Immigration Attorneys

Parent Q&A

EB3 Visa for Nanny? Sep 22, 2021 (1 responses below)
Looking for an experienced immigration lawyer Oct 6, 2020 (4 responses below)
Recommendation Immigration Lawyer Jun 2, 2020 (5 responses below)
Seeking immigration attorney Jul 13, 2018 (2 responses below)
Legal Help for Mexican-born Young Man in Limbo (DACA) Sep 18, 2016 (1 responses below)
  • EB3 Visa for Nanny?

    (1 reply)

    Hello! Has anyone ever tried hiring a foreign nanny using an EB3 visa? Or does anyone have any recommendations for an immigration attorney who might be able to provide advice on whether this a viable option? 

    RE: EB3 Visa for Nanny? ()

    I am an immigration lawyer. EB3 stands for employment based immigrant visa preference category 3 which is one of several categories under which one can seek permanent residence (aka green card) in the US. This does not provide immediate ability to work. But, I’m a later stage of the process, it can produce a work permit. Below, please find a list of attorneys whom I respect that are likely to have come across nanny questions. Please note that if the nanny is here in the US without valid immigration status or has entered the US without inspection (“illegally crossing the border”), options are severely limited. 


  • I am looking for an immigration lawyer who has experience in filing a writ of mandamus regarding a delayed US citizenship application. I passed my US citizenship interview in May 2019, but USCIS has not made a decision regarding my application since then nor have they asked for further documents. They also don't tell me what the reason for the delay is. If you know of a lawyer who is able to help me, please reply.

    Hi there,

    I used Jason Marachi in SF for my Green Card stuff years ago. He was affordable, down to earth and personable. I highly recommend him:

    Good luck!

    I recommend contacting Fuerza Immigration Lawyers in Oakland. Request an appointment with attorney Kevin Crabtree. He has a lot of successful experience with your exact situation. 

    I’ve worked with Robert Jobe and Christine Stouffer in the past on complex immigration cases. Either would be good at this.

  • Recommendation Immigration Lawyer

    (5 replies)

    Hello, I'm planning to apply for US citizenship and I need to consult a lawyer beforehand. Do you have recommendations of a lawyer you or someone you know used to help with the naturalization process/N-400, preferably in the East Bay but any Bay Area location is fine. Thanks so much.

    Elliot and Mayock. They helped me with various visas and My green card.

    Stacey Gartland at Van Der Hout LLP is phenomenal. She is very well informed and the consummate professional. She devised a strategy that helped me save a lot of time. 

    I highly recommend Richard Kolomejec. We used him for my husband's green card and citizenship and I have friends that have used him as well.

  • My husband has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Canada, and we woud like to get our 14 year old daughter dual citizenship as well. Can anyone recommend a good immigration lawyer in the East Bay to assist us with this process?

    If your husband is a Canadian citizen born in Canada your daughter is already a citizen and all you need to do is request her citizenship certificate. A DIY process that took us only a few months waiting time for it to arrive in the mail.

    I don't know the citizenship rules for Canada but if you're husband has dual citizenship why can't you go to the Canadian consulate and apply for citizenship for your daughter? My wife has French citizenship and when our daughter was born we went to the French consulate in SF, verified our daughter is our daughter and that my wife has citizenship and that was it. We received her passport a few weeks later.

    We have worked with Amy Wang at the International Institute of the Bay Area in Oakland and really love her! That said she has helped us with more complex green card/residency stuff -- for dual citizenship things we have always been able to easily get help from a consul directly at the consulate of the country (Mexico in our case).

  • Seeking immigration attorney

    (2 replies)

    Hi everyone 

    We are seeking an immigration attorney, preferably in El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley, Oakland or SF. Does anyone have any good recommendations?

    Thank you!

    RE: Seeking immigration attorney ()

    To give a good recommendation it will help to have more information. Is this for someone who has some kind of status already? Are you looking for an orientation or want family based, employment based, or humanitarian (like asylum or victim of crime) relief? Does the attorney need to speak a particular language? Any criminal issues? 

    I may have some recommendations but they are very tailored to particular kinds of cases. 

    Feel free to email me but if you are able to post more info publicly that might help get you the info you need. 


    RE: Seeking immigration attorney ()

    I was turned down by at least 10 attorneys and then found Robert Job in SF who gave me the simplest solution possible to my case and just told me to do all on my own so not a mercenary at all! He is brilliant and will solve anyone’s issues. Good luck!

  • I want to help a wonderful young man who is trapped in the "dreamer" generation in legal limbo - brought to the US by his parents when he was a toddler, grew up here, went to college, met my daughter here. His parents became citizens, his older siblings did too, but apparently through some paperwork snafu involving a dishonest attorney in Texas, all he has is a work visa and the "DACA" status. Now with Trump in the wings and the anti-immigrant vitriol out there I'm really scared for him - and also concerned about his job prospects, ability to travel, and just the endless uncertainty. He has brought much joy into my daughter's life and ours.  He is an American in outlook and upbringing, with solid professional skills, a great work ethic and a good heart, and yet he is persona non grata.  What can we do? 

    I looked at BPN and didn't see recent recommendations addressing the DACA situation.  Should he go to legal aid?  Which one?  He doesn't have a lot in the way of financial resources except some earnings through some temporary work he's doing while looking for a real job. We have some means and would happily help, although he's very proud and doesn't want us to pay for him. Also, while I think he and my daughter will probably get married someday, they don't necessarily want to use that as the "way in" - and in fact I think that may not even be a sure solution.  Help!!

    Hi - you could recommend he go to any of these organizations (I assume he is in the Bay area) which have formed a collaborative to provide legal aid to DACA eligible individuals:

    That you are so supportive to him I am sure means a lot.  Like many others he is in a terrible situation.  I wonder if the Texas snafu could be unraveled, if the rest of his family was able to get citizenship.  That your daughter may want to marry him some day could provide another avenue for him to regularize his status, although no relationship needs that kind of pressure.  A third option would be the pipe dream of comprehensive immigration reform.

    Just to clarify something - he doesn't have a work visa if he is on DACA.  He has work authorization under DACA but not a work visa (a work visa would mean he is legally inside the US on a temporary basis for the purpose of work.  Even as a DACA recipient he does not have a legal status in the U.S.) 

    I pray voters think kindly about people like this young man in your life, when they go to the polls in November.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Immigration attorney to help with dual citizenship

Nov 2014

I'm looking for a competent immigration lawyer (preferably in Berkeley) who can give me the lowdown on becoming a dual citizen. Thanks!

Immigration lawyer in Berkeley: Michele Mack Liedeker. liedeker [at] 415-378-3704 She's in Berkeley, despite 415 number.

Immigration help for citizenship

May 2012

Looking for an immigration lawyer for some questions for moving from green card to citizenship status. Prefer Berkeley to San Pablo or SF. Shamrock

Check out Bernardo Merino Law: He has offices in San Jose and San Francisco.

Dustin Bankston is an immigration attorney in Albany. He focuses his practice in applications involving adjustment of status, naturalization, and humanitarian issues. His firm endeavors to help immigrants in low-income communities by setting competitive, affordable prices and offering payment plans. -- Dustin C. Bankston, Attorney at Law Bankston Immigration Law Office 1604 Solano Ave. Berkeley, CA 94707 (510) 725-0987

    Immigration lawyer to help with H1 visa

    Oct 2010

    Hello, I an new to Berkeley and looking for a good immigration lawyer to help us with an H1 visa. I do not want to overpay but I do want best help possible. Any recommendations please? Thanks, Daniela

    I would highly recommend you to Leslie Jewell for your immigration needs/H1 Visa. She and her paralegal, Dorrie, are just wonderful, and will take care of anything that you need, or be able to point you in the right direction. Website is or call 415-856-0100. Rates are very reasonable, but most importantly, they are thorough and good. They have helped my partner and my sister with a variety of immigration needs (from simple to complex). Kandra

    Adria-Ann McMurray handled my immigration case through to citizenship several years ago and I highly recommend her for her professional, yet personal, approach. Although she works mostly on family-based cases, she also handles business cases, such as H1-Bs. Adria-Ann McMurray 1225B Solano Avenue, Albany CA, 94706 (510) 841-0788

    If you're looking for an attorney in a larger immigration firm that specializes in business cases, contact Michael Ungar at Simmons & Ungar. Michael Ungar 50 California St #470, SF, CA 94111 (415) 421-0860 Good luck. anon

    Hi there, I can highly recommend Rhoda Wilkinson Domingo. She brings such passion to what she does, and her results are amazing. She has tried cases that resulted in two published opinions (a rare accomplishment), and she brings that same enthusiasm to every case she takes on. She can absolutely help you with your H1 situation. You can reach her at (415) 986-1121 or office [at] Best of luck to you. Kimberley

    I would like to recommend a fabulous immigration lawyer named Acton Yang. He has been incredibly helpful, understanding and generous with me and my British husband. His main office is in San Jose, but he also has an office in San Francisco. He was very affordable, as well. Give him a call! Acton Yang 408.920.0538

    Immigration attorney to help my brother immigrate to the US from Israel

    Sept 2010

    I am looking for a recommnendatiuon for a great immigration attorney to help my brother immigrate to the US from Israel. I am a US Citizen, immigrated to the US 10 years ago, work full-time and can support my brother. I am looking for an experienced attorney. If he speaks Russian or has an experience with helping to immigrate from Israel to the US it would be an extra plus. Please help!!! Will appreciate your help greatly

    Perhaps Ilya Zdragat? He speaks Russian and offers free consultations by e-mail. Here is his site--English:
    You could at least e-mail him the details of your situation and he should be able to advise you. Immigrantka

    My clients have been happy with immigration attorney Jennifer Smythe. Her office has Russian language support. Jennifer Smythe Law Office of Gali Schaham Gordon Immigration and Nationality Law 55 New Montgomery Street, Suite 308 San Francisco, CA 94105 Ph: (415) 284-1601 Fax: (415) 520-0790 jennifer [at] Visit our blog at: Bio: . . Scott

    Try George Hepner at He's located on Market St in San Francisco. I dealt with him when I was helping my brother get into the US a couple years ago. George was very helpful, very approachable, easy to reach, and the visa process went really smoothly. Rosie

    Immigration attorney for permission to re-enter the US

    Oct 2008

    I need a recommendation for an immigration lawyer. My husband has a green card, we are temporarily living in Europe, and we need to renew his permission to re-enter the US when we return to Berkeley. In this hostile climate, I worry about his jeapordizing his green card, so I would like to consult with a savvy immigration lawyer. Thank you. rachel

    There is an excellent immigration firm in San Francisco. The attorneys are knowledgeable, experienced, professional, and nice. I can't recommend them highly enough. McCown & Evans

    Immigration attorney for immigration nightmare

    Sept 2008

    I have a dear friend whose husband is stuck in an immigration nightmare. He is from Cental America and has been here since he was a child. She and her children are citizens. They have worked with an attorney and despite the money they have paid him they have not been well served. Recommendations for attorneys in the east bay or sf area most welcomed. worried friend

    Hi, has your friend contacted the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco? They specialize in serving as a legal clearinghouse for both immigration lawyers and immigrants. There are several excellent immigration lawyers affiliated with this organization that they can refer your friend to. Their website is: and their phone number is: 415-255-9499 Best of luck.

    I highly recommend my office mate, Evelyn Herrera (510-845-1200) for immigration issues. She is highly experienced and is a native Spanish speaker from El Salvador. Hopefully she can help. Ariel

    You will want to contact Lunas & Rampton ( who work all over the Bay Area at either 415-398-5484 or 510-333-5978. Recently they've been honored by California Lawyer Magazine with the 2008 Angel Award for their pro bono work at the immigration clinic in Oakland's Centro Legal de la Raza. Two very wonderful people who care passionately about the families they serve! Carla

    I didn't reply immediately to the lady who was looking for an immigration attorney, but I would recommend this one I know. Her name is Julia Day Marquez. Her tel. nr is (415)781-2338. She works at Fallon, Bixby, Cheng & Lee, Immigration Law, 130 Battery street, Suite 550, San Francisco, CA 94111. She was very professional, knowledgeable and helpful to me. I don't know if she would be the right fit for you, but you can give it a try. Marie

    Steve Baughman 415-576-9923 and Jim Mayock 415-765-5111, both in SF, specialize in immigration. Both are very smart guys. Steve speaks Mandarin. Jim has given talks on immigration from Europe. peg

    2004 - 2007 Reviews

    Immigration lawyer for Green card

    July 2007

    I need a recommendation for an Immigration Attorney for Green Card. The existing recommendations are two years or three years old. Thanks, A.

    My office mate, Evelyn Herrera is an excellent immigration attorney with years of experience. Her office is in Berkeley and her number is 510-845-1200. Ariel

    Seven years ago, my husband and I used Judith Bloomberg, (415) 258-9152/415-392-6101 and we found her great. She helped us get my husband a green card after we got married. Stephanie

    Immigration lawyer for children of a green card holder

    August 2004

    We are looking for a good immigration lawyer - someone that knows their stuff, not too expensive and preferably in Berkeley area. We want to apply for a green card for children of a green card holder. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks Cali

    I highly recommend Mary Beth Kaufman. She is an excellent lawyer as well as a kind and compasionate advocate for her clients. She handles all kinds of immigration law, including family-based immigration, asylum, deportation defense, and appeals (and she's fluent in Spanish). She has worked with well-known immigration firms for the last several years but recently started her own practice, so she is able to offer her clients reasonable rates and personal, individualized attention. Her office is in Oakland, and her contact info is 510-409-8928 or email at marybethkaufman [at] Friend and Colleague

    Adria-Ann McMurray is an immigration lawyer, incredibly competent, experienced and respected. Nice too!! Here is her information: Adria-Ann L. McMurray Immigration Law 2140 Shattuck Ave Berkeley, CA 94704 Phone: (510) 841-0788

    I highly recommend my friend and colleague, Evelyn Herrera for assistance with immigration issues (she also handles family law matters). Evelyn is smart, experienced, ethical, and a great advocate. She is also a native Spanish speaker. Evelyn has a new office in Berkeley and can be reached at 510-845-1200 Ariel

    Immigration lawyer for teen sister's green card

    March 2004

    Hello, could anyone recommend a good immigration lawer? We have a case where my parents were given a green card and my sister (14 y.o.) was not. The whole point for them to come here is so that my sister could go to school here, in US. Please help!!! Thank you so much!! Paula

    I'd like to recommend the law firm of Bohbot & Riles, Karine Bohbot and Elizabeth Riles. They are both bright young lawyers specializing in discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and immigration law. Karine is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. The url of their website says it well: If I ever have a legal problem in their areas of expertise, they will be my lawyers! Cecelia

    Minette Kwok from Minami Lew & Tamaki is a great immigration atterney. She is one of the atterney at this big law firm. So, she is a bit pricey. But she is very nice and good. Her number is 415-788-0436. Her office right above Tiffany at Union Square. Another person is Earnest Lew. It happened to be a same last name but they are not related. He may be cheaper since he has his own office for himself. He is very nice too. His number is 415-359-0184 and his office is by Van Ness near Japan Town. Both of them are very approachable and easy to talk to. Good luck with your case. Sachiko

    Immigration attorney for H1 visa

    Feb 2004

    I need a recommendation for a local immigration attorney, who can work with a small-business employer to apply for an H1 visa without too much cost. I saw the recommendations on the website, but they were several years old. Mark

    I highly recommend David Mainland in San Francisco. I have used his services three times. He helped me several years ago with my Citizenship, then he helped my wife with her H1-B and finally with her Green Card. His rates are very reasonable and he is well-connected at the INS. I have referred several other friends to him who were all extremely happy with his services.
    David Mainland 530 Bush Street, Suite 404 San Francisco CA 94108 415-362-0245
    Good Luck! Kai

    H1's really aren't too scary and the BCIS website is pretty thorough in telling you what you need to do - if you're willing to do it. I'm an HR professional and the first H1, in mid-1990's, I did with a lawyer. I spent more time double checking their work than my money was worth. I no longer use a lawyer except to consult if there is something special about a candidate. I found that the web answered any question I had and there was no need to pay a lawyer a few hundred or thousands to double-check my work - especially since most introduced mistakes rather than fixing anything. That said, Fragomen DelRey and Burnsen is a immigration attny office with good resources, if you don't go it alone, they may be a good choice. employer sponsored

    I'd recommend Mr. Jaime Alcabes, Esq in Oakland, his number is 510-893-6150. He is efficient and very smart. M

    You can try this person: Anja Freudenthal, (415) 834-1884. Tell her you were referred by the International Institute of the East Bay. Katie

    2003 & Earlier

    Immigration attorney for expired student visa

    January 2003

    Can anyone recommend an immigration attorney? I have a student living in my home whose student visa has expired. I would like to do all I can to help her stay here and the past recommendations are dated.

    Immigration attorney David Mainland (415-362-0245) helped me 16 years ago. He has very reasonable fees and is on top of things. His wife Gitte manages the office and also knows about latest INS regulations. You can get a lot of good advice for free over the phone. I've never heard anyone having a bad experience with them and I have referred at least 7 people to them, who were then able to stay in the country. Heike Helmer

    Angela Bean, in San Franicsco, is an experienced, ethical immigration attorney with a bent toward the underdog. Sorry I don't have her number handy, but she's in the phone book. Good luck. I also understand Marc Van der Hout is good. wife of immigration attorney in training.

    My friend Love Macione has an immigration practice in SF. She's very knowledgable and friendly. Her number is: 415-734-9400. Liz

    Response to request for recommended immigration attorney:
    Erica L. Tomlinson Simmons & Ungar 50 California Street #470 SF CA 94111 415-277-4965 fax 415-421-0772 erica.tomlinson at
    She helped our firm with a difficult situation where an employee had previously received the wrong type of visa, and we needed to get it changed to the correct type of visa. (Other attorneys said it was not possible to do.) Cassandra

    If you are looking for a Competent, Knowledgeable,Thorough, and Affordable Immigration Attorney,I highly recommend Kaushik Ranchod.His also a Very Amicable and Likeable person.His phone number is 415-934-8472, and email is kaushik at He is in 211 Gough Street. San Francisco.CA. 94102.

    Immigration attorney for permanent immigrant status


    I would welcome recommendations of an immigration lawyer in the Bay Area that can deal with getting permanent immigrant status (the green card). We are scientists with Ph.D's from American universities. I read the recommendations in the UCB parents webpage but all of them seem to be written by Americans who delt with attorneys from the employer side. I wonder if any of you foreign parents has any stories to share about getting the green card, things to avoid, lawyers to avoid, etc. Also, how much does it cost, how long does the whole thing take? Thanks very much!!! Irene

    I can highly recommend David Mainland. He handled my case 15 years ago and is simply the nicest lawyer around. Other lawyers approached me with a hostile attitude like immigration would (how real is your marriage?), David is very relaxed and is friends with everyone, including immigration officers. When we nervously went to the INS for the interview, David Mainland's presence was as calming as having my Dad next to me. He only charged me half of what the other lawyers in their ostentatious offices demanded and got to work on my case without questioning anything. I have sent David many referrals whose cases he worked out successfully (work visas, marriages, green cards). When he was getting a work visa for an Italian friend of mine, he told her that he would knock $200 off her case, because he considered it an easy one. Hard to find a lawyer like that! He's got the heart in the right spot. Gitte, his cheerful German wife, manages his office. They always give free advice over the phone and won't charge you anything unless they get to handle your case. Here is their number: 415-362-0245. Heike

    I used Terry Helbush (whose office was in San Francisco at that time -1991-1992). I got my green card going through the labor certification process, without a hitch. Terry was very efficient and was able to work with my employer, who was anxious about the process. Sara

    I recently had my permanent residency case approved (still waiting for the actual Green Card) after 5 years! My employer sponsored me through this process via i140 petition under member of profession with advanced degree. I imagine you'll be qualified under the same category. Even within the same category, though, the length of wait varies significantly -- mine took a lot longer than most people. My advice are (i) to find a lawyer who has an in to INS (I've heard this really makes a big difference, which my lawyer didn't), and (ii) once your case is filed with INS, lobby your local politicians to bug INS about your case. Yes, it does not sound like a fair process, but it's the sad truth about dealing with this federal government agency. Good luck (yes, you'll need a lot of). Satomi

    I highly recommend Philip M. Levin in San Francisco (415) 392-4660, who specializes in immigration matters. He was very efficient in getting the INS to give me American citizenship and seems to be very dedicated to the cases that he takes. He also had very good advice about how to prepare for the test that you have to pass before being granted citizenship, and even accompanied me to the INS for the test to make sure everything was done right. The fees will depend on your case, but expect to pay at least $2000. Well worth the relief from the stress of having to wait indefinitely for the INS to acknowledge that you even exist! Maria

    More Recommendations

    November 2000

    I would recommend a woman I used to work with named Julie Pearl in San Francisco. Her firm is Munro, Nelson, Pearl and McCown. Julie was one of the most generous employers and attorneys I ever worked for and her staff loved her, she had many clients, and they always seemed very happy with the services rendered.

    Hi, this lawyer does some consulting for the company I work and has helped me with employment authorization issues. He was always nice to me and it seems to me he knew everything I wanted to know. I can't tell you about the cost, but you could call him and ask. The firm is located in Oakland.
    Jonathan McNeil Wong Voice: 5104510544 Donahue, Gallagher, Woods & Wood, LLP URL:

    A great Immigration attorney is AdriaAnn McMurray. She has offices in SF and Berkeley. She is reasonable, prompt, caring and thorough. She has more than 12 years experience in everything from deportation defense to business and student visas. She specializes in HIV and Juvenile issues. She can be reached at 415/3979422, 400 Montgomery St, SF.

    There are a lot of notverygood immigration lawyers around; more than in many other areas of the law. I can recommend Bob Jobe (Law Offices of Robert Jobe) for employment-type immigration issues. He is very bright, personable and reasonably hardworking. I don't know if he handles political asylum or illegal alientype issues, but Marc Van der Hout (recommended on UC Parents website) is great on those. Both are in SF.

    Christine Brigagliano, in San Franciso, is a very nice person and I like her office environment. They seem to know what they're doing, but doublecheck everything anyway, especially if it's done by assistants. They seem to rush things a bit sometimes.

    From: Peter (10/98)

    I haven't had to use him myself, but I've heard good things about Marc Van Der Hout in SF. He's in the phone book. I know he's on the Steering Committee of the National Lawyers Guild's Immigration Project. THe NLG is an organization of progressive lawyers and legal workers.

    Another resource is for referrals is the immigrant assistance line , (415) 543-6767.

    From: Michael (10/98)

    Van der Hout is one of two principals in the firm Van der Hout and Brigagliano. I used his partner, Christine Brigagliano, to handle the H1-B and permanent residency work for an employee of mine in my last job. I haven't done a lot of comparison shopping, but I was pleased with the work that Christine did. She had legal assistants handle a lot of the legwork, and was able to do the work at a fixed price for us, rather than billing us by the hour.

    One warning: On two occasions, we were told to expect action by Immigration by some particular date. Those dates came and went with no action. The fault wasn't Christine's; Immigration processes paperwork in a different inertial frame of reference, and it's hard to predict when they'll finish without an advanced degree in physics and some chicken entrails. However, it was pretty demotivating to the employee to see dates come and go without progress. Be sure, whoever your lawyer is, that you understand which deadlines are firm, and which are merely likely to be met.

    The firm has offices in SF and Palo Alto. My Palm Pilot reports:
    Christine Brigagliano Attorney at Law Van der Hout and Brigagliano, LLP Work: 650 688 6020 Fax: 415 981 3003 (SF fax) Other: 415 981 3000 (SF office), Palo Alto office address: 525 University Ave, Suite 1420 Palo Alto, CA SF office address: 180 Sutter Street, Fifth Floor San Francisco, CA 94104