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Benjamin Kurten is the chair of Reinhart’s Immigration Law Group and a shareholder in the firm’s Labor and Employment and International practices. His broad experience and ability to connect relationally with clients make him especially effective at seeing possibilities. Because immigration laws and procedures are unique, complex and constantly evolving, Ben helps employers stay abreast of developments to ensure they remain in full compliance.

He advises large multinational corporations, small private companies and individual investors on transferring international personnel, hiring foreign-born talent with hard-to-find skill sets and establishing new investment enterprises or branch operations. Ben helps clients understand how immigration issues impact their business operations, including restructuring plans, hiring decisions and long-term growth. His deep experience enables him to offer proactive legal advice that anticipates potential problems and helps resolve them before they become issues.

He works with a range of industries including manufacturing, health care, research, financial services, technology, education, entertainment, professional sports, consumer goods and agriculture. Ben collaborates across practice areas, managing the full spectrum of immigration issues by leveraging counsel available from the firm’s labor and employment, employee benefits, international and domestic tax and business organization attorneys to ensure clients can capitalize on all opportunities. His experience also includes assisting individuals with bringing family members into the Unites States through the immigration process to obtain U.S. citizenship.

Ben 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 on immigration topics.

Clients appreciate Ben’s creative solutions as well as his sense of humor. He remains confident in his decision to abandon Marine Science and pursue a law degree as dolphins have very sharp teeth and bite frequently—a work hazard he does not face as a lawyer.

Away from the office, he enjoys his involvement with Boy Scouts of America, hunting and fishing, and working with Congress and advocacy groups to spark change in immigration policies.

Education

  • J.D., University Wisconsin Law School
  • B.A., University of Miami

Bar Admissions

Wisconsin

Court Admissions

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

Matters

  • Nonimmigrant employment visa petitions, including:
    • H-1B (professionals)
    • 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 and HHS waivers
  • Family-based (marriage, fiancé(e), parent-child, sibling) immigrant visa petitions
  • 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 & Affiliations

Honors

  • Best Lawyers Immigration Law “Lawyer of the Year” (2012)
  • 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 (Former Chair and Committee Member)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin, International Law Section (former President, current Board Member)
  • International Medical Graduate Task Force (Chair of Calls Committee)
  • Boy Scouts of America (Assistant Scout Master/Advisor/Unit Commissioner)
  • Milwaukee Bar Association

News & Insights

Presentations

  • "The Basics of Immigration Law for HR Professionals," Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – Sheboygan Chapter (December 2023)
  • "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)

Publications