Unlocking Talent: Immigration and Employment Strategies for Tech Employers and Startups

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In a fiercely competitive labor market, from large-scale tech companies to startups, all employers are seeking creative solutions to tap into new sources of talent to meet their hiring needs.  Immigration can be vital to an employer’s ability to achieve their workforce development needs as there are work visas available to lawfully hire talent from both inside and outside of the U.S., which is a critical pipeline for employers facing domestic talent shortages.  This session will cover strategies for full-time work visas and long-term strategies for immigration program management.

Talent shortages in the domestic labor market result in tech employers relying on international workers to meet their employment needs. The Biden Administration has acknowledged the shortage of talent within the tech sector, and has prioritized various options for employers and employees alike to provide further avenues of work authorization relief. While of course tech employers recruit locally to fill positions, for many of these roles, there are more positions available than there are local workers available to fill them.  Immigration provides a solution as there are specific work visas to fill these roles.  The current competitive labor market presents talent acquisition and talent retention challenges, though it also presents an opportunity for employers to take a fresh look at what positions are sponsored for visas, and to explore if there are other positions that qualify for visas to meet these talent shortages.

There are a wide variety of work visas available for the tech industry depending on the type of position.  For green card solutions, the Biden Administrative has further expanded a variety of visa types, including the O-1 extraordinary ability visa as well as the J-1 trainee visa.  Also, there are temporary work visas for year-round employment. For example, the TN visa is for Canadian and Mexican nationals in certain occupations, many of which are directly relevant to technology positions, including Computer Systems Analysts. For students in the U.S., there has been an expansion of F-1 STEM work authorization to cover a variety of new majors completed during their university studies. Given its universal nature, the H-1B professional visa is also an attractive option as it is available to any professional role that requires a bachelor’s degree.  As such, there are various temporary work visa solutions available to tech employers to meet their workforce development needs.

As tech companies prepare for the future, it is important to develop strategies for immigration program management to ensure that international employees are work-ready when the business needs them.  This advanced planning includes forecasting the number of anticipated visa applications early and initiating the visa process approximately six months before the anticipated start date to budget additional time for any consular appointment delays. 

Finally, in addition to temporary visas, employers also have the ability to sponsor international workers for permanent residence (green card) status.  This option enables employers to retain top talent and typically is leveraged for key employees.  Employers may pursue the labor certification (PERM) process or a National Interest Waiver (NIW), depending on the position and the employee’s qualifications. Within the past year, many employers have begun to rely upon the NIW process in an effort to preserve U.S. work authorization, cut costs for green card sponsorship, and acquire talent in a competitive labor market.

Audience engagement methods may include polling questions and a question-and-answer period.

Audience Learning Objectives

  • Innovative immigration solutions and strategies for attracting and retaining talent
  • Increased knowledge regarding visa types that may be available to help a tech employers fill labor shortages
  • Immigration Program Management strategies that aid tech employers in maintaining a robust and compliant visa program


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Rachel Beardsley

Rachel serves as a trusted advisor to clients by providing strategic legal advice and developing immigration strategies for program management. She partners with clients to provide advance planning for the mobilization of their workforces and helps them use immigration as a tool for talent acquisition and retention. Through her immigration experience, Rachel has a keen ability to anticipate evolving immigration trends and identify and mitigate risks for clients. She advises a diverse client base on a variety of corporate immigration matters, including nonimmigrant visas, consular processing, permanent residence and citizenship.

Rachel’s representative experience ranges from global Fortune 500 companies to boutique organizations and private client matters. She has built a robust presence in the New York City metropolitan area over the course of two decades, practicing in a wide range of sectors, such as financial services, fintech, legal, consulting, fragrances/cosmetics, manufacturing, professional sailing, wind energy and the nonprofit space.

Chris Gregorio

Chris has extensive experience working with clients in a variety of industries, including companies in the financial services, technology, engineering, legal, consumer and industrial products, energy, pharmaceutical, and financial software industries. Working with this diverse group of clients, he has gained experience in a wide spectrum of complex immigration matters, including employment-based visas, short-term work visas and permanent residence matters. Chris has provided immigration services for business professionals undergoing intracompany transfers, and has guided researchers, designers, scientists, and fintech professionals with obtaining “extraordinary ability” and “outstanding researcher” classifications as a result of their established prominence in their fields of expertise.


  • April 24, 2024 at 11:30am – 1:30pm
  • Doug Binette