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Understanding the Immigration Impact of Mergers, Acquisitions, and Corporate Restructurings

Posted by Kripa Upadhyay | Nov 10, 2021

There are some occasions where two or more companies merge or are acquired. While this can benefit many individuals, including the employees, some complications come along with corporate restructuring for immigrant employees or immigration policies in the workplace. When a company ignores the legal challenges for foreign nationals, both the company and its employees can suffer. Some of the main issues that immigrants face are the validity of their immigration status and the consequences they can suffer from the changes made in the organization.

Not only can the employed foreign nationals suffer from corporate restructuring, but the organization as well. There are severe, tangible penalties that a company can face if they are not careful or do not take the time to plan for these challenges. When a company understands and plans for immigration issues associated with mergers and acquisitions, they can make sure their employees keep their employment eligibility and nonimmigrant status.

How Corporate Restructurings Affect the Company and Employed Foreign Nationals

As a company changes ownership with mergers, acquisitions, or other corporate transactions, they can cause foreign nationals to lose their nonimmigrant and immigrant work authorization as well as suffer life-changing consequences. Some examples of how both the company and foreign national employee can suffer during a corporate restructuring include: 

  • Severe fines and penalties
  • Absence of critical employees
  • Loss of work authorization
  • I-9 compliance violations

For a company to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their immigrant employees, they'll need to consider the implications the transition will have on foreign workers and create a thorough plan. This will help an organization avoid civil and criminal liability, as well as retain its key workforce.

Why Is a Successor-in-Interest Important for Immigrant Employees?

A successor-in-interest is an organization that assumes a considerable amount of all of the previous owners' assets and liabilities. For a transition like a merger or acquisition, a successor-in-interest is meant for the H-1B and other I-129 nonimmigrant petitions and will include all obligations related to sponsoring immigrants of the workplace.

The new employer might qualify as a successor-in-interest and will preserve many processes for immigration-related obligations, which can help reduce the number of filing fees for temporary work visas.

Can Temporary Work Authorization Help Foreign National Employees During a Corporate Restructuring?

When you are preparing for a corporate restructuring involving immigrant employees, you will need to consider how the transition will impact their lives and work. You will need to determine whether these employees will be able to keep their work authorization. For foreign nationals, most work visas are specific to the employer, location, and job.

Evaluating how these corporate changes will affect your employees can help you figure out the possible issues before finalizing the transaction. If you face untimely petitions or the actions are not taken at the right time, your employees can lose their work authorization and may be removed from the United States. Having a temporary work authorization may be necessary to keep you and your employees safe.

Discuss Your Corporate Restructuring Options with an Experienced Immigration Lawyer Today

Before you decide to continue with a corporate reorganization, discuss the essential details with an experienced immigration attorney at Orbit Law Making sure your employees are safe and have the necessary tools to continue working is vital to the success and future of the organization. We understand that these processes and laws can be complicated and overwhelming, but with our knowledge and resources, we can make sure you have the tools to succeed.

We have worked in the Seattle, Washington area for over ten years and take pride in our determination and dedication to our clients. To make sure all our clients have accessible communication available to them, we provide services in English, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Spanish, and Urdu.

Call (206) 312-8086 or fill out our contact form for more information about our services and how we can help you.

About the Author

Kripa Upadhyay

Kripa Upadhyay Founder/Attorney [email protected] EDUCATION Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, WA, Juris Doctor (JD)  May 2007 ADMISSIONS Washington State Bar Association: Admitted May 2008 U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Washington: Admitted 2009 U.S...