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A Better Partnership

Michael E. Wooley

Partner | Email

  • Midland

    t. +1.989.698.3715

    f. +1.989.486.6115


Michael Wooley has 23 years of experience in employment-based immigration and his practice focuses solely on immigration. Mike specializes in working with C-level corporate officers and general counsels to formulate long-term immigration plans and short-term solutions for U.S. and international companies. Mike regularly speaks on immigration topics to various professional organizations and enjoys training clients’ HR teams. His expertise encompasses non-immigrant and immigrant business visas, including PERM filings and National Interest Waivers. Mike has exceptional success defending USDOL PERM audits and interfacing with immigration-related federal agencies. He has successfully represented clients in immigration appeals and immigration court. He also assists clients’ employees with family-based immigration matters and naturalization. A former Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador, Mike is fluent in oral and written Spanish. 



  • University of Michigan Law School J.D. 1993
  • Central Michigan University B.A. 1988 magna cum laude


  • 1994, Michigan


  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan in 1994
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan in 1995
  • U.S. Tax Court

Bar Associations

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Bay County Bar Association
  • Saginaw County Bar Association
  • Midland County Bar Association


  • Spanish


  • Works with investors and their families from the early stage of E non-immigrant visas through EB-5 immigrant investor visa status to obtain U.S. permanent residency and ultimately U.S. citizenship, if desired
  • Advises employers of all sizes regarding complex H-1B issues, including wage and benefit obligations, cap gap issues and roving employees
  • Represents multinational companies in obtaining visas and advises U.S. permanent resident employees on maintaining U.S. status while working abroad
  • High approval record on labor certification applications for employees in numerous fields, including healthcare, higher education, information technology and engineering
  • Represents highly skilled foreign nationals and their employers regarding permanent resident categories for outstanding researchers, persons of extraordinary ability in their field and persons whose work impacts national interest
  • Counsels agribusiness entities, including large scale dairy farms, on  immigration and associated foreign ownership issues
  • Works with hospitals and other healthcare providers in hiring foreign medical professionals, such as physicians requiring J-1 waivers
  • Counsels colleges and universities in obtaining both temporary worker and permanent resident status for professors
  • Advises individuals on family-based immigration and naturalization, as well as derivative citizenship issues

Honors & Awards

  • A Lawyer Helps Pro Bono Honor Roll, State Bar of Michigan, Tier 2, 2020-21
  • Leading Lawyers Michigan – Immigration Law, 2021
  • Leading Lawyers Client Distinction Award - Immigration Law: Employment, 2017
  • Martindale-Hubbell Client Satisfaction Award, 2013-2016
  • Top Michigan Lawyers – Immigration, Detroit News, 2006



Civic Affiliations

  • Bay City Charter Review Commission, Vice Chairman (2017-2019)
  • Bay Arts Council, Board of Trustees, Bay City, Michigan (2010-2012)
  • Masonic Temple Transfer Committee Chairman (2011-2012)
  • Bay City Board of Canvassers, Vice Chair, Bay City, Michigan (2008-2014)
  • Great Lakes Bay Region Leadership Institute, Regional Ambassador, Bay/Saginaw/Midland Counties, Michigan (2009-Present)
    Steering Committee Member (2008-2009)
    Vision TriCounty Graduate (2008)
  • Center Avenue Neighborhood Association, Board of Directors, Bay City, Michigan (2009-2011)
  • City Commissioner for Bay City, Michigan (2003-2007)
    Vice President (2003-2005); President (2006-2007)
  • Honors Alumni Association, Central Michigan University; Mt. Pleasant, Michigan (2002-Present)
    Interviewer, Centralis Scholarship Selection, February 23, 2002
  • Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Corporate Member, Bay City, Michigan (1996-Present)
    Business and Education Partnership
    Volunteer Elementary School Reader (2007-2013)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, Michigan Chapter, Member of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Liaison Committee (2019-Present); Mentor (2020-Present)
  • Board of Visitors, Ave Maria School of Law, Ann Arbor, Michigan (2000-2009)
  • Bay County Bar Association, Board of Directors (1998-2004)
    President (2002-2003)
    Law Day Chairman (2001)
    Treasurer (1999-2001)
  • Bay County Habitat for Humanity Legal Counsel and Member of Board of Directors (1999-2003)
  • Mid-Michigan Dispute Resolution Center, Board of Trustees (1998-2001)

Community Affiliations

  • St. Boniface Catholic Church, Bay City, Michigan (1999-Present)
    Member, Parish Council (2000-2003)
    Presider, Jail Ministry Service (2000-2004)
  • International Association of Lions Clubs, Bay City, Michigan (2008-Present)
  • New Dimensions
    Board member (2007-Present)
  • Japanese Cultural Center, Tea House and Gardens of Saginaw
    Board Member (2011-Present)
  • Bay City Noon Optimist Club, Bay City, Michigan (1997-2009)
    Secretary (1997-1998)
  • Knights of Columbus
    Charter Member, St. Stanislaus Kostka Council 12423, Bay City, Michigan (1999-Present); Deputy Grand Knight (2000-2001); Color Corps Member, Bishop Murphy Assembly, Bay City, Michigan (2000-Present)
  • Bay City Morning Rotary Club, Bay City, Michigan (2004-2007)
  • Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance
    Ambassador (2008-Present)

Speaking Engagements

  • "Labor Shortages? How to Use Nonimmigrant Visas to Attract and Hire Foreign Talent," Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership and Warner Presentation, July 27, 2021, Owosso, Michigan
  • "Presidential Proclamations and Travel Bans," Warner 2020 HR Executive Panel, October 7, 2020
  • "Rethinking Your Workforce Strategies from Recruitment to Retention," Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 7, 2019, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Avenues for New Physicians to Work in the U.S.”, Canadian Osteopathic Student Organization, April 18, 2019, Michigan State University – College of Osteopathic Medicine, Lansing, Michigan
  • “Immigration Overview for the Michigan Colleges Alliance,” February 21, 2019, Lansing, Michigan
  • "Immigration Law Update," Warner 2018 HR Executive Briefing, September 21, 2018, Marquette, Michigan
  • “Updates on Immigration for Healthcare Providers,” Michigan Recruitment and Retention Network Annual Conference, August 20, 2018, Traverse City, Michigan
  • "Business Visas," Warner Human Resources Seminar, May 3, 2018, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • “Avenues for New Physicians to Work in the U.S.”, Canadian Osteopathic Student Organization, February 26, 2018, Michigan State University – College of Osteopathic Medicine, Lansing, Michigan
  • “Updates on Immigration Changes for Providers,” Michigan Recruitment and Retention Network Annual Conference, August 15, 2017, Traverse City, Michigan
  • “Immigration Overview for Higher Education HR Professionals,” Ohio CUPA-HR Spring Conference, March 23, 2017, Ohio Northern University, Ada, Ohio
  • "Managing an Evolving Workforce," Warner Labor & Benefits Executive Panel, October 21, 2016, Traverse City, Michigan, October 25, 2016, Midland, Michigan
  • Guest Television Panelist, discussing “Immigration Reform,” Somos Hispanos with Santiago Peregino, Delta College Public Television, Sunday, September 21, 2014
  • Guest Speaker, Sterling Education Services, Immigration Law: I-9, E-verify and SSN Mismatch Letters, Bay Valley Resort, Bay City, Michigan, October 15, 2013
  • Guest Television Panelist, discussing “S.44 Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act,” Somos Hispanos with Santiago Peregino, Delta College Public Television, Sunday, September 22, 2013
  • Guest Panelist, CMU “Speak Up, Speak Out” series, Immigration in the U.S., Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, February 23, 2011
  • Guest Speaker, American Society of Employers, E-Verify and Social Security No-match Obligations, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Michigan, September 25, 2009
  • Guest Speaker, American Society of Employers, Employment Eligibility Verification: What Every Employer Should Know, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Michigan, July 25, 2008
  • Guest Speaker, American Society of Employers, E-Verify and Revised Form I-9: How Do the New Rules Affect Your Business?, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Michigan, June 26, 2008
  • Guest Speaker, Michigan Association of County Clerks, Marriage Applications – Identity Documents, Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire, Michigan, April 11, 2008
  • Guest Speaker, Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce, Diversity in the Workplace: It Will Affect Your Business – Immigration Law and Employer Liability, Horizons Conference Center, Saginaw, Michigan, October 2007
  • Guest Panelist, Consulate of Mexico in Detroit, Immigration Clinic, Detroit, Michigan, February 17, 2005
  • Guest Speaker, Ave Maria School of Law, Immigration Issues Relating to Foreign Physicians, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2001-2005


"Great Lakes Bay Health Centers has worked with Michael Wooley for over five years. He is incredibly knowledgeable and makes the immigration process a breeze for our physicians and dentists. He is prompt, responsive and our providers really like working with him. We would absolutely recommend him to the health care community and any business who employs professionals from other countries."
-Lisa Galonska, Executive Vice President for Great Lakes Bay Health Centers

"My professional association with Mr. Wooley started in the early 2000s when I was vice president for academic affairs at Saginaw Valley State University. During those years, I hired a handful of faculty members from China, India and Taiwan, and Mr. Wooley provided excellent experience and effective service in handling their immigration papers. Most have become valuable members. I retired from Saginaw Valley State University in 2006 and in my new capacity as vice president for international affairs of Ming Chuan University, a Taiwan-based higher education institution, the first and only university in Asia accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, I continue to utilize Mr. Wooley's services. Recently, Mr.Wooley successfully processed an application for an H-1B visa for a staff member of Ming Chuan University-Michigan in Taiwan. Mr. Wooley is a trusted legal counsel and his service is professional, responsive, prompt and clear. He delivers!"
- Robert S. P. Y., Taipei, Taiwan

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