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Addressing immigration issues in mergers and acquisitions

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When a Maryland company is in the process of acquiring or merging with another firm, it is important for the owner to do his or her due diligence before closing the deal regarding any potential immigration issues. Failing to do so may leave the company facing substantial financial penalties or losing key employees following the transaction.

A business will need to make certain that it understands the particular immigration statuses of each foreign national employee. Workers who have H-1B visas are required to work only for the employer that sponsored them. The company will need to make certain that it completes the required steps so that it can legally employ H-1B workers.

The company will also want to make certain that the I-9 forms for foreign workers have been completed correctly. It should also make certain that the organization with which it wishes to merge or acquire is not employing any foreign workers illegally. Having illegally employed foreign individuals may result in substantial criminal and civil penalties. For example, I-9 paperwork issues can result in fines of $110 to $1,100 per worker.

A company owner who is preparing for an acquisition or merger might want to consult with an employment immigration and naturalization law attorney. A lawyer may be able to review the target company's paperwork and the immigration statuses of its employees. The attorney may then be able to advise his or her client about what needs to be done to correct any immigration issues that are found. Addressing immigration issues before the close of the transaction can help to prevent the company from having significant legal problems from the first day it does business.

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