Andrew Greenfield: United States “winning the race” on immigration policies


By Ndubuisi Micheal Obineme

U.S. immigration lawyer, Andrew Greenfield has said that the United States of America is leading the way in the global business environment despite many policy changes being implemented by the Trump Administration.

Andrew Greenfield, who is currently the managing partner of the Washington, DC, office of Fragomen, disclosed this during an exclusive interview with our correspondent at the sideline of the SelectUSA Investment Summit 2018 recently held in Washington DC.

According to him, the United States is “winning the race” on restrictive immigration policies but it doesn’t close the door to foreign talent.

“Our clients continue to successfully sponsor foreign workers for both temporary visas and green cards. But the playing field has changed.

“Visa and work permit applications must be much more thorough and backed with substantial and cogent evidence.

“Foreign nationals must be screened more closely for eligibility for certain benefits and employers must work much more closely with immigration counsel in selecting resources for transfer to the United States or other forms of sponsorship,” Andrew said.

While speaking about the Obama Administration, he said foreign entrepreneurs were given a special visa classification to enter the United States to grow their businesses but the Trump Administration have officially withdrawn the policy. That is to say, entrepreneurs looking to establish a business in the United States must be sponsored in one of the existing visa categories in order to remain in the U.S.

He emphasized that there are still other opportunities. For example, Ph.D. and other U.S. graduates in certain STEM fields may be granted as much as three years of employment authorization post-graduation in order to work in their field, including for start-up companies that meet certain requirements.

Speaking further, individuals who have garnered esteemed reputations for their work in their field, or who are working on projects that may have significant impact to the U.S. economy of other spheres of U.S. life, may be sponsored, or in some cases may sponsor themselves, for U.S. green cards or for temporary visas that would allow them to work for a U.S. employer sponsor requiring the individual’s distinguished skills.

Also, foreign nationals whose creative skills are needed by institutions of higher education or nonprofit research organizations have much easier access to the H-1B program, which typically is inaccessible due to the quota system.

Andrew Greenfield have been practicing U.S. immigration law for 24 years, focusing on the needs of U.S. and global employers seeking to hire, transfer and/or retain international talent, particularly at the professional level.

Andrew’s clients include large multi-national companies, colleges and universities, start-ups, non-profits, and international treaty organizations, among others.

Over 16 years, including more than a decade as the managing partner of the firm’s Washington, DC, office, Andrew has been an attorney with Fragomen, which is the world’s largest immigration firm, where he works to direct the business of the firm in more than 50 offices in 27 countries.