If you’re a US immigration law firm that works with multinational companies, or growing US-based companies that are trying to expand globally, you may want to support their corporate clients with international relocations and document management. But unless you have an international presence or an existing network of international immigration partners, you may be unsure of how to provide these services without opening up offices abroad or spending time building this external partner network.
This article talks about how US immigration law firms can provide various global immigration-related services without being an international immigration law firm in order to offer added value and a more complete global immigration service package for clients.
Let’s dive in.
3 simple ways US immigration law firms can support corporate clients with global immigration service
There are a number of ways US immigration law firms can support corporate clients with global immigration needs, whether they already have international clients or want to market to and eventually serve international clients going forward. Here are three global immigration services that US-based immigration law firms can offer.
US immigration law firms can help companies secure business visitor visas around the world
Companies typically have to apply for business visas — usually nonimmigrant short-term visas — for employees who need to travel for business meetings or other short work trips to offices or client sites around the world. Though many people apply for business visitor visas on their own, US immigration law firms can offer such a service and support their global clients with these applications for different countries around the world.
These visa applications don’t usually require a lawyer but can require information and documentation and that is easy to make a mistake on when done by people who aren’t experts. It’s a simple, important and really valuable added service that saves the client time and helps ensure they get it right.
That said, while applying for business visitor visas might not require legal expertise, it does require a working knowledge of local entry requirements including what evidence or documents are needed, information about the purpose of the trip and so on. At this point, US immigration law firms can take two routes to provide this service: learn these various requirements and do the work themselves or partner with a company that can help them file the local business visitor visa application.
If choosing the latter option, make sure the company has offices and delegations in different the country you need, has processes in place to make sure all rules are followed correctly, and can offer an affordable service to you so that you can then pass the fee onto your corporate client and make some money on it as well.
US immigration law firms can help companies coordinate document legalization or authentication
If a US-based company is trying to hire a foreign national, say on an H-1B visa, they will inevitably need some supporting documentation. This could be anything from academic certificates to birth or marriage certificates if they are bringing a family member with them to anything else that might be important to secure the visa.
These documents might need to be procured in the prospective employee’s home country, but may need to have an added layer of certification, whether an apostille or other authentication. Most people don’t have experience certifying or authenticating documents and so they rely on the US employer who is looking to hire them and their US immigration law firm for support. But as you can imagine, a company or law firm in the US might not know how to best authenticate or apostille a document in another country, especially if these documents may need to be acquired from multiple countries which can get complex, especially if the employee has moved around over the years.
So what’s the best solution? Providing this service as a US immigration law firm would be a great value-add and that can be outsourced to a company that knows how to work with document authentication and certification around the world. Again, if you choose this route and outsource to a professional document management company, make sure they have a global presence and specialize in this kind of work.
Now you can provide a full solution to your global client, outsource the work to an expert, pass the cost on to your client and make it work financially.
US immigration law firms can help companies translate documents
When dealing with global clients, it’s also inevitable that documents will need to be translated, for example diplomas, powers of attorney, patents, other legal documents and more. This could be into English for a US-bound employee or into another language for an employee going somewhere else around the world. While immigration law firms don’t typically have official translators in-house, this is a valuable service that they can consider offering through a partner and on an as-needed basis, especially for common languages and visa types.
Translations are incredibly important, and so it’s important to work with a company that offers official translation services and guarantees that those translations will be delivered to the highest professional standard and in a timely fashion. And ideally you don’t want to work with multiple translation professionals in different countries and for different languages, but rather with a company that provides translation services for many languages, at least the most common ones.