, or in setting up employment verification programs. Clients seeking visas to start new U.S.-based businesses must comply with relevant corporate and tax law. We ensure that no pertinent law or requirement is overlooked.

Employment-Related Immigration Sponsorship

Clients count on us to obtain temporary and permanent resident visas to allow foreign nationals to work in the United States.


  • H-1B Visas – Represent U.S. employers in hiring IT professionals, financial analysts, engineers, sales managers, business executives, professors, doctors, scientists, and other educated and skilled professionals from around the globe.
  • L-1 Visas – Prepare and process visas for the intracompany transfer of managers, executives and specialized knowledge personnel from foreign companies to related U.S. companies.
  • E-1 Treaty Trader & E-2 Treaty Investor Visas – Obtain visas for investors, managers, executives, and key employees from Europe, Asia and the Americas to come to the United States to establish and run businesses.
  • Employment-Based Permanent Resident Visas – Handle permanent resident or "green card" applications in all employment-based categories for individuals from dozens of countries, including those with extraordinary abilities in business, education, the sciences, arts and athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; managers and executives of multinational companies; advanced-degree professionals, including those seeking national interest waivers; professional workers with bachelor’s degrees; and skilled and unskilled workers.
  • H-3 Visas – Work with U.S. companies and institutions to bring foreign nationals to the United States to participate in established training programs.
  • O-1 Visas – Aliens with Extraordinary Ability – Obtain O-1 visas for foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in athletics, the sciences, arts, education or business, including advisory opinions from an appropriate labor organization.
  • P-1 Visas – Athletes, Entertainment Groups, and Artists – Obtain P-1 visas for athletes, entertainment groups and artists, including advisory opinions from an appropriate labor organization.
  • TN-1 – Obtain TN-1 visas for individuals from Canada and Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

We provide creative solutions to difficult cases, establishing a foreign national’s extraordinary ability, obtaining national interest or two-year home residency requirement waivers, or obtaining visas for individuals who do not easily fall into any relevant visa category.

Immigration and Worksite Enforcement

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the principal investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), focuses much of its enforcement efforts on employers. In the last five years, ICE has:

  • Audited more than 8,000 companies.
  • Debarred more than 700 companies and individuals.
  • Imposed more than $100 million in fines on employers and company principles (with many of these fines being for mere paperwork violations).

ICE’s worksite enforcement compels all employers to have comprehensive policies and procedures for ensuring that all employees are authorized to work in the United States. In addition, employers should regularly monitor these policies to ensure they are being followed and that they comply with all relevant anti-discrimination laws, which are monitored and enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices.

Our Immigration Compliance and Worksite Enforcement attorneys have extensive experience assisting clients with the following:

  • Developing immigration and employment eligibility verification compliance programs and written policies and procedures.
  • Providing Form I-9 training.
  • Performing Form I-9 reviews and audits.
  • Providing E-Verify training and compliance reviews.
  • Defending criminal investigations and notices of inspection.
  • Conducting immigration-related internal investigations.
  • Keeping employers abreast of changes and trends in I-9 laws and enforcement.
  • Training internal compliance experts.
  • Providing immigration and Form I-9 compliance and risk assessments for mergers and acquisitions.
  • Obtaining nonimmigrant and immigrant visas for employees and creating and maintaining public access and PERM files.
  • Advising universities and schools on SEVIS-related matters.



    False Identification and I-9 Compliance Investigation

    Advising a manufacturing company in an I-9 investigation brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia related to whether company personnel had been involved in knowingly hiring of employees not authorized to work in the United States who presented false identification, assisting employees in obtaining false identification and otherwise failing to comply with I-9 requirements.


    I-9 Compliance and Internal Investigation

    Representation a major Fortune 500 company an in internal investigation related to I-9 Compliance. Conducted internal investigation regarding complaint of alleged fraudulent document ring. Conducted on-site interviews and analysis of I-9 files. Counseled client on use of verification methods in determining employees’ work authorization and on issues regarding Union involvement.


    Immigration Counsel for Over a Decade

    Provide ongoing advice and representation to international financial analytics provider, with several foreign subsidiaries, on hiring foreign workers in various non-immigrant statuses in a variety of categories, including H-1B, L (including blanket L), TN, E-3, and F-1; and obtaining green cards based on labor certifications and as multinational managers.


    Counsel to Higher-Ed on Immigration and I-20 (SEVIS) Matters

    Acted as counsel to colleges and universities on all immigration-related matters, including obtaining nonimmigrant status for faculty and staff (e.g., H-1B, J-1); obtaining green cards based on special procedures for faculty and for outstanding professors and researchers, J-1 programs; and SEVIS-related matters, including response to ICE notice of intent to de-certify program.


    Internal Immigration Reviews and Trainings

    Conducted nationwide internal I-9 and E-Verify review for a major food processor and provided a series of trainings on I-9 and E-Verify compliance to HR personnel; and continuing legal education seminar on immigration law to internal legal staff.

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