Benjamin Kurten
Forward Page

Benjamin T. Kurten is the chair of Reinhart’s Immigration Law Group, and a shareholder in the firm’s Labor and Employment and International practices. Assisting clients with the successful navigation of complex U.S. immigration laws, Ben helps large multinational corporations, small private companies and individual investors. He frequently advises clients with business-related needs such as: transferring international personnel, hiring foreign-born talent with hard-to-find skill sets to fill professional positions, and establishing new U.S. investment enterprises or branch operations.

He has experience with a range of industries including manufacturing, health care, research, financial services, technology, education, entertainment, professional sports, consumer goods, and agriculture. Ben’s 19 years of legal experience has involved him with clients from more than 30 different countries—giving him unique insight on all aspects related to immigration issues such as businesses matters, citizenship and asylum matters. He effectively manages immigration issues by combining all of the advantages and resources available to him as a lawyer at a full-service firm that employs some of the strongest Labor and Employment, Employee Benefits, International and Domestic Tax, and Business Organization attorneys in the Midwest.

As an attorney with Reinhart, Ben is able to quickly and effectively partner with other practice areas, which adds significant value and depth to the legal services he is able to provide his clients. His experience also includes assisting individuals with bringing family members into the U.S. through the immigration process to obtain U.S. citizenship, and his level of expertise enables him to offer proactive legal advice that anticipates potential problems and resolve them before they become issues.

Over the course of his career, he has successfully argued cases before the Executive Office of Immigration Review, the Board of Immigrations Appeals, and the Administrative Appeals Office, and he frequently speaks as a panelist on the topic of immigration. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America, was named as Best Lawyers’ 2012 Milwaukee Immigration Lawyer of the Year and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Ben has received a peer review rating of BV from Martindale-Hubbell for his high legal ability and ethical standards, has published many professional articles in the field of immigration law, and has edited the Immigration Law chapter of the Wisconsin Attorney’s Desk Reference for many years.

Immigration laws and procedures are complex and constantly evolving; therefore, Ben helps employers stay abreast of the latest developments to ensure they understand, implement, and are compliant with the latest policies, procedures, and regulations such as the Form I-9. Clients appreciate the creative solutions he devises in order to solve their complex legal problems as well as his entertaining sense of humor and amusing stories. Nearly 20 years into his career as an attorney, Ben remains confident that he selected the correct field by abandoning his Marine Science background to pursue a law degree, since dolphins have very sharp teeth and bite frequently—a work hazard he does not face as a lawyer.


Education

J.D., University Wisconsin Law School
B.A., University of Miami (Marine Science Affairs)

Bar Admissions

Wisconsin

Court Admissions

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin

  • Nonimmigrant employment visa petitions, including:
    • H-1B (professionals)
    • H-2 (seasonal workers)
    • H-3 (trainees)
    • L-1A (managers and executives)
    • L-1B (specialized knowledge)
    • O-1 (extraordinary ability)
    • P-1 (athletes)
    • E-1 (treaty traders)
    • E-2 (treaty investors)
    • TN (NAFTA workers)
  • Blanket L-1 authorization to more easily transfer international specialized knowledge, managerial and executive employees to the United States
  • Permanent residency processing through immigrant visas in the Employment-Based First Preference (EB-1) areas of Multi-national Managers/Executives, Outstanding Researchers, and Extraordinary Ability
  • Permanent residency processing through the application for foreign labor certification (PERM) processes for immigrant visas in either the Employment-Based Second and Third Preferences (EB-2 and EB-3)
  • Permanent residency processing through the National Interest Waiver (NIW) process for immigrant visas in EB-2
  • J-1 two-year return and inadmissibility waivers with particular emphasis on waivers for foreign physicians, including Conrad 30 waivers
  • Family-based (marriage, fiancé(e), parent-child, sibling) immigrant visa petitions, when the process is faster, easier, or more economical than employment-based
  • Adjustment of Status (I-485) applications to obtain permanent resident status
  • Diversity Visa Lottery permanent resident processing
  • Consular Processing of Immigrant Visas and Nonimmigrant Visas at U.S. Consulates outside the United States
  • Post-permanent resident processes such as Reentry Permits, preservation of permanent resident status for naturalization purposes, and naturalization
  • Development of employment verification (I-9) system and E-Verify compliance programs
  • In-house audits of H-1B and I-9 programs, policy development for Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security investigations, and investigation defense
  • Development of effective anti-discrimination policies related to immigration, including management of Office of Special Counsel (Department of Justice) investigations

Honors

  • Best Lawyers’ 2012 Milwaukee Immigration Law Lawyer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers in America (Immigration Law)
  • Martindale-Hubbell BV® Distinguished Peer Review Rated
  • Selected for inclusion in Wisconsin Super Lawyers – Rising Stars Edition (Immigration)

Affiliations

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (Chapter Chair, Wisconsin Chapter 2014-15)
  • Wisconsin Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection (Committee Member)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, International Law Section (Board Member)
  • International Medical Graduate Task Force (Chair of Calls Committee)
  • Boy Scouts of America (Assistant Den Leader/Committee Chair)
  • “Business Immigration Law – A Primer for Those Who Hire, Manage or Recruit Foreign Talent,” Reinhart CLE Seminar (November 2016)
  • “Recipes to Avoid Immigration Issues,” Reinhart Labor and Employment Seminar (April 2015)
  • “U.S. Immigration Issues for Foreign Businesses,” Reinhart Webinar (March 2014)
  • “Dealing with Immigration Issues in the Hiring Context,” Reinhart Labor and Employment Seminar (January 2014)
  • “Immigration Reform and Compliance: What Employers Need to Know,” UW-Lacrosse College of Business Administration Global Initiatives Week (November 2013)
  • “Important Pieces of the Employment Law Puzzle,” Reinhart Labor and Employment Seminar (February 2013)
  • “When ICE Comes Knocking: What Employers Should Do to Better Insulate Themselves from Claims of Illegally Recruiting, Hiring or Retaining Undocumented Workers,” Reinhart Labor and Employment Seminar (January 2012)
  • “Basic Immigration Law for Employers,”  Reinhart Webinar (June 2011)
  • “Immigration Issues to Consider When Hiring International Physicians,” Reinhart Webinar (March 2011)
  • “I-9 Self Audits and Compliance Policy Implementation,” Reinhart Labor and Employment Seminar (January 2011)