USCIS announced that it will now consider a filing or response submitted on paper timely if it is received by the end of the next business day.More
Cozen O’Connor's Immigration Policy and Strategy attorneys have significant experience providing a wide range of legal services to global and multinational employers and individuals seeking temporary and long-term immigration solutions. Our full-service immigration practice advises domestic and international corporations and businesses and their employees in seeking temporary visa options and permanent residence in the U.S. This multidisciplinary approach allows us to integrate our tax, labor and employment, corporate, finance/EB-5, and international attorneys in providing comprehensive, high-quality representation as we develop strategies applicable to all aspects of immigration and nationality law.
Our immigration attorneys have comprehensive knowledge to assist in handling large volume employment-based transactions as well as with acquiring temporary and permanent immigration status for key managers, executives, professionals, athletes, and entertainers. In addition, we represent numerous high net worth individuals seeking to obtain immigration status based on their investments in new or existing enterprises. We work with our clients to develop customized solutions that align with their business needs.
Cozen O’Connor provides comprehensive, innovative and cost-effective solutions to U.S. and multinational companies across a wide range of industries in all aspects of business immigration. We guide and advise companies’ in-house legal and HR departments on immigration processes, multinational mobility programs, training, drafting and implementing policies, procedures and best practices. These often include developing multi-national recruitment and retention programs, as well as related optimized mobility plans, including immigration due diligence on M&A, reorganization, and other corporate transactions.
Our immigration compliance practice assists clients in developing comprehensive strategies to facilitate global employee mobility and addresses all aspects of immigration compliance including Form I-9 and E-Verify. We provide global immigration program support and are continually involved in the development of immigration law and policy as we analyze and interpret the impact of immigration reform within the administration and its effects on our clients and the legal and business community as a whole. In addition, we also provide extensive solutions for family-based immigration issues, including petitions for relatives, naturalization, and other citizenship issues.
At all times our attorneys have a client-focused approach. Communication is our top priority and our attorneys and paralegals always remain accessible to our corporate and individual clients alike. We work to form a true business partnership and tailor our high-quality solutions to complement our clients’ unique business culture and vision. We are forward-thinking and proactive in handling client matters and work to minimize any burden to our clients. We never lose sight that immigration processes ultimately concern the career, family and life plans of individuals. Therefore, when it comes to client services we treat each client with individual care.
Our unique practice groups are populated by attorneys who are extremely knowledgeable in their respective fields. Our service areas include:
Corporate U.S. Immigration Representation
Case preparation and legal analysis for the complete range of corporate immigration transactions:
Nonimmigrant Visas: H-1B, L-1, E-1, E-2, E-3, H-2B, H-3, I, J-1, O-1, P, TN, etc.
Permanent Residence: PERM labor certification (EB-2 and EB-3), extraordinary ability, multinational executives & managers, outstanding professors & researchers, national interest waivers (NIW), skilled workers, EB-5, etc.
Post PR guidance: analysis on impact of international assignments including preservation of LPR status
Corporate immigration policy and program management including reporting, performance metrics, industry benchmarking for best practices, etc.
Due diligence advice on immigration aspects of corporate reorganizations, including M&A, spin-offs and RIFs
Family or Individual Based U.S. Immigration Representation
Citizenship & naturalization, including derivative citizenship and expatriation
Family sponsored permanent residence, including:
Immediate relatives and all family based preference categories
Marriage based including processing under post-DOMA issues
Business Traveler Visa Services and Passport Services
Short term assignment planning and B-1 business visitor visa guidance
Assess if business visa or work permit is required, preparation of visa application support letters, supporting document procurement, application filing, visa pick-up where possible
U.S. passport applications, including initial applications, renewals, additional pages, amendments
U.S. Consular Services at U.S. Embassies and Consular Posts
Assistance with issuance of U.S. visa stamps, scheduling visa appointments, requesting expedited processing and completion of DS forms
Preparation and guidance for interviews and travel, processing requests for waiver of inadmissibility, and processing immediate relative petitions and fiancée applications
Assistance with abandonment of LPR status, U.S. citizenship, and passport applications
Liaison with posts to ensure compliance with local processes, procedures, and document requirements
Global Visa Services
Covering more than 160 countries, Cozen O’Connor attorneys manage global (non-U.S.) visa services, including:
Work permits, study permits, business visitor entry and visitor status
Temporary visas, temporary resident permits and extensions of temporary status
Applications to overcome criminal or medical inadmissibility and immigration status for accompanying dependents
Applications for citizenship and permanent resident status, including skilled worker, family class, employee sponsored and entrepreneur and investor applications
Form I-9 and Immigration Compliance Services
Legal guidance and support during all phases of I-9 process including completion, signature, storage, maintenance and administration
Confirmation of employment eligibility and SSN no-match consultations
I-9/E-Verify consultation and implementation, policy review and electronic I-9 storage issues
Assistance with 'historical' I-9 forms, including spotting error trends, facilitating corrections, and conducting internal audit
I-9 audits following notification of a government audit
Issues related to federal contractors and their subcontractors
Compliance training services for internal staff designed to streamline I-9 processes
Conduct training on non-discrimination and I-9 IRCA employment eligibility best practices
Monitor compliance with LCA public inspection files for H-1B petitions
Ensure compliance with agency requirements governing labor certifications (PERM applications)
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
USCIS administers the EB-5 Program. Under this program, investors (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) if they make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States and plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. We assist clients with EB-5 visa applications for both individual and regional center processes. Our integrated one-stop approach helps our clients plan ahead for this detailed process that encompasses issues within not only immigration, but financing, real estate, tax, and insurance, among other potential issues.
In this area, services we offer include the following:
Consultation and support through the completion of the three-step process leading to unrestricted permanent residence in the United States including:
Completing and filing the investment application on Form I-526
Managing the consular processing through a U.S. Embassy or filing for adjustment of status in the United States leading to conditional residence status
Filing to remove conditional status within 90 days of the two-year anniversary of receiving the green card
Assistance with source and path of the investment funds used for this process
Business plans, econometric reports, escrow accounts, and project document checklists
Application for the designation of new regional centers
Review and support maintaining EB-5 immigration law compliance
Our immigration attorneys work closely with Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, a bipartisan government relations firm that represents clients before all branches of the federal government. We continuously monitor activity in the policy-making arena through our contacts with government agencies and decision makers both in the U.S. and abroad. In addition, we provide advice on state and local immigration laws and compliance issues, and liaison with USCIS Service Centers and other federal offices when government error is involved. We anticipate change and seek to proactively counsel our clients how to best manage their immigration programs in light of any forthcoming developments.
March 31, 2023
USCIS announced that it will now consider a filing or response submitted on paper timely if it is received by the end of the next business day.
March 28, 2023
USCIS announced that certain flexibilities it first announced in March 2020 to address the COVID-19 pandemic will end on March 23, 2023.
March 28, 2023
USCIS announced it received enough electronic registrations during the initial registration period to reach FY2024 H-1B numerical allocations (H-1B Cap).
March 22, 2023
USCIS recently announced a new process for lawful permanent residents to receive temporary evidence of their lawful permanent resident status by mail.
January 30, 2023
USCIS announced that the initial registration period for the FY2024 H-1B Cap Lottery will begin on March 1, 2023, and run through March 17, 2023.
January 25, 2023
As the result of a settlement of a class action lawsuit challenging H-4 and L-2 adjudication delays, USCIS has agreed to resume bundling some applications.
January 24, 2023
USCIS announced it will extend the validity of Green Cards for those who properly file Form I-751 for 48 months beyond the card’s expiration date.
January 13, 2023
USCIS announced it is implementing the final phase of its planned premium processing expansion for Form I-140.
January 09, 2023
USCIS published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to adjust certain benefit request fees, which haven’t been changed since 2016.
January 03, 2023
Beth Olivera and Fran Rayer discuss the Department of State's announcement that they are extending the authority of consular officers to waive in-person interviews for certain nonimmigrant visa categories through December 31, 2023.
December 28, 2022
Beth Olivera and Fran Rayer discuss the USCIS's recently released information regarding nonimmigrant workers whose employment is terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily. This release gave a detailed summary of the possible options for nonimmigrant workers who were terminated from their employment.
December 12, 2022
Effective Dec. 12, 2022, USCIS will automatically extend the validity of Green Cards for lawful permanent residents who have applied for naturalization.
November 09, 2022
The TSA has extended the requirement for all nonimmigrant foreign nationals to present proof of being fully vaccinated prior to entering the United States.
October 26, 2022
USCIS granted 60 more days to respond to Notices of Intent to Deny/Revoke/Rescind & Requests for Evidence if issued between March 1, 2020, and January 24, 2023.
October 18, 2022
DHS and ICE announced that an extension of the Form I-9 flexibilities will continue for another nine months until July 31, 2023.
October 07, 2022
Although the current administration has stated its desire to eliminate the DV Lottery program, it will go forward this year.
October 04, 2022
USCIS will extend the temporary waiver of the "60-day rule" for Form I-693.
September 29, 2022
Effective September 26, 2022, USCIS began automatically extending the validity of Green Cards to 24 months for lawful permanent residents who file a Form I-90.
September 19, 2022
On September 15, 2022, USCIS announced the next phase of the premium processing expansion for certain petitioners.
September 08, 2022
On 9/6/22, USCIS announced it has used nearly all available EB visas for this fiscal year and will exhaust the 281,507 EB visas by the end of the month.
August 25, 2022
Fran Rayer discusses USCIS's announcement that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B regular cap and the 20,000 H-1B advanced-degree exemption for fiscal year 2023 (FY23).
August 22, 2022
Fran Rayer discusses certain flexibilities with respect to various petitions filed with USCIS and the possibility of USCIS extending these flexibilities indefinitely.
August 18, 2022
David Adams authored an article about employers who employ or wants to employ a foreign worker for permanent residence.
July 19, 2022
On July 6, 2022, DHS announced that employers are required to update their Forms I-9 by July 31, 2022, for all employees who completed their I-9 verifications with expired documents between May 1, 2020, and April 30, 2022.
July 18, 2022
We previously alerted our readership in May 2022 that USCIS was implementing premium processing for certain I-140 petitions in the EB-1 and EB-2 categories. The availability of premium processing for previously filed I-140 petitions referred only to EB-1 multinational executive and manager I-140 petitions and EB-2 petitions filed for advanced degree professionals or members of the professions with an advanced degree or exceptional ability petitions seeking a national interest waiver.
May 25, 2022
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced premium processing for certain petitioners.
May 04, 2022
This May, USCIS announced a Temporary Final Rule increasing the automatic extension period for certain Employment Authorization Documents for up to 540 days.
April 04, 2022
Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss USICS's announcement that it had received enough electronic registrations during the initial registration period to reach the FY 2023.
April 01, 2022
Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss the USCIS plan aimed to increase efficiency and reduce burdens to the legal immigration system.
January 31, 2022
Beth Olivera and Fran Rayer discuss the initial registration period for the FY2023 H-1B Cap Lottery. It will begin on March 1, 2022, and run through March 18, 2022.
November 22, 2021
Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss USCIS's new policy that automatically extends employment authorization for dependent spouses in L-2 and E-1/E-2/E-3 status and also automatically extends employment authorization for certain H-4 spouses.
November 18, 2021
Scott Bettridge authored an article about the United States reopening its border to international travelers from 33 countries including Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and the European Schengen area (EU) and with this new proclamation has implemented a global vaccination requirement for all adult foreign national air travelers pursuant to CDC-specific regulations.
November 16, 2021
Beth Olivera and Fran Rayer discuss USCIS's new policy guidance to address the structural changes for nonimmigrant H-4 and L-2 spouses seeking employment authorization.
October 28, 2021
Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss President Biden's proclamation lifting travel restrictions on people traveling from Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
October 19, 2021
Beth Olivera and Fran Rayer discuss Biden's easing of travel restrictions on all fully vaccinated international travelers.
October 12, 2021
Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss the 2023 diversity visa lottery registration program.
September 21, 2021
Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss Biden administration's plans to ease travel restrictions on all international travelers coming into the United States.
August 30, 2021
Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss the CDC's new policy requiring immigrants inside the United States seeking adjustment of status to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
August 02, 2021
Beth Olivera and Fran Rayer discuss USCIS 's decision that it will no longer accept written requests to reschedule biometric services appointments at application support centers
June 10, 2021
Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss the USCIS's new policy updates to the policy manual that will clarify the criteria and circumstances for expedited processing; improve the existing request for evidence and notice of intent to deny guidance; and increase the validity period for initial and renewal employment authorization documents for certain noncitizens with pending adjustment of status applications.
May 27, 2021
Fran Rayer and Elizebeth Olivera discuss the CBP and DOS announcement that U.S. citizens with expired U.S. passports may return to the United States.
May 17, 2021
Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss USCIS suspending the biometric requirements for certain I-539 applicants for a two-year period beginning on May 17, 2021.
May 03, 2021
Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss Biden's restriction on travel to India.
April 28, 2021
Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss USCIS's new policy guidance to address the issue of deference to prior approvals when adjudicating a request for an extension.
February 26, 2021
Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss Biden revoking Trump's travel ban.
February 26, 2021
Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss E-3 premium processing service. The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia who are coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation.
February 25, 2021
Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss DHS's and ICE's new flexibility policy when it comes to in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9
February 08, 2021
Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss the timing for the initial registration period for the FY2022 H-1B Cap Lottery.
February 01, 2021
Beth Olivera and Fran Rayer discuss USCIS decision to extend deadlines for responding to specific requests from the agency. USCIS will consider a response to the qualifying requests and notices timely filed if they are received within 60 calendar days after the response due date set on the request or notice.
October 16, 2020
Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Oilvera discuss USCIS's announcement that it will increase fees for premium processing, to take effect Monday, October 19, 2020.
October 08, 2020
Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss the DHS and DOL's interim final rules on H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visas.
October 06, 2020
Fran Rayer discusses the process for the 2022 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program.
September 08, 2020
On August 3, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a Final Rule that alters the USCIS filing Fee Schedule. On average, the filing fees were increased overall by approximately 20 percent.
July 16, 2020
Scott Bettridge discusses new Florida legislation requiring all government employers and certain private employers to use E-Verify beginning January 1, 2021.
July 15, 2020
Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss the settlement in President and Fellows of Harvard College et al. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., allowing foreign students to remain in the United States even if all classes will be online.
July 15, 2020
Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera discuss the resumption of Visa services at certain U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.
July 01, 2020
Frances Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera addressed common questions related to immigration and COVID-19.
July 01, 2020
Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss the furloughs at USCIS.
June 23, 2020
Fran Rayer, Scott Bettrigde, Daniela Berisiartu Barshel, and Elizabeth Olivera discuss President Trump's extension of Proclamation 10014.
May 29, 2020
Fran Rayer and Elizabeth Olivera discuss USCIS decision to resume offering premium processing services for cases involving Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, in phases over the month of June.
April 29, 2020
Scott Bettridge discusses what employers need to know about the new I-9 Form.
April 23, 2020
Fran Rayer, Scott Bettridge, Daniela Barshel, and Elizabeth Olivera discuss what President Trump's temporary suspension of certain categories of immigrants from entering the United States means and who is impacted.
March 18, 2020
Fran Rayer and Beth Olivera explain what the USCIS canceling all face-to-face appointments, interviews, and events, including asylum interviews and citizenship ceremonies, means for applicants and petitioners.
March 17, 2020
Fran Rayer discusses the temporary suspension of premium processing service for fiscal year (FY) 2021 cap-subject H-1B petitions.
February 03, 2020
Scott Bettridge discusses changes to the I-9 form, effective immediately.
December 16, 2019
Learn about the changes USCIS announced for its online registration system that will be implemented in the 2020 H-1B lottery.
November 25, 2019
Fran Rayer discusses the proposed increased fees for green cards applications, associated work and travel authorizations, and citizenship filing fees.
November 18, 2019
Fran Rayer and Velika A. Nespor discuss what employers should do when they receive an SSA no match letters.
November 07, 2019
Fran Rayer discusses the extension of Temporary Protected Status related documentation for beneficiaries under the TPS designation for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan through January 4, 2021.
October 02, 2019
Frances P. Rayer discusses what you need to know about the 2021 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, including dates the lottery is open and who is eligible to enter.
July 01, 2019
Velika A. Nespor and Frances Rayer discuss the new requirements for all nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applicants.
May 01, 2019
Scott Bettridge discuses the U.S. Department of State's announcement that a treaty investor agreement has finally been executed between Israel and the United States and effective May 1, 2019, Israeli citizens may now apply for the E-2 Visa classification at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
March 06, 2019
Velika Nespor and Frances Rayer discuss USCIS's automatic extension of TPS status until January 2, 2020.
February 22, 2019
Scott Bettridge discussed the importance of local businesses in South Florida making immigration compliance a top priority.
November 16, 2018
Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, wrote an article in Law360 about the impact on Canadians that are involved in a cannabis business entering the United States.
September 25, 2018
Scott Bettridge warns Canadian professionals employed in the cannabis industry that travel to the United States may not lead to routine entry and should continue to exercise caution on any upcoming travels.
September 10, 2018
Frances Rayer discusses DHS's increase in fees for premium processing of certain employment-based immigrant benefit requests.
August 29, 2018
Frances Rayer discusses that the temporary suspension of premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions will continue and be expanded; beginning September 11, 2018, and continuing through February 19, 2019.
June 07, 2018
Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, discussed in The Business Journals immigration enforcement in the Trump administration.
November 30, 2022
U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 30 practice areas nationwide and 115 practice areas regionally.
August 22, 2022
210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
July 11, 2022
For 30 years, The Legal 500 has assessed the strengths of law firms in more than 100 jurisdictions. The rankings use a series of criteria, including client feedback, submissions from law firms, and interviews with leading private practice lawyers.
June 02, 2022
Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 86 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2022 edition.
December 21, 2021
Scott Bettridge was quoted in HR Dive discussing the decrease in H-1B visas.
November 04, 2021
U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers recognized Cozen O’Connor as a “Best Law Firm” in 29 practice areas nationwide and 121 practice areas regionally.
August 09, 2021
Scott Bettridge joined the Miami Global Net podcast to discuss the immigration categories into the United States, the impact COVID-19 has on immigration, and his perspective going forward.
June 17, 2021
The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O’Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, Jeffrey Mullen, Josh Stein, Jeff Vogel, and Rachel Welford to its 2021 Legal Guide.
May 26, 2021
Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the United States, has ranked 82 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the guide’s 2021 edition; of those, 15 lawyers have been recognized nationally.
June 22, 2020
The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O’Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Stephen Cozen, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, Jeffrey Mullen, Josh Stein, Christopher Sweeney, and Jeff Vogel to its 2020 Legal Guide.
March 25, 2020
Scott Bettridge was quoted in The Real Deal discussing the changes in the EB-5 program and how that could have an impact during a pandemic.
November 21, 2019
Scott Bettridge discussed the changes that have taken place regarding the EB-5 investor visa program with the Miami Herald.
November 19, 2019
Cozen O’Connor attorney Elizabeth Olivera, an associate in the firm’s national Labor & Employment practice in Chicago, has been named to the Board of Directors of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA).
November 05, 2019
The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations and peer review from leading attorneys in their field.
August 28, 2019
Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
June 14, 2019
The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O'Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, and Jeffrey Mullen to its 2019 Legal Guide.
January 09, 2019
Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, was quoted in Human Resource Executive discussing the proposed H-1B visa rule.
October 22, 2018
Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, did a question and answer in Forbes discussing the recent impact on immigration with the legalization of marijuana in Canada.
October 21, 2018
Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, was quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times discussing the recent impact on immigration with the legalization of marijuana in Canada.
October 18, 2018
Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, was quoted in Politico discussing the recent impact on immigration with the legalization of marijuana in Canada.
October 16, 2018
Scott Bettridge, chair of Cozen O'Connor's Immigration practice, spoke with USA Today about the legalization of marijuana across Canada and the widespread fear that U.S. border guards will block Canadians working in the cannabis industry from traveling south into the United States.
August 22, 2018
One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.