Maria Mejia-Opaciuch

Maria Mejia-Opaciuch

Carlton Fields

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Latest Publications


Expect Focus - International, Spring, March 2017

Rules of the (International) Road - An Overview - Going international is a complicated undertaking. Your specific situation and concerns will determine the steps required. The following outlines, very generally,...more

3/22/2017 - BEPS China Commercial Leases Cuba Insurance Industry Intangible Property International Relations International Travel Investment Multinationals Retail Market Tax Planning Travel Ban Trump Administration

Considerations for Foreign Travelers to the U.S. Under the New Administration

Travel to the United States, with its new immigration enforcement-minded administration, will require foreign travelers to be even more aware of the rules governing border protection, and take advantage of the travel programs...more

3/21/2017 - B-1 B-2 China Customs and Border Protection DHS ESTA EVUS Executive Orders Foreign Nationals Foreign Workers Form I-94 Immigration Procedures Immigration Reform International Travel Travel Ban Trump Administration Visa Waiver Program Visas

As of January 22, Employers Must Use New I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form

Beginning January 22, employers must only use the new I-9 Form dated November 14, 2016, which replaces the form dated March 8, 2013. The new I-9 Form is located on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service website at...more

1/26/2017 - E-Verify Electronic Filing Eligibility Foreign Workers Hiring & Firing I-9 Immigrants Popular Required Forms Trump Administration USCIS Verification Requirements Visas

What will U.S. Business Immigration Look Like Under A Trump Administration?

More than 10 days have passed since the election results were revealed, and the United States now has a businessman as its president-elect ready to take office on January 20, 2017. However, despite his business background, it...more

11/21/2016 - Biometric Information Customs and Border Protection DACA E-3 E-Verify Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) F-1 Visa Foreign Students Green Cards H-1B H-1B1 Highly-Skilled Workers Visa I-9 Immigrants Immigration and Nationality Act Immigration Reform NAFTA OPT Presidential Elections STEM TN-Visas Trump Administration Vetting Visas

2018 Diversity Visa Lottery Program: Cuba, Ecuador, and Guatemala Eligible to Register

For the 26th year, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) has issued registration instructions for the annual Diversity Visa (DV) lottery. Registration for the 2018 lottery opens 12 noon eastern daylight time (EDT) on October 4,...more

9/23/2016 - Diversity Lottery Electronic Filing Foreign Nationals Green Cards Immigrants US Department of State Visas

U.S. Immigration Proposes Solution for International Entrepreneurs

Current visa options limit the ability of foreign national entrepreneurs to start and grow companies in the United States. As a result, the United States is less able to attract the world’s very best and most innovative...more

9/1/2016 - Business Development Business Formation Comment Period DHS Entrepreneurs Immigration Reform Investment Investors Job Creation Small Business Small Business Formation Startups USCIS Visas

2016 Federal Spending Bill Will Impact Immigration Programs

The fiscal year 2016 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Bill funds the Government’s immigration provisions, among others, through September 30, 2016. It will saddle many immigration programs with harsh fees...more

1/4/2016 - Coast Guard EB-5 H-1B H-2B L-1 Visas Terrorist Threats Visa Waiver Program

Choosing The Right Entertainment Industry Work Visa

As smartphone recording capabilities and the popularity of social media help entertainers reach wider audiences around the world, entertainers who wish to come to the United States to perform are, paradoxically, finding it...more

10/30/2015 - Entertainment Industry Foreign Nationals Journalism Smartphones Social Media Social Networks Television Shows USCIS Work Visas

Immigration Law for Startups: Common Visa Pitfalls

This is the last of a three-part series that provides guidance to new or foreign companies that are entering the U.S. market and seeking to employ either foreign nationals already in the United States on non-working visas, or...more

9/9/2015 - B-1 Business Development Business Visas Compliance E-Verify Foreign Corporations Foreign Nationals I-9 Immigration Reform Startups Visas Work Visas

Immigration Law for Startups: Prime Visa Options

This is the second in a three-part series that provides guidance to new or foreign companies that are entering the U.S. market and seeking to employ either foreign nationals already in the United States on non-working visas,...more

9/1/2015 - Australia Border Security Canada Chile Consulate E-1 E-2 E-3 Employee Transfers Foreign Corporations Foreign Nationals H-1B1 L-1 NAFTA Singapore Startups TN-Visas Visas Work Visas

Immigration Law for Startups: Best Practices

This is the first in a three-part series that provides guidance to new or foreign companies that are entering the U.S. market and seeking to employ either foreign nationals already in the United States on non-working visas,...more

8/25/2015 - Best Practices Foreign Corporations Foreign Nationals Startups Visas Work Visas

Immigration Law for Startups: Best Practices, Prime Options, and Common Pitfalls

Guidance to new or foreign companies that are entering the U.S. market and seeking to employ either foreign nationals already in the United States on non-working visas, or foreign nationals overseas who wish to enter the...more

8/14/2015 - Hiring & Firing I-9 Legal Perspectives Non-Immigrant Visas Popular Startups Young Lawyers

USCIS to Accept Employment Authorization Applications from Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

Beginning May 26, 2015, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept applications for employment authorization from certain H-4 Dependent Spouses. The USCIS will reject any applications received...more

5/22/2015 - DHS Form I-94 H-1B H-4 Spouses Immigration Reform Popular USCIS Visas

Severe Fines for I-9 Noncompliance

During the first quarter of 2015, The Office of Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) issued five decisions involving employer violations related to Form I-9. In its latest decision (United States v. Liberty Packaging,...more

4/10/2015 - Audits Corporate Fines Employer Liability Issues False Reporting I-9 ICE OCAHO

Employment and Labor Law Road Map for Employers Entering the U.S. Market

Foreign companies and investors that enter the U.S. market will be governed by numerous state and federal labor and employment laws. When opening a business in the United States, it is therefore critical to work with...more

1/21/2015 - Compensation & Benefits Employer Liability Issues Employer Mandates Employment Policies FLSA FMLA Foreign Corporations Foreign Nationals Foreign Subsidiaries Hiring & Firing Popular Small Business Startups

Here We Go Again: H-1B Petitions Must be Filed by March 31

It is that time of year again. Immigration practitioners are gearing up for a busy H-1B season. Just as accountants have their April 15 deadline for filing tax returns, employers, foreign nationals, and immigration counsel...more

1/16/2015 - Filing Deadlines H-1B Highly-Skilled Workers Visa Hiring & Firing Visa Caps Visas

Employment and Immigration Issues Facing Banks

EMPLOYMENT ISSUES - 1. No compensation for compensable work - Many banks—including large, sophisticated banks—are facing class action lawsuits for not compensating non-exempt employees for compensable work....more

12/18/2014 - Banks Class Action Criminal Background Checks Employer Liability Issues Foreign Nationals Hiring & Firing Misclassification Recruitment Policies Sex Discrimination Whistleblowers

Guidance for Employers Once Obama Issues Executive Order on Immigration

President Obama plans to announce an executive order regarding immigration reform tonight and sign the order in Las Vegas on Friday. The order is expected to protect approximately 5 million unauthorized immigrants from the...more

11/21/2014 - Barack Obama DACA Deportation Executive Orders I-9 Immigration Reform Popular STEM USCIS Work Permits

U.S. Department of Justice Issues Guidance on an Employer’s Acceptance of Excess I-9 Documentation

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act...more


Employers: Are You at Risk for Immigration and I-9 Audits?

The Background - The Obama administration has attempted to attract and retain new and highly skilled talent to the United States, setting initiatives to allow foreign nationals working in the United States to remain...more

6/3/2014 - Audits Compliance I-9 Immigrants USCIS Visas

Comply Or Pay The Price: Why I-9 Noncompliance May Cost You Millions

The following overview of recent immigration-related penalties should convince companies to implement and maintain a solid I-9 completion and maintenance program. At the outset, program implementation requires investments of...more

5/19/2014 - Audits Compliance Enforcement Actions I-9 ICE Immigrants Visas

10 Practical Compliance Tips For Growing Companies

Florida companies need to be aware of the high risks and possible penalties, monetary and civil, of failing to comply with the federal laws that govern the documentation of newly-hired employees....more

5/7/2014 - Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues Employer Mandates Hiring & Firing I-9 ICE

Tips To Ready Employers When Immigration Agencies Come Knocking

Worksite enforcement actions for immigration-related matters are on the rise; the Obama Administration is emphasizing worksite compliance obligations; and immigration-related audits are increasing....more

5/7/2014 - Audits Best Management Practices DOL E-3 Employer Liability Issues Employer Mandates Enforcement Actions H-1B I-9 ICE Immigration Records L-1 Obama Administration Workplace Investigations

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