2017 Workshops


The 2017 CFGI Symposium will include workshops focused toward intermediate, advanced, academic and global tracks. Whether you are new to the immigration field or an experienced veteran, the Symposium has something for you.

The 2017 CFGI Symposium will offer the following workshops:

MONDAY, JUNE 12, 2017 


2:00 - 3:00 PM:

  • Employer and Academic Perspectives on STEM OPT

    Speakers: Andrew Greenfield, Fragomen Worldwide; Lisa Pedrys, Medtronic; Susan-Ellis Dougherty, University of Maryland

    Employers and universities have now had a year to get used to implement new procedures and processes for STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) extensions after new rules were put in place in 2016. This session provides an opportunity for employers and DSOs to discuss best practices for completing the necessary processes and for working with each other. Additionally, the session will cover potential changes and enforcement efforts for OPT given the new political landscape.

  • Immigration Site Visits: A New Era of Heightened Enforcement

    Speakers: Angelo Paparelli, Seyfarth Shaw; Leon Rodriguez, Seyfarth Shaw; Mareza Estevez, Cognizant

    The early days of the Trump administration have seen heightened enforcement in a number of areas, and statements and potential executive actions suggest there are more enforcement activities coming. Now is the time to ensure employers are ready for potential site visits and other enforcement actions from USCIS, ICE, the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (formerly office of the Special Counsel) and the Department of State. Join this session to be prepared.

  • Engaging Executives to Elevate your Immigration Program

    Speaker: Julie Pearl, Pearl Law Group; Sameer Khedekar, Pearl Law Group; Michael McDonald, Autodesk

    You run an effective immigration program that attracts and keeps top talent for your company. Now, how do you engage senior leadership to elevate the program and include your team in broader global business strategies? This session will identify critical demo-geographic risk factors that impact on immigration programs and show how shared immigration and mobility program intelligence can engage the C-suite to support their global business strategy, and give you a proverbial “seat at the table.” 

  • Brexit and the Future of UK Immigration

    The United Kingdom’s pending exit from the European Union has sent shockwaves through the political world, and employers with British nationals and operations in the UK now have to prepare for a new reality. Learn the latest developments with Brexit and its impact on access to talent in the United Kingdom, what employers should be doing to prepare, and how to communicate with managers and employees when there are still many questions that need to be answered.

3:30 - 4:30 PM 

  • But My Friend Said: Keeping Faculty and Students on Track when Everyone is an Expert

    Speaker: Tracy Schauff, Fakhoury Law Group

    As the internet, social media and good old word of mouth have shown, immigration information is available everywhere and everyone is an expert. This session will help you stay on track when the foreign national is trying to push in another direction. Learn best practices for keeping employees informed while discovering ways your company can use social media to stay ahead of the game and direct employees to reliable resources. 

  • H-1B Strategies: Before and After the Cap

    Speakers: Geraldine Moralez, Intel; Sandy Sheridan, Fragomen Worldwide; Jennifer Shapiro, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

    April 1 is the focus point, but H-1Bs planning is a year-round process for employers trying to access global talent. Employers must begin the process months in advance to communication within their organization and with counsel to ensure documents, LCAs, and all of the other pieces are in place before filing. After the cap, employers must communicate with employees who miss the cap and strategize around other  solutions. This session provides best practices for managing your H-1B program throughout the year. 

  • Hot Topics in U.S. Immigration

    Speaker: Scott Fitzgerald, Fragomen Worldwide

    This session will be held until closer to the Symposium to address the hottest topics affecting employers of high-skilled foreign nationals coming from the Trump administration and the agencies. 

  • Hot Topics in Global Immigration

    Speaker: Cynthia Lange, Fragomen Worldwide

    This session will be held until closer to the Symposium to address the hottest topics affecting employers of high-skilled foreign nationals coming from governments around the world. 

4:45 - 5:45 PM 


  • Ask the Experts: J-1 Exchange Programs
    Speaker: Kevin Saba, Department of State

Back by popular demand! Representatives from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Exchange have been invited to provide an update on the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. Ask governmental officials your most pressing questions about program trends, forms, program management, compliance, and cultural exchange. 

  • Handling Difficult Immigration Conversations in the Corporate Environment

    Speakers: Rebecca Schecter, Greenberg Traurig; Jessica Lee Young, Capgemini; Kristin Faison, AOL; Roberta Griner, Ingersoll Rand

    In this workshop, attendees will learn from the panelists and each other about how to discuss sticky immigration issues related to hiring and green card sponsorship. Attendees will participate in four mock conversations (hypos will be distributed). The participants will alternate playing HR/counsel and the business/employee. After each hypo, the panelists and attendees will discuss how each conversation went and talk about ideas about how to resolve the issues involved.

  • Is it Ever a Slam Dunk Case? – Complex H, L, and PERM Cases

    Speakers: Beth Carlson, Faegre Baker Daniels; Loan Huynh, Fredrikson & Byron; Sara Rabolt, General Mills

    While It may feel like H, L, and PERM cases are routine for many immigration professional, they aren’t always a “slam dunk” for the employer. When difficult issues arise, employers must be prepared so they don’t lose the game. Topics in this session include: difficult prevailing wage issues in H and PERM cases; substantially comparable positions; unexpected employment changes; and knowing when employment termination is final. 

  • Confessions of a Global Program Manager
    Speakers: Alisa Sender, Bloomberg; Sunday Rubenstein, EY

To manage a global immigration program, employers must navigate complex rules and laws around the world and a team that may not be in one central location. To do it right, employers need their own robust plan for tracking employees, keeping the organization compliant, dotting “I”s, crossing “t”s, and ensuring nothing slips through the cracks. Learn best practices from experienced in-house professionals on how to “get it all done” globally.


TUESDAY, JUNE 13, 2017


2:00 - 3:00 PM

  • Best Practices for Academic/Medical Center Program Management

    Speaker: Claire Ayer, Partners Healthcare

    Immigration professionals at academic Institutions and medical centers are often asked to do large volumes of work with a small staff. Doing it right requires dedication, organization, and the ability to manage many projects at once. Learn best practices for ensuring your faculty and students have the support they need, and organization strategies for keeping the job manageable.

  • Corporate Immigration Program Management: Issues That Keep You Up At Night

    Speakers: Lynn O'Brien, Berry Appelamn & Leiden LLP; Frieda Garcia, Berry Appelamn & Leiden LLP; Denise Rahmani, Oracle; Marcus Bateman, LinkedIn Corporation

    This session provides practical guidance from successful managers on directing a compliant, best in class, corporate immigration/mobility program. Experts will share tips and advice on staffing (recruiting, training and managing immigration program team); outsourcing; calculating immigration budget and forecasting spend, and managing program reporting to meet business data requirements. Learn best practices in managing immigration related vendor/partner relationships. Get tips on developing successful relationships with internal business partners and your foreign national employee population, and managing data privacy and security concerns. 

  • Green Card Strategies Beyond PERM: EB-1 and National Interest Waiver

    Speaker: Rod Malpert, Fragomen Worldwide

    National Interest Waiver (NIW) and EB-1 extraordinary ability green cards are often-ignored options for permanent residency. Learn how NIW and EB-1 green cards can take the headaches out of job changes and promotions, how to talk to your boss about the cost savings involved with NIW and EB-1 green cards, and reduced reliance on H-1B extensions. Also, learn the latest about NIW guidance.

  • Canadian/US Border: Fact or Fiction?

    Speakers: Evan Green, Green & Spiegel LLP; Jonathan Grode, Green & Spiegel LLP; Stephen Cryne, Canadian Employee Relocation Council

    Good fences may make good neighbors (or neighbours, as it may be), but from an immigration point of view the Canada/U.S. border can be a source of headaches for any HR department on both sides of the border. This workshop will address the uniqueness of the Canada/U.S. border and provide practical solutions to common cross-border issues.

3:30 - 4:30 PM 

  • PERM for Academic Institutions and Medical Centers

    Speakers: Dan Berger, Curran & Berger; Robin Catmur, University of Georgia; Vanessa Paulman, University of Massachusetts

    Academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and medical centers face unique challenges when filing PERM cases. This session will cover the latest trends in special handling cases, best practices to prepare  PERM cases, strategies for re-advertisement, and how to write a good PERM ad. 
  • Latest Developments for I-9s, E-Verify and Worksite Enforcement

    Speakers: Patrick Shen, Fragomen Worldwide; Robert Horsley, Fragomen Worldwide; Kathy Brown, Northeastern University

    A team of experts will provide the latest developments with regard to the employment verification, including tips for the new I-9 form, strategies for using E-Verify, and new standards with regard to employment discrimination enforced by the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (formerly office of the Special Counsel). Learn best practices for verifying and maintaining files, and ask your most pressing questions.
  • Intersection of Corporate Business Practices and PERM

    Speakers: Krithika McPherson, EY; Justin Parsons, Erikson Immigration Group; Gia Marchesani, EY

    Through case studies, participants will explore current trends in business policy regarding initiation of green card processes as impacted by the current immigration landscape. Discussion will include impact due to factors such as extended DOL processing times, uncertainty of H-1B lottery, inclination of employers and H-1B holders to avoid impact of Simeio Solutions, and increased interest in obtaining H4 EADs as soon as possible. 
  • Global Business Travel Strategies and Compliance

    Speaker: Brendan Ryan, Fragomen Worldwide; Shelly James, Hewlitt Packard Enterprises

    Business travel enables foreign nationals to travel globally for consultations, training, conferences, and other business traveler activities. The rules, however, can be complex, and increased scrutiny means employers need to be as vigilant as ever to ensure they are compliant and that their organizations will not pay the price for a lapse in judgment. This workshop will keep you up to date on the latest developments around the world and help your organization stay compliant.