What Non-Immigration Lawyers Should Know about Business Immigration and Compliance – C10

The Workplace Track
Immigration Law Committee 

Session C: 2:15 p.m. –3:15 p.m.

About the Program
This presentation will be aimed at providing non-immigration lawyers with an overview of useful immigration law and compliance pointers so they can effectively issue spot and provide guidance to their corporate clients. By understanding the different types of nonimmigrant work visas and green card options, a better understanding will be gained on how to help corporate clients accomplish their goals pertaining to hiring foreign national workers and ensuring immigration compliance. 

You Will Learn

      • Immigration compliance hot topics, including areas to counsel corporate clients to be watchful of as government audits continue to be on the rise 
      • Immigration 101: An overview of the nonimmigrant work visa and green card options in the corporate context
      • About recent changes in immigration law and policy under the current administration 


Lauren M. HopwoodLeClairRyan, New Haven 

Lauren Hopwood leads the firm’s business immigration practice. Lauren focuses her practice on complex employment-based immigration matters, including National Interest Waiver petitions, J-1 Waivers, O-1 petitions and Extraordinary Ability (EB-1) petitions. She represents national and
multinational companies and institutions in a broad array of industries, with a particular emphasis in the health care sector.

She regularly represents employers in connection with filing nonimmigrant visa petitions, including but not limited to H-1Bs, L-1s, TNs, E-2s and E-3s. She also regularly files immigrant visa petitions, labor certification applications, adjustment of status and citizenship applications and family-based petitions.

In addition, Lauren counsels clients on I-9 Compliance and the immigration consequences of mergers and acquisitions and other changes in corporate structure.

Lauren has spoken on employment-based immigration topics, by invitation, at many conferences and legal education courses.

Najia S. Khalid, Wiggin and Dana LLP, New Haven 

Najia is a business immigration lawyer who has dedicated her career to helping U.S. and international employers hire individuals with specialized skills her clients need to grow and thrive.

An immigrant herself, Najia is Co-chair of Wiggin and Dana’s Immigration and Nationality Law and Compliance Practice Group and was the firm’s first attorney focusing entirely on immigration law. Employers often consult Najia to clarify complex business immigration requirements in a dynamic enforcement environment.

Najia represents a wide range of organizations in their business immigration and compliance efforts, including national and multinational companies, emerging companies, and franchisors, as well as research, educational, healthcare, and religious institutions. She serves clients in financial services, life sciences, technology, manufacturing, utilities, retail, defense, the arts, and more. Najia has recently helped several clients prove that their desired analysts, executives, marketing experts, and young careerists are essential, uniquely skilled “professionals” qualified for the positions for which they are being recruited.

A sought-after speaker on business immigration topics, Najia has been a featured panelist at the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference. She has been asked to present client workshops and to participate in student outreach events through PowerBridgeNY and FWD.org and at educational institutions such as New York University and Columbia University. She often speaks to minority law students about challenges in the legal profession and presents at Wiggin and Dana’s in-house HR Circle events and its Lunch & Learn Visa Workshop Series.

Ashley E. Mendoza, Roberts Immigration Law Group LLC, Wilton 

Ashley E. Mendoza is an associate attorney at Roberts Immigration Law Group, LLC, practicing exclusively in the area of immigration law. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and serves as the Treasurer of the Connecticut chapter of AILA in addition to being a member of the New York chapter of AILA. Ashley has dedicated her career to immigration law, practicing exclusively in this area for the past eight years.

Ashley has provided employment-based immigration advice and services for a variety of clients, ranging from start-ups to small employers to Fortune 500 companies in the retail, entertainment, fashion, fine arts, culinary, sports, media, communications and marketing, healthcare, education, financial services, life sciences, technology, and information technology industries. Ashley has extensive experience devising and executing comprehensive case strategies in order to timely obtain the desired immigration benefits for foreign nationals whose talents are crucial to the ongoing business and growth of U.S. employers.

Ashley has successfully filed employment-based EB-1-1, EB-1-2, EB-1-3, EB-2 and EB-3 [PERM and National Interest Waiver] immigrant petitions as well as O- 1A, O-1B, O-2, L-1A, L-1B, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, H-3, TN (NAFTA), J-1, and P-1 nonimmigrant visa petitions and applications for a wide range of professionals including company executives, investors, entrepreneurs, data and marketing analysts and strategists, physicians, biomedical researchers, teachers (primary through university level), engineers (software, mechanical, data, bioinformatics, etc.), economists, architects, accountants and auditors, graphic designers, artist and model agents, artists (photographers, hair and makeup artists, stylists, sculptors, illustrators, etc.), models, actors, comedians, directors, producers and production support personnel, musicians, athletes and fashion and jewelry designers. She has also successfully filed family-based immigrant visa petitions and adjustment of status applications, and naturalization applications. Upon petition approval from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ashley has regularly provided immigration advice and services to foreign nationals in connection with the consular process to timely obtain their visa stamps from U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide.

Ashley regularly counsels U.S. employers regarding compliance with the immigration laws in light of mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate reorganizations, as well as the creation of new companies. She has also counseled employers regarding I-9 compliance and self-audits, as well as compliance with the federal antidiscrimination immigration laws.


CLE Credit: 1.0 Hours (CT: 1.0 General; NY: 1.0 AOP)