Employment immigration is an essential part of doing business in a global economy. Our law firm has been helping business clients navigate immigration and global mobility issues for more than 25 years. Pierce Atwood attorneys provide comprehensive immigration services for temporary international business travel, short- and long-term international assignments, permanent transfers and the local hire of foreign workers. Our experience working with clients on legal, regulatory and business immigration issues allows us to provide strategic advice and cost effective immigration solutions that help our clients succeed in the global marketplace.

Our lawyers use leading edge technologies that are customized for each client to streamline the immigration process, increase efficiency, facilitate communication, and reduce cost. We are committed to continuous improvement in client service and have recently engaged with corporate clients on the application of Lean Six Sigma methodologies to our business immigration services as a method of achieving continuous improvement while reducing cost.

Areas of Expertise

BTS USA, Inc.

Covetrus

IDEXX Laboratories, Inc.

Inland Technologies

The Jackson Laboratory

Persimmon Technologies

UNUM

WEX Inc.

Woodard & Curran

We provide corporate immigration services for clients with multi-national business operations or whose business needs require local hire of foreign workers. Our clients include publicly traded Fortune 500 companies with annual revenue in excess of $10 billion, as well as small businesses, foreign investors and start-ups. An important aspect of our business immigration practice is obtaining appropriate employment-based visas for foreign workers needed by clients in labor-short or special skills occupations, as well as for executives, managers, and key employees on cross-border assignment.

Representative Experience

Our client, Maine Medical Partners, an affiliate of MaineHealth, identified a talented Pediatric Surgeon completing a term as Chief Resident in Pediatric General Surgery at the University of New Brunswick in Vancouver. The candidate was immediately eligible for licensure, but because she had completed both her medical education and residency in Canada, she was unable to proceed with an H-1B immigration strategy unless she completed all 3 steps of the United States Medical Licensing Exam, something which served no real professional purpose and which, with her very busy schedule as a Chief Resident and Pediatric Surgeon, she would prefer to avoid. We recommended and obtained O-1 "extraordinary worker" status for the physician, allowing her to avoid taking an otherwise unnecessary USMLE exam, and placing her in a position to begin her work at the earliest possible date providing critical pediatric surgical care within Maine's largest healthcare network, serving as a primary resource for The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center, the leading provider of surgical care for children in Maine, southern New Hampshire and southern Vermont.

Creative Immigration Solutions in Health Care

We provide a full range of corporate immigration services for IDEXX, a worldwide leader in providing diagnostic, detection, and information systems for veterinary, dairy, and water testing applications. IDEXX is a publicly traded company with annual revenue in excess of $1.1 billion and employs more than 4500 people at over 70 locations in 16 countries on 5 continents. We work closely with IDEXX to identify and accomplish its business objectives, including, for example, by providing immigration support for the acquisition of a leading veterinary diagnostic laboratory in Canada, intra-company transfers necessary for the growth and development of business lines in Europe and the reorganization of business units in Europe, Canada and the United States, assisting with immigration strategies to allow IDEXX to expand and develop new markets in Japan, and with the design and implementation of global recruitment strategies for veterinary diagnostic pathologists, veterinary technicians, and IT engineers needed for the development and support of new product lines.

IDEXX Corporate Immigration Support for Global Business

We provide a full range of immigration and compliance-related support for WEX, including immigration and compliance support relating to corporate acquisitions, as well as immigration support for H-1B, TN, and employment-based green cards. WEX is a global provider of value-based business payment processing and information management solutions. Established in 1983 (formerly Wright Express Corporation), WEX has been publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange since February 16, 2005 (NYSE:WEX).

Immigration and Compliance Support WEX

We provide immigration support for The Jackson Laboratory, an independent nonprofit biomedical research institution whose mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health. Founded in 1929, JAX now operates state-of-the art research facilities in Bar Harbor, Maine; Sacramento, California; Farmington, Connecticut; and Ellsworth, Maine. The Jackson Laboratory Cancer Center is one of just a small number of United States National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Centers in the United States. The Jackson Laboratory researchers take an integrated approach to precision medicine, combining expertise in cancer, immunology, neurogenetics, computational biology, and life-cycle biology. 

Immigration Support for The Jackson Laboratory

We have served as outside immigration counsel for BTS for more than 10 years, providing a broad range of immigration solutions allowing BTS to hire, retain and deploy the talent it needs for global delivery. BTS is a global professional services firm providing management consulting and business training solutions for business strategy execution, business leadership development, and sales transformation. BTS is among the leading firms in the world in the field of business strategy implementation.

International Mobility for BTS Cross Border Consulting Projects

Pierce Atwood serves as outside immigration counsel for Unum, the largest provider of disability insurance products in the United States and the United Kingdom, employing more than 9,000 people, with total revenue for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2016 in excess of $11.05 billion. A Fortune 500 company, Unum Group is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “UNM.”

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International Mobility in Key Technology Positions at Unum

When our client, BTS, an international management consulting and business training firm based in Stockholm, acquired Wizerize, a leading technology and consulting company based in Copenhagen, BTS turned to the Pierce Atwood immigration team for assistance with the design and implementation of cost-effective immigration strategies that would allow key Wizerize talent from Copenhagen to work collaboratively in the United States with the BTS Digital Services Division on the business integration of the Web 2.0 technology platform – Wizer® – developed and built by Wizerize.

Post-Acquisition Integration of International Talent

Cherryfield Foods

Maine Forest Products Council

Robinson Lumber

We provide a full range of corporate immigration services, including policy guidance and support for corporate immigration programs, audit support, and assistance with immigration-related compliance issues such as IRCA/I-9 and Labor Condition Application documentation. We provide training and educational services for in-house staff and employees. We have substantial experience representing employers in ICE and DOL audits and enforcement actions.

Representative Experience

We obtained dismissal of a complaint filed by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) alleging that our client, Cherryfield Foods, failed to comply with I-9 requirements making it illegal for an employer to hire an individual for employment in the United States unless the employer has complied with rules relating to verification of employment authorization and recordkeeping. Count I alleged there were 147 Cherryfield employees with I-9s containing substantive paperwork violations. Count II alleged there were 160 employees for whom Cherryfield failed to produce and/or never prepared an I-9. The complaint sought a total proposed civil penalty in the aggregate amounting to over $330,000. In response to the complaint, we filed a motion to dismiss, accompanied by substantial supporting documentation, arguing that Count I should be dismissed because ICE conducted the inspection in a manner that effectively precluded Cherryfield from correcting technical paperwork violations and completely disregarded its own internal guidelines, and that Count II should be dismissed because the employees identified in Count II were hired before 2006 and after 2007, or were grandfathered under the statute, and Cherryfield did not provide I-9s for the vast majority of these employees only because the ICE I-9 inspection request was limited to I-9s for 2006-2007. In response to our motion, ICE moved to dismiss the complaint and its motion was granted, relieving Cherryfield completely from any liability for the proposed penalties.

Cherryfield Foods Dismissal of ICE Complaint

Central Maine Healthcare

Down East Community Hospital

Houlton Regional Hospital

MaineGeneral Health

MaineHealth

Maine Medical Center

Martin’s Point Health Care

PenBay Healthcare

For more than 25 years, we have provided comprehensive immigration services to healthcare organizations and healthcare professionals. We serve as general outside immigration counsel for more than a dozen healthcare organizations in New England, including Maine's largest healthcare organization, as well as healthcare organizations serving remote and rural HPSA/MUA communities.

Our immigration group partners with medical directors, human resources personnel, recruiters, in-house counsel, physicians, and other healthcare professionals in obtaining temporary and permanent visas. We have a substantial background in all work-related visa classifications and provide strategic guidance to healthcare clients at all stages of the employment relationship. Our experience working with healthcare clients on legal, regulatory and employment-related immigration issues allows us to provide strategic advice and cost-effective immigration solutions. Our applications account for a significant share of all Conrad 30 approvals in Maine and for virtually all of the Flex 5/Flex 10 approvals in Maine.

Representative Experience

We have served as outside immigration counsel for MaineGeneral Health and its affiliates for more than 20 years.  MaineGeneral Health and its affiliates form Maine's third-largest health care system and the largest health care system in central Maine. We have designed and implemented a broad range of immigration strategies on behalf of MaineGeneral Health and its physicians, including Conrad 30 waiver applications, H-1Bs, O-1s, and employment-based green cards.

Conrad 30 and Immigration Support for Physicians at MaineGeneral Health

Cavendish Farms

Irving Consumer Products

Irving Woodlands

Midland Transport

N.B. Southern Railway

Portland Pipe Line Corporation

Twin Rivers Paper Company LLC

Our US immigration practice is global, but due to our relatively close proximity to the Canadian border, we have substantial experience assisting businesses and business investors with US-Canada business immigration needs. By working regularly with US-Canada business immigration issues, we are able to help our clients take full advantage of the many unique immigration opportunities available to US and Canadian citizens under the North American Free Trade Act.

Representative Experience

We provided immigration support for NAFTA L-1 and TN applications required for a core project team to accomplish a high-value internal business improvement project involving roll-out and “go live” implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications for Cavendish Farms facilities in the United States and Canada. 

NAFTA Immigration Support for Corporate Cross-Border Enterprise Resource Planning Project

Representative Experience

We obtained dismissal of a complaint filed by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) alleging that our client, Cherryfield Foods, failed to comply with I-9 requirements making it illegal for an employer to hire an individual for employment in the United States unless the employer has complied with rules relating to verification of employment authorization and recordkeeping. Count I alleged there were 147 Cherryfield employees with I-9s containing substantive paperwork violations. Count II alleged there were 160 employees for whom Cherryfield failed to produce and/or never prepared an I-9. The complaint sought a total proposed civil penalty in the aggregate amounting to over $330,000. In response to the complaint, we filed a motion to dismiss, accompanied by substantial supporting documentation, arguing that Count I should be dismissed because ICE conducted the inspection in a manner that effectively precluded Cherryfield from correcting technical paperwork violations and completely disregarded its own internal guidelines, and that Count II should be dismissed because the employees identified in Count II were hired before 2006 and after 2007, or were grandfathered under the statute, and Cherryfield did not provide I-9s for the vast majority of these employees only because the ICE I-9 inspection request was limited to I-9s for 2006-2007. In response to our motion, ICE moved to dismiss the complaint and its motion was granted, relieving Cherryfield completely from any liability for the proposed penalties.

Cherryfield Foods Dismissal of ICE Complaint

We have served as outside immigration counsel for MaineGeneral Health and its affiliates for more than 20 years.  MaineGeneral Health and its affiliates form Maine's third-largest health care system and the largest health care system in central Maine. We have designed and implemented a broad range of immigration strategies on behalf of MaineGeneral Health and its physicians, including Conrad 30 waiver applications, H-1Bs, O-1s, and employment-based green cards.

Conrad 30 and Immigration Support for Physicians at MaineGeneral Health

Our client, Maine Medical Partners, an affiliate of MaineHealth, identified a talented Pediatric Surgeon completing a term as Chief Resident in Pediatric General Surgery at the University of New Brunswick in Vancouver. The candidate was immediately eligible for licensure, but because she had completed both her medical education and residency in Canada, she was unable to proceed with an H-1B immigration strategy unless she completed all 3 steps of the United States Medical Licensing Exam, something which served no real professional purpose and which, with her very busy schedule as a Chief Resident and Pediatric Surgeon, she would prefer to avoid. We recommended and obtained O-1 "extraordinary worker" status for the physician, allowing her to avoid taking an otherwise unnecessary USMLE exam, and placing her in a position to begin her work at the earliest possible date providing critical pediatric surgical care within Maine's largest healthcare network, serving as a primary resource for The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center, the leading provider of surgical care for children in Maine, southern New Hampshire and southern Vermont.

Creative Immigration Solutions in Health Care

We provide a full range of corporate immigration services for IDEXX, a worldwide leader in providing diagnostic, detection, and information systems for veterinary, dairy, and water testing applications. IDEXX is a publicly traded company with annual revenue in excess of $1.1 billion and employs more than 4500 people at over 70 locations in 16 countries on 5 continents. We work closely with IDEXX to identify and accomplish its business objectives, including, for example, by providing immigration support for the acquisition of a leading veterinary diagnostic laboratory in Canada, intra-company transfers necessary for the growth and development of business lines in Europe and the reorganization of business units in Europe, Canada and the United States, assisting with immigration strategies to allow IDEXX to expand and develop new markets in Japan, and with the design and implementation of global recruitment strategies for veterinary diagnostic pathologists, veterinary technicians, and IT engineers needed for the development and support of new product lines.

IDEXX Corporate Immigration Support for Global Business

We provide a full range of immigration and compliance-related support for WEX, including immigration and compliance support relating to corporate acquisitions, as well as immigration support for H-1B, TN, and employment-based green cards. WEX is a global provider of value-based business payment processing and information management solutions. Established in 1983 (formerly Wright Express Corporation), WEX has been publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange since February 16, 2005 (NYSE:WEX).

Immigration and Compliance Support WEX

Our client, Irving Tissue, a leading manufacturer of household-name-brand tissue for markets in the US and Canada, contracted with Metso, a global manufacturer of tissue and paper making equipment, for the manufacture and installation of a Thru-Air Drying (TAD) tissue machine at the Irving Tissue facility in upstate New York. The purchase and installation of the TAD technology was a key element in a $120 million expansion project involving hundreds of US workers, including maintenance and engineering employees employed at the US facility, as well as various contractors and subcontractors performing work on the project. We designed and implemented a strategy to provide necessary immigration support for the TAD project and, during a 4-month project window, obtained Port of Entry approvals for 27 intra-company transfers on behalf of various maintenance, engineering, operating, and management employees temporarily re-assigned from Canadian facilities in New Brunswick and Ontario to the TAD project, as well as providing immigration support for temporary business visits by project support professionals from Europe and Australia. Each intra-company transfer and business visit was completed on-time and on budget, helping place our client in the best possible position to accomplish the capital improvement project with minimal disruption to its business operations.

Immigration Support for Cross-Border Capital Improvement Project

We provide immigration support for Bates College on a broad range of questions relating to immigration status, international travel, and visa documentation for international faculty and students, including advice and counsel relating to questions arising under the Trump Administration travel ban.

Immigration Support for International Students and Faculty at Bates College

We provide immigration support for The Jackson Laboratory, an independent nonprofit biomedical research institution whose mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health. Founded in 1929, JAX now operates state-of-the art research facilities in Bar Harbor, Maine; Sacramento, California; Farmington, Connecticut; and Ellsworth, Maine. The Jackson Laboratory Cancer Center is one of just a small number of United States National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Centers in the United States. The Jackson Laboratory researchers take an integrated approach to precision medicine, combining expertise in cancer, immunology, neurogenetics, computational biology, and life-cycle biology. 

Immigration Support for The Jackson Laboratory

We have served as outside immigration counsel for BTS for more than 10 years, providing a broad range of immigration solutions allowing BTS to hire, retain and deploy the talent it needs for global delivery. BTS is a global professional services firm providing management consulting and business training solutions for business strategy execution, business leadership development, and sales transformation. BTS is among the leading firms in the world in the field of business strategy implementation.

International Mobility for BTS Cross Border Consulting Projects

Pierce Atwood serves as outside immigration counsel for Unum, the largest provider of disability insurance products in the United States and the United Kingdom, employing more than 9,000 people, with total revenue for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2016 in excess of $11.05 billion. A Fortune 500 company, Unum Group is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “UNM.”

More
International Mobility in Key Technology Positions at Unum

We provided immigration support for NAFTA L-1 and TN applications required for a core project team to accomplish a high-value internal business improvement project involving roll-out and “go live” implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications for Cavendish Farms facilities in the United States and Canada. 

NAFTA Immigration Support for Corporate Cross-Border Enterprise Resource Planning Project

When our client, BTS, an international management consulting and business training firm based in Stockholm, acquired Wizerize, a leading technology and consulting company based in Copenhagen, BTS turned to the Pierce Atwood immigration team for assistance with the design and implementation of cost-effective immigration strategies that would allow key Wizerize talent from Copenhagen to work collaboratively in the United States with the BTS Digital Services Division on the business integration of the Web 2.0 technology platform – Wizer® – developed and built by Wizerize.

Post-Acquisition Integration of International Talent