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About Grant

Building efficient, effective business immigration programs for employers

Grant Sovern practices immigration law, focusing on business-based immigration. Addressing the needs of both employers and employees in the pharmaceutical, biotech, high tech and other industries, Grant advises on:

  • Global mobility programs
  • Immigration compliance (I-9) programs
  • International transferee programs to the U.S.

Grant and his team examine the full range of their clients’ human resources needs and develop and manage immigration programs to enable employers to move employees where they need them, on the timetable they need them. Grant works to create programs that human resources teams can administer simply and efficiently, making their lives easier and enabling their foreign national employees to trust that their immigration goals are being achieved fully and effectively.

Committed to pro bono legal service and meeting the legal needs of immigrants who cannot afford counsel, Grant serves as president of the board of the Community Immigration Law Center, one of the first organizations in the country to develop a publicly funded public defender program for immigrants threatened with deportation. Grant helped develop a statewide network of pro bono attorneys to prepare and file asylum and special immigrant visa applications for Afghan refugees.

Experience in Action

  • Representing employers and employees in petitions for work visas such as the H-1B, L-1, O-1, and TN and related work permits.
  • Advising employers and employees on petitions for immigrant visas (permanent residence or green cards) through employment means such as outstanding researcher, extraordinary ability and labor certification.
  • Assisting employers and employees with PERM Labor Certification filings to obtain permanent residence.
  • Developing, maintaining and defending I-9 compliance and enforcement programs for employers.
  • Representing scientists and others in pursuing J-1 waivers through the no-objection process and interested U.S. government agencies.
  • Representing pharmaceutical, biotech and high-tech companies to implement overall immigration policies and procedures.
  • Counseling health care systems, hospitals and physicians to navigate the immigration regulations related to waivers of the J-1 home residency requirement through the Conrad state programs, H-1B visas, O-1 visas and permanent resident (green card) options.

Professional Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year" (2012, 2018, 2020, 2023: Immigration Law)
  • Gonring Pro Bono Award Recipient (2022)
  • Human Resource Executive/Lawdragon "Most Powerful Employment Attorney - Up and Comer" (2011-2019)
  • Who's Who Legal (Corporate Immigration 2013-2018, 2020)
  • Human Resources Executive Magazine "Most Powerful Employment Lawyers" (2012–2014)
  • Chambers USA® (2010–present: Labor & Employment: Immigration)
  • Best Lawyers in America® (2008–present: Immigration Law)
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, John and John Quincy Adams Pro Bono Publico Award for outstanding work in the area of asylum law for pro bono clients (2005)
  • Massachusetts Lawyer Weekly "Massachusetts Best Lawyers Under 40 Years Old" (2005)
  • Mintz Levin Pro Bono Award (1999)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
    • Social Security Administration Taskforce, member
    • Interagency Taskforce, former member
    • E-Verify Legislative Taskforce, member
    • Employer Verification Liaison Committee, member
    • National Liaison Committee to the U.S. Social Security Administration, chair
  • Second Harvest of Southern Wisconsin, former board chair
  • Community Immigration Law Center, board president
  • Quarles DEI Committee, representative
  • Has served the U.S. Department of State and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as an international elections supervisor in Bosnia and Hercegovina, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nige, and as a pro bono attorney working with asylum-seekers in the U.S.
  • University of Wisconsin Law School, Immigration Law, adjunct professor
  • Centro Hispano of Dane County, past member 

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