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Alka Bahal is a highly experienced corporate immigration attorney with a career spanning over two decades. Specializing in corporate/business immigration, she has represented companies of all sizes, providing expertise in business visas, strategic immigration planning, case management, and I-9 compliance. Alka’s dedication to her clients is evident in her track record of maintaining a 99% approval rating for visa applications and providing counsel on a wide range of immigration issues, including government inspections, Social Security mismatch issues, and Department of Labor investigations.

Throughout her career, Alka has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in corporate immigration law. From her early days as a solo practitioner, where she coined the term “corporate immigration” to describe her niche practice, to her role as Partner & Co-Chair of the Corporate Immigration Practice at Fox Rothschild LLP, Alka has consistently delivered high-quality legal representation and strategic guidance to her clients. Her expertise extends across various industries, including hospitality, telecommunications, media, healthcare, and more, where she has assisted numerous companies with their immigration needs.

Alka’s passion for corporate immigration is matched by her dedication to educating others on the intricacies of immigration law. As a frequent speaker and writer on corporate immigration topics nationwide, she shares her knowledge and insights to help employers navigate the complex landscape of immigration compliance and strategic planning. With a focus on providing timely and cost-effective legal representation, Alka continues to be a trusted advisor to businesses seeking immigration solutions in an ever-changing global environment.

Outside General Counsel Solutions™ serves as the indispensable legal partner for companies unable to maintain a dedicated legal department. Specializing in providing tailored virtual legal support, their team boasts extensive expertise across key areas crucial to mid-cap businesses, from contracts to commercial litigation. With seasoned General Counsels from “Big Law” backgrounds, they offer fixed-fee solutions and round-the-clock accessibility, ensuring clients effectively manage risk and propel business growth.

Chris Santomassimo: So welcome back to the Think Factory podcast and I’m one of your hosts. Actually, I’m only a co-host today because I’m proud to sit down for the first time with our partner Alka Bahal, who’s on the OGC Solutions team

Alka Bahal: Thank you for having me, Chris.

Chris Santomassimo: Oh, it’s great to have you. So Alka is a super experienced corporate immigration services lawyer, joined our team at OGC Solutions last November and really finally sort of filled one of those gaps in our team. You know, we like to have this team that can really handle virtually everything and mid-cap company needs and more and more folks are looking abroad for either to bring people over from there their European or Asian headquarters, or they’re just looking to recruit from foreign countries. So more and more immigration comes up in the course of our daily work. So to have that in-house resource has been fantastic for us.

Alka Bahal: It has been a really great fit, you know, to be able to provide the rounding out of the getting that foreign workers, especially a lot of students who are here who are actually foreign nationals and then local employers want to keep them.

Chris Santomassimo: Oh, sure. And, you know, they’re bringing them on as interns while they’re students. But then to be able to keep them here permanently is not as easy as you might think.

Alka Bahal
: That’s correct. That’s correct. And employers want to keep all the value of the time that they’ve spent training those folks.

Chris Santomassimo: Indeed. So I just I could tell folks a little bit about, you know, your experience and sort of where, you know, sort of how you came up in immigration and how you’re fit into the OGC solutions team.

Alka Bahal: Sure. So funnily, I fell into immigration. It was one of my shortlisted topics that I wanted to get into after law school, and I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to work with some excellent immigration attorneys. And once I started, I just loved it and I stuck with it ever since. I love that feeling of helping people and advising people and guiding them down to these paths that are really life changing. Fitting in with OGC has really just been seamless. It’s been a wonderful experience joining here and working with my partners and working with the clients. They’ve all been very welcoming and it’s really nice to be able to fit that missing piece in, especially in the OGC side where we’re trying to provide this comprehensive set of advice and solutions for clients. That immigration piece of that I-9 piece in particular is something that all employers have to deal with, whether they have foreign nationals or not. And surprisingly, a large number of clients don’t realize it or they’re not paying enough attention to that element of their compliance needs. And sometimes they’re blindsided by these large fines. So it’s really quite an adventure educating people and teaching them about, here’s something you need to pay attention to and work with and then teach and clients how to take care of it.

Chris Santomassimo: Well, as you know, labor and employment has really been a central piece of our work here at OGC Solutions. And to have you and and also Lindsay. Lindsay Mulligan as part of the team has really, you know, brought it all together because more and more like I said, our H.R. Folks are our contacts at our clients. More and more are asking about it because they find, you know, maybe they’re not finding the right candidates here domestically. They want to look abroad or in the case of a lot of our clients that are headquartered somewhere else in the world, they want to bring some of their employees here to work for the local subsidiary. So it comes up all the time now.

Alka Bahal: Yeah, it really does. And it’s interesting that a lot of the multinational companies don’t really fully realize the potential that they can employ with these visa programs to bring people internationally. Had an experience very recently with one of your clients talking to them about they had an idea to bring one of their foreign national clients. And when I explained to them a little bit about how an L-1 blanket program works and kind of creates this pre-approval process where they can bring foreign national employees who’ve been working for them, other places abroad, they realized that this was a huge opportunity for them to bring individuals who have the experience in and the equipment, the tools, the actual product that they’re making, and they can bring those individuals to the U.S. So they were quite excited. It’s really going to change the trajectory of how they do business in the future.

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