September 01, 2013

Visa Basics for Solos

Julie Myers Wood

You are representing a client in the purchase of a home when he mentions that he wants to get the deal done quickly because his visa is about to expire. You are registering an LLC for a client who wants to start a social media company, when the client reveals that she is currently on an L-1 visa. You are defending a commercial litigation case and the client indicates that all your witnesses are working in the United States on B (business) visas. Or you are negotiating a lease for a small restaurant that is expanding; you meet with the owner at his place of business and he introduces you to a few young college students from the United Kingdom who are working as servers on F-1 student visas.

As a sole practitioner focusing on corporate law, real estate, or general litigation, you might find immigration law to appear complex and irrational. And, generally speaking, it is. For that reason a general practitioner should understand the basics of immigration law in order to recognize, as well as avoid, potentially problematic situations. Immigration law is full of nuances and exceptions and requires collaboration with a professional experienced in the area. In the scenarios described above, visa issues may complicate or affect your client’s needs and your legal strategy.

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