Delays, Denials, & DUIs – Navigating Business Immigration During the War on Talent


Delays, Denials, & DUIs – Navigating Business Immigration During the War on Talent

Speaker Spotlight with Allison-Claire Acker & Avi Friedman

Delays, Denials, & DUIs – Navigating Business Immigration During the War on Talent Speaker Spotlight with Allison-Claire Acker & Avi Friedman

Delays, Denials, & DUIs – Navigating Business Immigration During the War on Talent

In 2020, the war for talent is high, and as a result, it’s increasingly difficult to hire foreign talent. If hiring a global workforce is part of your talent strategy, then knowing the latest California employment law is paramount. Join presenters Allison-Claire Acker & Avi Friedman from Wolfsdorf Rosenthal at a PIHRA 2020 Legal Update near you. Their session “Delays, Denials, & DUIs – Navigating Business Immigration During the War on Talent” will be informative and entertaining. These expert attorneys will guide HR through the most prevalent immigration related problems for business, while providing tangible solutions to implement.

Allison-Claire Acker & Avi Friedman will provide takeaways such as:

  • Educating/Guiding recruiters on selecting approvable foreign national candidates
  • Red Flags – Educational degrees, salary limitations, understanding the new H-1B lottery selection process
  • Why PERM is a more attractive option for Green Cards in today’s labor market
  • Haunting Criminal Past – How to handle employees with arrest, white collar crimes, DUIs, Automatic visa cancellations and related barriers.
  • Hiring Quick Tips: Key Takeaways for HR to share with recruiters about selecting the right talent for immigration purposes
  • Toolkit: Step by step guide for obtaining approvals by preparing employees for successful consular interviews
  • Step by Step Guide for tackling criminal issues and maximizing chances of approval
  • Best Practices – Useful Tools & Tech Solutions: Staying organized and up-to-date with immigration matters.
  • Proactive Measures – Data Readiness for mergers and acquisitions, and various business efforts

Firstly, these hot topic issues cover factors to consider when selecting the right foreign talent. Secondly, they’ll cover best options to obtain green cards for employees in today’s climate. Thirdly, they’ll cover how to spot and handle criminal issues. Learn best practices and tips ranging from evaluating educational credentials for potential hires to identifying the foreign-national friendly U.S. airports.

In order to uncover the full value of their session, Baskaran Ambalavanan interviewed Allison-Claire and Avi. Read on to learn more about hiring global talent and what you can expect at the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update.

Speaker Spotlight: Allison-Claire Acker & Avi Friedman, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal

Special thanks to contributing writer and PIHRA Programs Chair, Baskaran Ambalavanan. Baskaran conducted this interview with PIHRA 2020 Legal Update presenters Allison-Claire Acker and Avi Friedman.

PIHRA: What are three things to look for in foreign candidates that can help employers get the difficult H1B approval?

Allison-Claire Acker & Avi Friedman: Finding quality, eligible talent is key.

Employers should use the following 3 point criteria in selecting candidates. 

  • Education – Master’s degrees and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields are preferred.
  • Work experience – It’s challenging to verify foreign work experience. Look for candidates that have 4 year degrees and work experience that does not require an equivalency evaluation.
  • Avoid problematic areas – Avoid 3 year degrees that are not equivalent to U.S. 4 year accredited degree programs. Securing H visas for sales, entertainment, and marketing are extremely challenging and often are ultimately denied even if initially accepted in the lottery.

How can HR prepare the Talent Acquisition team to select the right candidates for immigration – education degrees, verifying foreign work experience and the new H-1B lottery selection process?

Allison-Claire Acker & Avi Friedman: This goes hand in hand with the first question. STEM qualified candidates may have extra time to get the employee onboard.

  • Wait times vary by nationality
  • Degree by an accredited non-profit institution — 3 vs 4 year degrees
  • Masters degrees preferred
  • Preference for STEM OPT candidates: 1 year, plus 24 month extensions- means more opportunities to enter the H-1B lottery

What is PERM and why is it attractive for green card processing?

Allison-Claire Acker & Avi Friedman: PERM is the current name of the process for obtaining labor certification, the first step of the green card process for certain foreign nationals seeking lawful permanent residence “green cards” through their employment. The U.S. employer requests a permanent labor certification by completing an Application for Permanent Employment Certification (“ETA Form 9089”).

PERM is attractive because there is a high approval rate from current historically low unemployment. By contrast, the EB11 category is currently experiencing retrogression which means an additional wait of 6 months to a year for an immigrant visa on top of processing delays.

What are tips for handling employees with DUI arrests and white-collar crimes, particularly for H1B employees who can be deported upon conviction and end of their serving time?

Allison-Claire Acker & Avi Friedman: It is critical for immigration counsel to coordinate with criminal defense counsel prior to any plea in an effort to mitigate immigration consequences. A DUI arrest alone will likely trigger visa revocation.

Why are you excited to present at the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update?

Allison-Claire Acker: I am passionate about teaching since I come from a family of educators. I have a background in employment law, so attending PIHRA is dear to my heart. It bridges my experience in employment and immigration law. As an expert immigration attorney, I pride myself on using my background to connect with HR professions and teach them practical steps to build strong teams. It’s about providing solutions to problems. I am excited to present and provide solutions.

Avi Friedman: I look forward to presenting and providing insight regarding the U.S. visa and admission process.

Get fully prepared for 2020

Register for the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update to learn from Allison-Claire Acker and Avi Friedman. You’ll enjoy full meals, network with HR pros, and learn comprehensive law updates from 14 law firms.

Register you and your team!

About Allison-Claire Acker, Presenter at the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update

Allison-Claire Acker, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal at PIHRA 2020 Legal UpdateAllison-Claire Acker is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law and was named Southern California’s Top Female Attorney of the Year by Los Angeles Magazine. She has over thirty years of immigration law experience, counseling individuals and corporations with regard to all aspects of entertainment, family and employment-related immigration law.

Ms. Acker assists both individuals and corporate clients to obtain both non-immigrant and immigrant visas in almost every US immigration category. She advises corporate clients regarding the immigration consequences of mergers and acquisitions. She also represents foreign investors with visa options.

Ms. Acker has been ranked by Super Lawyers since 2011, and she has been recognized by Who’s Who Legal: Corporate Immigration since 2017. She is a noted speaker at immigration conferences, seminars and local universities. Ms. Acker is also the author of several immigration related articles. She is currently in charge of the immigration section of the Santa Monica Bar Association as well as one of its trustees, in addition to being a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Associations Immigration section, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Mexican American Bar Association and the Japanese American Bar Association.

Most recently, Ms. Acker was AILA’s Southern California Chapter Advocacy Event Co-Chair. She has also been reappointed as an Advisory Committee member to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, representing the County of Los Angeles. Ms. Acker is a member of the County Emergency Planning Task Force and a founding member of the LA County Equine Response Team. Ms. Acker also served on the UCLA School of Law Alumni Board of Directors.

About Avi Friedman, Presenter at the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update

Avi Friedman, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal at PIHRA 2020 Legal UpdateAvi Friedman, a WR Partner, was recently honored for his contributions to immigration law in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Friedman was also recognized in both 2014 and 2016 as the Los Angeles Immigration Law “Lawyer of the Year” by U.S. News-Best Lawyers®. He was also listed in Who’s Who Legal rankings for his excellent in-person attorney/client representation at U.S. consular posts in Canada and Mexico. Mr. Friedman has served on the AILA Department of State Liaison Committee.

Mr. Friedman served eleven terms as the Consular Affairs Liaison for the Southern California Chapter of AILA. He has authored numerous articles for AILA including: several chapters for the “Visa Processing Guide”; Third-Country National (TCN) and Consular Processing of Non-immigrant Visa Applications in Mexico and Canada: Practice Advisory; Nonimmigrant Waivers of Inadmissibility under INA 212(d)(3); “DOs” and “DON’Ts” for Attorneys Representing Visa Applicants (and for Consular Officers, too!).. He is also a frequent speaker on consular/visa issues and waivers at AILA and NAFSA conferences.

Mr. Friedman continues to assist applicants with non-immigrant visa applications at U.S. consular posts worldwide. He focuses on in-person attorney/client representation at U.S. consular posts in Canada and Mexico. He also handles family-based immigrant petitions, naturalization applications, investor visa applications, and J-1 Waivers and immigrant and non-immigrant petitions for international medical graduate physicians.

Mr. Friedman is listed in Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers as an “outstanding” lawyer, an “expert on consular issues” and a “highly rated inclusion” to the Wolfsdorf firm. In the California Edition of the Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers, Mr. Friedman was described as “an active speaker within AILA and has cultivated ‘a superb reputation‘ among peers and clients.” Mr. Friedman was also listed in The Southern California Super Lawyers.

Is it time to renew your PIHRA membership?

This special offer (for active PIHRA members only) ends January 30, 2020:

Check out our Legal Update Renewal Bundles for Active PIHRA Members!

Interview Conducted by Baskaran Ambalavanan, MBA, SPHR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, PIHRA Programs Chair

Baskaran Ambalavanan, PIHRA Programs ChairBaskaran Ambalavanan, MBA, has more than two decades of HR experience in India, Oman, and the U.S. in both the functional HR and in the HRIS/HR Technology.

He is the Principal of Hila Solutions, LLC, a full-service HR Technology Advisory firm for SMEs. Baskaran earned his MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School, U.K. and also certified in SPHR, SHRM-SCP, GPHR, and PHRca.

He is based in Irvine, California and serving as the Programs Chair for PIHRA and an active volunteer leader in SHRM, IHRIM. In his role as PIHRA Programs Chair, Baskaran is instrumental in curating HR sessions for the PIHRA Legal Update and the California HR Conference. He is responsible for assembling the Task Force that selects California HR Conference speakers.

You can follow Baskaran’s insights on all things technology, HR, leadership, and strategy on Twitter at @baski_LA and LinkedIn. Register today to join us at a PIHRA 2020 Legal Update near you and learn from the top legal experts in California!


Space is running out!

Jan 15 – Rancho Mirage (½-Day) | Jan 22 – Riverside | Jan 23 – La Jolla | Jan 28 – Anaheim | Jan 30 – Burbank (SOLD OUT)

Experience a comprehensive California legal update with PIHRA! In the world of human resources, staying ahead of constantly evolving employment laws and workplace legislation is essential. Certainly, PIHRA’s most famous flagship program will provide timely information, tips and crucial resources. Our expert speakers will help you cut through the complexity, so that you can protect your organization and effectively manage risk. 

→ Register today! (Group discounts available)