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OVERVIEW

M. Mercedes Badia-Tavas
Partner

Chicago

One North Wacker Drive
Suite 4400
Chicago, IL 60606-2833

P 312-214-8313

F 312-759-5646

OVERVIEW

M. Mercedes Badia-Tavas
Partner

Chicago

One North Wacker Drive
Suite 4400
Chicago, IL 60606-2833

P 312-214-8313

F 312-759-5646

Mercedes Badia-Tavas provides legal and business guidance to clients on a broad range of immigration law cases, with focus on Fortune 500 and small companies alike. Mercedes supports her firm’s offices and clients across various states on immigration employment transfers and up-to-date compliance.

OVERVIEW

Mercedes Badia-Tavas provides legal and business guidance to clients on a broad range of immigration law cases, with focus on Fortune 500 and small companies alike. Mercedes supports her firm’s offices and clients across various states on immigration employment transfers and up-to-date compliance.

As an immigrant herself, Mercedes finds particular fulfillment in helping companies and individuals immigrate to the United States and participate in the American dream through startups and business transactions that also can benefit the U.S. economy.

Mercedes attributes much of her practice today to her dedication to resourcefulness from years of experience, meticulous preparation and organization skills. This entails a thorough understanding of her client’s industry, operations, culture, practices and financial goals in order to lay out realistic expectations and alternative strategies, as needed. Mercedes believes in being organized in her approach and documentation as a way of helping her clients manage costs. She and her team are committed to employing systems-driven tracking, timely updates and follow-ups with clients, and being pragmatic when unexpected issues arise.

Mercedes advises on a range of employment-based immigration needs, including temporary (nonimmigrant) and permanent (immigrant) visas for executives, managers, investors, professionals, aliens of extraordinary ability, and essential, specialized and skilled workers. She works hand-in-hand with clients on their corporate global mobility policies and compliance documentation regarding sponsoring foreign nationals for employment-based visa classifications. She is regularly involved in I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification (EEV) and H-1B Labor Condition Application compliance.

Mercedes also provides in-house and on-site training on immigration planning for personnel transfers, immigration-related due diligence for mergers and acquisitions, consular applications, and naturalization and citizenship initiatives. She guides clients through internal immigration program administration and monitoring, and trains human resource personnel and other managers on the evolving areas of immigration law and practical integration of immigration policies, procedures and compliance statutes to everyday business operations.

Born in Cuba and bilingual in Spanish and English, Mercedes has sincere compassion for and sensitivity to her clients, keenly aware of the legal land mines and tedious pathways they would navigate through the U.S. immigration system. Whether Mercedes is advising on an immigration matter for an individual relocating from abroad, transferring within the U.S. from another employer, entering the U.S. workforce from student status, looking to build a U.S. business or someone part of a cultural exchange program, she provides her experience with the same strong zeal and commitment toward the best outcome.

Notably, Mercedes has been featured on NPR and Spanish-language broadcasts on immigration topics, many of which included audience call-ins. Prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg, Mercedes had built her own legal practice over nine years as the founding partner of Badia-Tavas Law Group, representing similar categories of clients she now services, with a little more individual and family-type immigration cases involved. She has traveled and lived throughout Latin America.

Professional and Community Involvement

Executive board member and past chair, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Chicago Chapter

Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Congressional Advocacy and several government liaison committees

Member, American Bar Association International Section

Member, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois

Member, UNO Metropolitan Leadership Institute of Chicago

Honors

The Best Lawyers in America, 2016-2020

EXPERIENCE

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INSIGHTS & EVENTS
Publications
  • “Observations on Argentine Arbitration,” American Review of International Arbitration, Parker School of Comparative and International Law, Columbia University
  • Contributing author, several articles in various volumes of AILA’s Immigration & Nationality Law Handbooks, including articles on “Employer Sanctions,” “Visa Options for Trainees” and “Proper Uses of the B-1 Visa”
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