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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)

AVVO Rated 10 out of 10

Best Lawyer, DBusiness Magazine (2013-2021)

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

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

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

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

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

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)

Leading Lawyer – Immigration, Leading Lawyers Magazine (2019)

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

Marquis Who’s Who in the World (2018-2021)

Selected to the Michigan Super Lawyers list for 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)

Named a Leading Lawyer in Michigan by Leading Lawyers℠ (2022)


American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

  • Business Immigration Response Team, Vice-Chair (2018-2021)
  • Department of Labor Liaison Section, Michigan Chapter, Member (2004-2005)
  • Michigan Chapter, Chair (2007-2009)
  • Mid-Year Conference Program, Chair, (2015)
  • National Business Committee, Member (2015-2016)
  • National Business Committee, Chair (2011-2015)
  • National Future of Immigration Law Practice Task Force, Member (2016-2017)
  • 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


  • “Pardon the Interruption: Advanced Tips and Tricks to Tackle Absurd Case Issues,” AILA Annual Conference, June 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
  • “Practice Pointer: Mergers & Acquisitions – Quick Tips,” AILA Annual Conference, June 2016
  • “What About the Legal Immigrants?” Best Lawyers Business Edition Magazine, Winter 2016
  • “Immigration Changes: New Regulations & Enforcement,” MI Chamber of Commerce Webinar, December 6, 2016
  • “BALCA Decisions and Current Trends in PERM Processing,” AILA Practice Pointer, October 20, 2016
  • “The E Visa Process in Canada,” AILA Fall Conference, September 2016
  • “The New Normal: Processing Green Cards for Clients Who Did Not or Will Not Receive H-1Bs,” AILA Annual Conference, June 2016
  • “My Ever-Changing Employment: Material Changes as It Relates to H-1B, L-1, E TN and O-1 Status,” AILA Annual Conference, June 2015
  • “Practice Pointer: Ethical Considerations with PERM and U.S. Workers,” AILA Annual Conference, June 2014
  • “How to Navigate the Visa Bulletin’s Murky Waters,” AILA Annual Conference, Fundamentals Publication, June 2014
  • “Practice Pointer: How to Navigate the Visa Bulletin’s Murky Waters,” AILA Annual Conference, June 2013
  • “Practice Pointer: Immigration Options for Entrepreneurs,” Handout for AILA, Audio Seminar, 2012
  • “Commuter Green Cards—A Strange Species,” Upstate New York AILA Chapter Annual Conference, 2012
  • “An Update on Ability to Pay in a Post-Recession Economy,” AILA, 2011
  • Using NAFTA and Other Vehicles to Enter or Depart the United States: Emerging TN, 245(K) and H-B Gap Issues, AILA, 2010
  • Aliens and Immigration, Michigan Law and Practice Encyclopedia, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc. (Lexis/Nexis), Vol. 1, 2006
  • Australia, Sydney, The Visa Processing Guide and Consular Posts Handbook, American Immigration Lawyers Association, 1999-2007
  • Employer Handbook, Immigration, Michigan Manufacturers Association, 2005 and 2006


  • “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, Moderator
  • “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
  • “Resistance is Futile: The Dismantling of the Traditional Law Office,” AILA Solo and Small Firm Practice Management Conference, December 9, 2016
  • “BALCA Decisions and Current Trends in PERM Processing,” Discussion leader, AILA Web Seminar, October 20, 2016
  • “Canada Consular Cross Border Practice,” Discussion Leader, AILA Fall Conference, Toronto, Canada, September 23, 2016
  • “Mind the H-1B Gap: How to Hold on Until Next October,” Discussion Leader, AILA Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV, June 23, 2016
  • “CBP/DOS Conversation,” Discussion Leader, Chicago AILA, Chicago, IL, March 14, 2016
  • “Handling Immigration in Employment Law Matters,” Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), January 2016
  • “Staffing Companies and US Immigration: I-9s for Offsite Workers, H-1B Sponsorship, and Other Challenges,” Clark Hill Webinar, November 10, 2015
  • “What the New Visa Bulletin Means for Employers,” Counsel for Global Immigration and SHRM Presentation, Webinar, October 20, 2015
  • “An Immigration Update – I-9 Forms and Independent Contractors, Latest Immigration Updates, and Expected Regulatory Changes,” Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Webinar, September 10, 2015
  • “Effects of Immigration on Business,” Michigan Association of CPAs, Management Information & Business Show, Novi, MI, June 24, 2015
  • “My Ever-Changing Employment: Material Changes as It Relates to H-1B, L-1, E TN and O-1 Status,” AILA Annual Conference, June 2015
  • “Immigration Enforcement, I-9 Compliance & Audits,” Clark Hill Employment Conference, Novi, MI, April 28, 2015
  • “Turning Your Employer-Client Relationship from A Prickly Pear Cactus into A Bird of Paradise,” AILA Mid-Year Conference, Maui, Hawaii, January 2015
  • “Ethical and Practice Concerns in the PERM Process,” New Jersey ICLE, Newark, New Jersey, November 12, 2014
  • “Immigration Enforcement, I-9 Compliance & Audits, Green Cards, and Temporary Visas,” Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Lansing, MI, August 19, 2014
  • “Ethical Issues in the PERM Process: How to Advise Employers in Shifting Sands,” AILA Annual Conference, Boston, MA, June 20, 2014
  • “Moving People and Material: Understanding Core U.S. Employment, Immigration and Importation Issues When Moving Foreign Nationals to the U.S.,” Webinar, Clark Hill PLC, May 21, 2014
  • “Jeopardy: PERM Recruitment,” AILA PERM Conference, August 2013
  • “The Visa Bulletin: A View from Charlie Oppenheim’s Desk,” AILA Annual Conference, San Francisco, June 2013
  • “Engaging Foreign Nationals for Contingent Positions,” HR.West, San Francisco, CA, April 22, 2013
  • “Recurring NIV Issues,” AILA Midwest Conference, Chicago, IL, March 15, 2013
  • “Immigration Options for Entrepreneurs,” AILA Audio Seminar, Discussion Leader, November 2012
  • “Unique Issues for the Border Practitioner,” Upstate New York AILA Chapter Annual Conference, October 2012
  • “Immigration Risks: How to Bring the Best Talent from Overseas,” 2012 CW Risk Forum, Staffing Industry Analysts, San Diego, CA, September 2012
  • “Making it Work, the Building Blocks of a Comprehensive Compliance Program,” 2012 CW Risk Forum, Staffing Industry Analysts, San Diego, CA, September 2012
  • “AILA Hot Topics Strategy Session with AILA Superstars,” AILA Annual Conference, Nashville, TN, June 2012
  • “How to Survive an I-9 Audit/Raid,” Clark Hill Annual Employment Conference, May 2012
  • “My PERM was Denied! Now What? A Practical Guide to Next Steps,” Michigan AILA 2012 Annual Conference, Detroit, MI, April 2012
  • “Play Your Cards Right – E-Verify,” NALS, Detroit, MI, April 2012
  • “Pardon the Interruption: Advanced Tips and Tricks for Tackling the Absurd,” AILA New England Chapter’s Annual Conference, Boston, MA, March 2012
  • “BALCA Appeals: What’s happening Now,” Ohio AILA Chapter, Columbus, Ohio, November 11, 2011
  • “International Student Retention,” Moderator, Conference on Immigration and Michigan’s Economic Future, New Michigan Media and Global Detroit, Detroit, MI, July 2011
  • “My PERM was Denied! Now What? A Practical Guide to Next Steps,” AILA 2011 Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, June 2011.
  • “Ask the Experts: E-1 and E-2 Visas,” Michigan AILA Chapter, March 18, 2011
  • “Temporary Assignment of Executives Across Borders: Immigration and Tax Consequences,” Globalaw Americas Regional Meeting, New York City, New York, March 2011.
  • “The Economic Effects on Immigrant Visa Petitions – Rough Ride on Stormy Water,” AILA 2011 Mid-Year Conference, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, January 2010
  • “The DOL is Coming! The DOL is Coming! No, It’s Just the PERM Process: Part 1,” AILA 2010 Annual Conference, Washington DC, June 2010
  • “Bringing Foreign Employees to Germany and the US,” Moderator, Globalaw, April 28, 2010
  • “What Every Employer Needs to Know About Hiring Physicians in J-1 or H-1B status,” Webinar, Clark Hill PLC, February 24, 2010
  • “Moving Employees to Hong Kong, Greater China, and the United Kingdom – What Every Employer Needs to Know,” Moderator, Webinar, Clark Hill PLC, February 3, 2010
  • “Using NAFTA to Enter the US, The Impact of Global Migration on Business Immigration Practice,” AILA Midyear CLE Conference, January 2010
  • “I-9 and E-Verify Update,” Clark Hill PLC Annual Employment Conference, April 2009 and May 2010
  • “I-9 and E-Verify Update,” in Partnership with nowHIRE, 2009-2013
  • “I-9s, Social Security ‘No-Match’ Letters and E-Verify,” Webinar, Clark Hill PLC, July 17, 2008
  • State of Michigan Senate and House of Representatives Talent Caucus on Immigration Issues, April 2008
  • “Hidden Pitfalls When Dealing with International Workers,” Institute for Continuing Legal Education, April 2008
  • State of Michigan Senate Transportation Committee on Immigration Issues and Michigan Driver’s Licenses, January 2008
  • “Why Can’t I Get A Date: Understanding Green Card Priority Dates and Employment-Based Green Card Delays,” Webinar, Clark Hill PLC, December 2006
  • “Non-Employment Based Nonimmigrant Visas,” AILA 2006 Annual Conference, San Antonio, Texas, June 2006
  • “Strategic Options for Dealing with the H-1B Blackout,” Webinar, Clark Hill PLC, March 2006
  • “PERM- The New Process for Foreign Employee Certification,” Clark Hill Annual Employment Conference, October 2005
  • “PERM Strategies,” Michigan Manufacturing Association, April 2005
  • Moderator, Michigan Bar Association Conference, International Law Section, “Visa Delays,” 2003


  • “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)
  • Ranked Nationally by U.S. News and World Report (2015-Present)
  • Corporate LiveWire Global Award Winner for Immigration Law Firm of the Year (2015-2016, 2018)
  • Corporate LiveWire International M&A Awards Immigration Law Firm of the Year (2015-2016)
  • Rated Nationally by Best Lawyers for Immigration Law in Detroit, Michigan (2017)
  • ACQ Law Award Winner Immigration Law Firm of the Year (2017-2018)
  • Recognized U.S. Immigration Law Firm of the Year in the ACQ Law Awards (2014-2015, 2017-2018)
  • Listed U.S. Regional Immigration Law Firm of the Year in the ACQ Law Awards (2014)
  • Recognized by International Who’s Who Legal for Corporate Immigration: Michigan (2011-Present)
  • Listed “Who’s Who in the World” by International Who’s Who Legal (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)
  • Named Legal Team of the Year for Corporate Immigration by Lawyerissue (2017)
  • 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)