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Michael P. Nowlan

fax +1 313.309.6866

Michael Nowlan represents companies and individuals as they navigate the complex U.S. immigration system from the initial transfer/move to the U.S. to U.S. citizenship. This includes assisting clients as they process with U.S. Consulates as well as immigration agencies located in the U.S. He advocates for foreign national rights before immigration officials on a regional and national level.

Specifically, Mike assists corporate clients in securing and extending U.S. work status, typically on a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa, for existing or proposed foreign national employees. This also includes helping foreign nationals and their families understand how their U.S. status impacts state and national benefits (driver’s licenses, social security numbers, etc.). As the employment relationship develops between the company and the employee, he assists corporate clients in sponsoring their foreign national workforce for long-term (immigrant visa or “green card”) status.

For individuals, Mike helps U.S. persons sponsor their foreign national family members, through the various U.S. immigration agencies, to come to the U.S.

Training employers on I-9 best practices is an important portion of Mike’s practice. He assists with E-Verify and I-9 reviews, training, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) audits and negotiations, and through the fine and penalty process.

Mike is a frequent lecturer to companies’ human resources and legal counsel, as well as to other immigration attorneys nationally on best practices for a wide range of U.S. immigration processes.


J.D., University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, Detroit, Michigan, 1996
B.B.A., Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, 1992


Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, Marquis Who’s Who (2018)

Best Lawyer, DBusiness Magazine (2013-2022)

Named among The Best Lawyers in America® for Immigration Law (2012-2023)

Chambers USA’s “Leader in Their Field,” Immigration (Michigan) (2017-2021) – Band 1

Chambers USA’s “Leader in Their Field,” Immigration (Global) (2017-2021) – Band 2

Corporate Immigration Lawyer of the Year USA, Finance Monthly Global (2017-2018)

Immigration Lawyer of the Year, ACQ5 Global Awards (2018, 2020)

Immigration Lawyer of the Year (Michigan), International Advisory Experts Award (2018)

Named Detroit, Michigan’s Immigration Law “Lawyer of the Year” in the 2017 and 2021 editions of The Best Lawyers in America®

Leading Lawyer, Lawyers Worldwide Awards Magazine Global (2017-2022)

Leading Lawyer – Immigration, Leading Lawyers Magazine (2014-2016, 2019-2022)

Leading Lawyer – Employment-Based and Family Immigration, Leading Lawyers Magazine (2014-2016)

Marquis Who’s Who in the World, Corporate Immigration (2018-2022)

Michigan Super Lawyer, Immigration: Business (2015-2021)

Recognized for outstanding leadership as AILA Chair of the National Business Committee (2012)

Top 10 Best Immigration Attorneys (Michigan), American Institute of Legal Counsel

Top 500 Lawyer, InterContinental Finance Magazine (2013)

US Gamechanger of the Year, ACQ Law Awards (2018)


American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)


  • Verification & Documentation Liaison Committee, Member (2021-2022)
  • Business Section Steering Committee, Chair (2021-2022)
  • Business Immigration Committee (Later the Busines Immigration Response Team), Vice-Chair (2018-2021)
  • Department of Labor Liaison Section, Michigan Chapter, Member (2004-2005)
  • Michigan Chapter, Chair (2007-2009)
  • National Future of Immigration Law Practice Task Force, Member (2016-2017)
  • Mid-Year Conference Program, Chair, (2015)
  • National Business Committee, Member (2015-2016)
  • National Business Committee, Chair (2011-2015)
  • National Nebraska Service Center Liaison Committee, Vice-Chair (2010-2011)
  • National US Customs and Border Protection Committee (2009-2010)
  • National Expanded Business Committee (2009-2011)
  • National Nomination Committee (2009)
  • Technology Issues Section, Michigan Chapter, Chair (2004-2005)
  • Treasurer, Michigan Chapter (2005-2007)

Dearborn Public Library Foundation, Treasurer (2006-2007)

GLOBALAW, Cross Border Labour Initiative Plan, Deputy Coordinator (2008-2011)

State Bar of Michigan

State Bar Licenses


Court Admissions

U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Michigan
U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit

Recent Publications (Co-Author):

  • “Practice Pointer: Update On I-9 Audits,” AILA, December 2022
  • “Wow, That Was Expensive: LCA and H-1B Traps That Can Cost Clients,” AILA Business Section Steering Committee Roundtable, July 2022
  • “Pardon the Interruption: Advanced Tips and Tricks to Tackle Absurd Case Issues,” AILA Annual Conference, June 2020
  • “Practice Pointer: Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the New Electronic H-1B Registration Process,” AILA, October 2020
  • “New USCIS Notice to Appear (NTA) Policy Guidance: Consideration for Business Practitioners,” Co-Author, August 2018
  • “Scaling the Invisible Wall: Approaching New Client Fees and Fee Agreements,” AILA Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, June 2019
  • “The President’s Quiet Attacks on Lawful Employment-Based Immigration,” Best Lawyers, January 10, 2018

Recent Presentations:

  • “Wow, That Was Expensive: LCA and H-1B Traps That Can Cost Clients,” AILA Business Section Steering Committee Roundtable, July 2022
  • Business Section Steering Committee Roundtable. AILA University, June 29, 2022
  • “Independents’ Day: Developments in L, E and TN Practice, Federal Bar Association, Detroit, MI, May 2022
  • “Material Changes & When to File Amendments,” 19th Annual AILA New England Immigration Law Conference, March 2022
  • “Ask BIRT: Tax Issues and Considerations for Foreign Nationals Who Cannot Work in the U.S.,” AILA, February 2022
  • “FY 2023 H-1B Cap Season: Electronic Registration and What You Need to Know Now,” AILA University, January 2022
  • “Opening Your Doors to International Talent,” Oakland County Michigan Works, Michigan, August 2021
  • “Ask BIRT AILA’s Business Immigration Response Team Open Questions, February 2021
  • “Ask BIRT AILA’s Business Immigration Response Team Open Questions, August 2020
  • “Pardon the Interruption: Advanced Tips and Tricks to Tackle Absurd Case Issues,” AILA Annual Conference, June 2020
  • “Michigan Chapter Business Immigration Update Call” MI AILA Chapter, April 2020
  • “Fighting It Out: Competing H-1B and PERM Practice Strategies” AILA Mid-Winter Conference, Curacao, January 2020
  • Ask BIRT: AILA’s Business Immigration Response Team Open Questions, October 2019
  • “Scaling the Invisible Wall,” AILA Annual Conference, June 2019
  • “Immigration Changes, Enforcement, Processes, and Proposed Regulations,” Michigan Chamber of Commerce, December 13, 2018
  • “Immigration for Business in 2018,” S.E. Michigan Employment Conference, May 3, 2018
  • “Hot Topics in Immigration,” The State Bar of Michigan NEXT Conference, September 28, 2017
  • “Immigration Changes and I-9 Updates Under the New Administration,” Clark Hill Labor and Employment Law Conference, May 4, 2017
  • Presenter at the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners Community Forum on Immigration, Detroit, MI, March 30, 2017
  • “Immigration Changes: New Regulations and Enforcement,” Webinar for the Horton Group’s Clients and Friends, March 3, 2017
  • “Updates from the U.S. Consulate in Toronto, With Officials from the U.S. Consulate,” Discussion Leader, MI AILA Mini-Conference, Livonia, MI, January 27, 2017


  • “Google Pauses Green Card Applications Leaving Foreign Workers in Limbo,” Observer, January 2023
  • Henry Ford Health System to Recruit 500 Nurses,” Crain’s, September 2022
  • “Top 3 Immigration Cases of 2021: Year in Review,” Law360, December 2021
  • “Top Five Immigration Policy Changes from 2020,” Law360, December 2020
  • “Top Five Immigration Policy Changes from 2020,” Law360, December 2020
  • “Trump Pushes to Reap Biometric Data from Immigrants, Americans,” Bloomberg Law, September 2020
  • “Attys Fear Longer Visa Wait Times with New Biometrics Rule,” Law360, September 2020
  • “USCIS Disputes Improperly Denying 900 H-1B Visa Registrations,” Forbes, April 2020
  • “Hospitality Biz Faces Visa Hurdles as Virus Forces Closures,” Law360, April 2020
  • “Pandemic Creates Roadblocks During H-1B Visa Cycle,” Law360, April 2020
  • “USCIS Mistakenly Denied Over 100 H-1B Visa Registrations,” Forbes, April 2020
  • “For H-1B Workers Facing Turmoil, Opportunity Lies Abroad,” CIODive, April 2019
  • “H-1B Approvals Down, Requests for Evidence Up as Filing Season Approaches,” HRDive, February 2019
  • “Trump Assures H-1B Holders ‘Potential Path to Citizenship’ What Does He Mean?” Observer, January 2019
  • “Skilled Worker Visa Lottery Could Favor Advanced Degree Holders,” Bloomberg Law, October 2018
  • “New Worries for Working Spouses of Visa Holders,” Crain’s Detroit Business, September 2018
  • “Trump’s H1-B Reform Is Unlikely to Happen Overnight,” Observer, January 4, 2018
  • “H1B: There aren’t enough US workers to fill STEM positions,” Radio Sputnik, April 19, 2017
  • “Amid tough talk on immigration, fewer companies apply for H-1B visas,” Crain’s Detroit Business, April 18, 2017
  • “Trump rhetoric expected to spark an uptick in visa applications,” Crain’s Detroit Business, April 7, 2017
  • “Detroit Police ‘Never Ask Immigration Status,” That’s Not Our Job, Chief Says,” MLive, March 2017
  • “Metro Detroit companies, universities weigh fallout from immigration order,” Crain’s Detroit Business, January 30, 2017
  • “5 Things Immigration Attys Shouldn’t Bill Clients For” Law360, July 2016
  • Fresh Start – Immigration Attorney Guides Clients to New Life in the U.S., featured in Macomb County Legal News, June 2016; and Jackson County Legal News, July 2016
  • Wooing the World: Lawyers help in the effort to keep the best, brightest foreign workers in the state, Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly, August 1, 2011
  • The downturn, rule change leave visas unclaimed, Crain’s Detroit Business, June 7, 2010

Clark Hill Immigration Business Unit Recognition:

  • Ranked Tier 1 Nationally and Regionally by U.S. News and World Report (2020-2022)
  • Immigration Law Firm of the Year, Gamechangers Global Awards (2021, 2022)
  • Ranked Nationally by U.S. News and World Report (2015-Present)
  • ACQ Law Award Winner Immigration Law Firm of the Year (2017-2018, 2020)
  • Corporate LiveWire Global Award Winner for Immigration Law Firm of the Year (2015-2016, 2018)
  • Recognized U.S. Immigration Law Firm of the Year in the ACQ Law Awards (2014-2015, 2017-2018)
  • Lawyers Worldwide Awards Magazine Corporate Immigration Law Firm of the Year USA (2018)
  • Named Immigration Law Firm of the Year USA by Finance Monthly Law Awards (2017-2018)
  • Rated Nationally by Best Lawyers for Immigration Law in Detroit, Michigan (2017)
  • Named Legal Team of the Year for Corporate Immigration by Lawyer Issue (2017)
  • Corporate LiveWire International M&A Awards Immigration Law Firm of the Year (2015-2016)
  • Listed U.S. Regional Immigration Law Firm of the Year in the ACQ Law Awards (2014)
  • Award for Excellence in Immigration Law Michigan by AI Global Immigration & Logistics (2015)
  • Named Best Immigration Specialist for Fortune 500 Companies – Michigan and Best International Immigration Team – Michigan by Acquisition International Global Mobility and Immigration Awards (2014)