Practice and Industry Groups

Karen Hunter Courrèges

Of Counsel Houston

Karen represents corporate clients in a variety of industries, including the pharmaceutical, insurance, engineering and technology fields from Fortune 500 companies to small startup businesses. Her practice includes all aspects of corporate U.S. immigration, including nonimmigrant visas, permanent residence, citizenship, I-9 compliance and immigration support for corporate restructuring. She has extensive experience in all areas of U.S. immigration law, but she primarily focuses her current practice on employment-based immigration for corporate clients, as well as sophisticated immigration-related compliance work for employers of all sizes. Karen has expertise in managing PERM campaigns for employers and in developing cost-effective strategies for companies and organizations interested in hiring professional foreign workers. Karen is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She has worked with some of the largest immigration firms in the U.S.


Experience

Visas providing temporary work authorization in the U.S.
Extensive experience with issues related to the H-1B, H-2B and L categories for work authorization in partnership with corporate clients.  Advising on timeline issues, cap-subject cases, DOL audits of public access files and regulations as well as portability.  Counsel employees traveling and representation at deferred inspection with Customs and Border Protection.  Guide corporate clients regarding appropriate visa categories for potential employees.  Work with clients to educate through conferences, presentations and individually into requirements for maintenance of status for themselves and family members.  

Non-Immigrant Visas
H-1B Specialty Occupation

  • Advising on cap-subject cases
  • Work authorization for employees
  • Related H-4 issues for family members
  • Portability
  • Advising employers on timelines
  • Auditing Public Access Files (PAF) and DOL files per regulations
  • Regulations regarding corporate changes and their impact on employees

H-2A and H-2B Seasonal and Agricultural Workers

  • Analysis and counseling employers on requirements
  • Liaise with governmental agencies

F-1 Students

  • Advise in conjunction with University in Change of Status cases for family members
  • Review regulations related to Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT) issues
  • Work with employers to optimize STEM extensions to OPT

L-1 Intracompany Transferees

  • Strategy for multinational companies to transfer employees to work in the US
  • Transfer of employees to open new offices
  • Strategy and research into corporate relationships that meet CIS regulations
  • Analysis of multinational manager and specialized knowledge cases

Business and Visitor B-1 Options

  • Analysis for corporate clients to determine appropriate visa for employees

Other Temporary Visas for work options

  • O-1 Extraordinary Ability
  • J-1 Exchange Students
  • H-3 Trainees

Travel Issues

  • Counsel individuals traveling with or without visas.
  • Advise on consular visa applications
  • Liaise with Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  • Represent clients at deferred inspection

Maintenance of legal status

  • Change of status issues
  • Advising on work authorization
  • Travel requirements

Pathways for Legal Permanent Residency through employment (LPR)
Manage and advise on immigration policy and permanent residency regulations, Advise clients on applicable timelines regarding permanent residency.  Partner with corporations on labor certification requirements and options that do not require labor certifications such as multinational executives and managers, individuals with extraordinary abilities, outstanding researchers and national interest waivers.  Escalation and governmental liaison as required.

Permanent Residence through Employment
Multinational Companies

  • Advise on regulations            
  • Advise on timelines for Executives and Managers

Labor Certification through PERM

  • Advise on timelines for employees
  • Research recruitment options for employers
  • Partner with corporations to review requirements for PERM
  • Audit file and Responses to the Dept. of Labor

Other Options for LPR

  • Review and analysis of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Researcher, National Interest Waiver cases.  

I-9 audits and presentations
Educational Presentations to clients and employees on US immigration
Naturalization for Legal Permanent Residents

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Immigration Section of the State Bar of Texas
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • Houston Chapter

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