If you don’t have a corporate immigration policy, now may be the time

October 05, 2017

Immigration Law Alert

Author(s): Courtney H. New

If you sponsor foreign workers for non-immigrant visas (H-1B, L-1A/B, E-3, etc.) and Lawful Permanent Resident status (i.e., green card) or have foreign employees traveling to the U.S. via the Visa Waiver Program or on B-1 visa, you should consider creating a Corporate Immigration Policy.

Have you ever sponsored a foreign worker for a non-immigrant visa (H-1B, L-1A/B, E-3, etc.) or Lawful Permanent Resident status (i.e., green card)? Do you have foreign employees traveling to the U.S. via the Visa Waiver Program or on B-1 visas? If the answer to either or both of these questions is yes, you may want to consider creating a Corporate Immigration Policy.

A Corporate Immigration Policy outlines the processes, policies and procedures a company has adopted with respect to sponsoring foreign employees for immigration benefits. For example, the policy can stipulate that the employer company will only sponsor non-immigrant visas, or that the employer will only undertake green card sponsorship after a specified period of satisfactory performance. In addition to ensuring the consistent application of the employer’s sponsorship practices, creating a Corporate Immigration Policy has a number of other benefits:

  • Serves as a potential recruiting tool by communicating an employer’s willingness to support non-immigrant and/or immigrant visa processes, which for foreign nationals can be a critical differentiator when weighing career options.
  • Ensures that foreign employees entering the U.S. as business visitors via the Visa Waiver Program or B-1 visas are engaging only in activities authorized by that status and not putting the U.S. employer at risk.
  • Eliminates the potential for discrimination claims that can result from the inconsistent treatment of foreign nationals.


  • Documents the employer’s understanding of and efforts to comply with immigration laws and regulations in the event of an audit or investigation.
  • Defines the costs to be covered by the company and the foreign national at the outset.

Creating and implementing a Corporate Immigration Policy is not a necessity for every U.S. employer, but it can be particularly helpful for employers that regularly sponsor non-immigrant visas and those offering green card sponsorship.

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel. If you have any questions or require any further information regarding these or other related matters, please contact your regular Nixon Peabody LLP representative. This material may be considered advertising under certain rules of professional conduct.

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