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Family Immigration For Beginners

Speakers: Douglas Hauer, Jim Alexander, Kehrela Hodkinson, Maria Frenn Kallmeyer, Kelly McCown, Eileen Morrison, Liam Schwartz, Joan Squires-Lind and Michele Vakili

Available on CD

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Each call features an hour of analysis, strategy and practice tips, followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers from participants.


FIRST Phone Session on August 6: Overview of Family-Based Immigration, Basic Definitions in the INA and How to Complete and File a Form I-130

  • Who is eligible for family-based immigration sponsorship?
  • What is an immediate relative?
  • What is a "spouse" under the INA? Do same-sex spouses qualify for any benefits?
  • How does the preference system for family-based immigration work?
  • What is a "child" under the law?
  • How do you read the Visa Bulletin?
  • What countries send the most family-based immigrants to the United States?
  • How do you complete and document a Form I-130? Where do you file an I-130? When may you file an I-130 with a U.S. Embassy or Consulate?

SECOND Phone Session on September 3: Applying for Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing

  • Who is eligible for adjustment of status? How do you complete and file a Form I-485?
  • When would an individual apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consular post?
  • How do you complete and file a DS-230, immigrant visa application?
  • What role does the National Visa Center play in consular processing of family-based immigration cases?
  • What "red flags" should you look out for in preparing an adjustment of status or immigrant visa application?
  • How do you advise clients in providing evidence of the bona fides of a marital relationship?
  • How do you complete Form I-864? What documentation should you include to support a Form I-864?
  • When should you preemptively file a Form I-601 waiver request?
  • What is advance parole?
  • How do previous status violations and unlawful presence impact adjustment of status and immigration visa applications?

THIRD Phone Session on October 8: Important Strategy and Legal Considerations for Family-Based Immigration Cases

  • How does the law work with adoption?
  • What is conditional residence?
  • What do you need to know about I-751 petitions?
  • What happens when a petitioner in a family-based immigration case dies? Is there a process for reinstating a petition after death of the petitioner?
  • What dual representation issues arise in family-based immigration cases?
  • How do you prove familial ties in family-based cases? When do you need to rely on DNA testing to prove a relationship?
  • What does a sham marriage finding mean under INA 204(c)?
  • What if the sponsoring family member withdraws support of a petition before a green card process has been completed?
  • Should you ever question the authenticity of birth and marriage records?
  • Can an approved family-based petition be upgraded or downgraded?

Citations for Session 1        Citations for Session 2        Citations for Session 3       


Douglas Hauer (Discussion Leader) has substantial experience in business immigration law, related government investigations, family-based green card sponsorship processes, immigration litigation and corporate immigration policy development. He is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Council (formerly the American Immigration Law Foundation) and has served for two years on the Council's J-1 Exchange Visitor Committee. Doug is an expert on J-1 training and intern visas and speaks on broader immigration law issues, ethics, marketing and business development and employment immigration law for national and international legal organizations, universities and industry forums. Doug founded his firm, Douglas Hauer LLC, with an entrepreneurial vision for building sustainable relationships with clients, law firms and business partners across the globe. Doug serves as Of Counsel with Liam Schwartz & Associates, a leading law firm in Tel Aviv focusing on immigration and relocation law. Doug's firm is also a U.S. based Pro-Link GLOBAL | Keiretsu Global Network Member. As a PLG | KGNM, Douglas Hauer is a member of an alliance of immigration specialists and counsel offering concierge quality immigration services to companies in most of the 194 countries in the world today. Before founding his firm, Doug was a Partner with a prominent business immigration law firm in Boston.

Jim Alexander is a Managing Partner at Maggio & Kattar in Washington, DC. He has been assisting individual and institutional clients on immigration matters since he joined the firm in 1994. He is a nationally recognized expert on the complex problems that gay immigrants face and has represented numerous HIV positive individuals to obtain waivers of inadmissibility. Jim also handles visas for professionals and other highly skilled individuals, asylum, family, and naturalization applicants.

Kehrela Hodkinson is the principal of Hodkinson Law Group. She was admitted to the California State Bar in 1980, after graduating from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. She established her first law office in Los Angeles, California in 1982, where her practice concentrated on nonimmigrant visas and employment and family-based immigration matters. After moving to San Francisco, California in 1987, she founded a second immigration law firm and continued to provide expertise relating to temporary and permanent visas for business personnel and family-based immigration. Since 1994, Ms. Hodkinson has exclusively practiced US immigration and nationality law in London, representing a broad range of corporate and individual clients in connection with nonimmigrant visa matters, immigrant visa petitions, extraordinary ability petitions and family-based immigrant petitions. In addition, she provides advice relating to maintaining permanent resident status and expatriation issues.

Maria Frenn Kallmeyer practices in the firm's labor and employment group and specializes in immigration law. She concentrates on employment-based immigration for temporary and permanent employees of large and small corporations. Prior to joining Quarles & Brady, Ms. Kallmeyer worked at two different national business immigration law firms in Boston. Ms. Kallmeyer's experience includes the following, advising employers and employees regarding nonimmigrant visa status, including H, L, TN, and E status, advising employers on how to navigate the PERM labor certification application system, representing multi-national managers, outstanding researchers and individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, or business through the permanent residency process and advising individuals through marriage-based permanent residency petitions, asylum applications, and naturalization applications.

Kelly McCown is a partner and co-founder of the corporate and family immigration law firm McCown & Evans LLP in San Francisco, and is certified as a specialist in immigration & nationality law by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization. Since 2004, Ms. McCown has been honored each year as a "Northern California Super Lawyer" by San Francisco Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine and was recognized in 2007 as one of the "Top 50 Female Super Lawyers" in Northern California across all legal specialties. She is a member of the AILF Board of Trustees and chair of the International Exchange Center Committee, past chair of the AILA Northern California Chapter, and past co-chair of Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF). Ms. McCown is a graduate of Stanford University and Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.

Eileen Morrison has practiced solely in the field of immigration and nationality law since 1990 and has been an attorney licensed in Massachusetts since 1986. She represents coporations, educational institutions and hospitals as well as art organizations in connection with obtaining for investors, professionals, managers, executives and performing fine artists. She also assists clients in applying for family-based immigration benefits, as well as clients seeking to become naturalized U.S. citizens. Ms. Morrison is a member of the AILA National Vermont Service Center Liaison Committee. She served on AILA's New England Chapter Executive Board, serving as Chapter Chair from 2000-2001 and is a past member of the AILA National Board of Governors. Prior to establishing her own firm, Ms. Morrison was counsel to Palmer & Dodge LLP and was associate with Sullivan & Worcester LLP.

Liam Schwartz is principal of Liam Schwartz and Associates. Mr. Schwartz is a recognized authority in employment-based visas and consular law. In all his professional endeavors, Liam is assisted and supported by his extraordinarily talented staff of Liam Schwartz & Associates. Liam's recent professional awards and activities include the following: Two peer selections in 2008 as one of the most highly regarded corporate immigration lawyers globally: International Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers; and Best Lawyers International. Author, "Consular Corner" column for and Current chair, Visa Committee, Israel-America Chamber of Commerce. Liam holds a J.D. degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School and a B.A. degree from Johns Hopkins University. He is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey and Israel.

Joan Squires-Lind has specialized in business immigration law for 32 years. She is a member of the Bars of New York and Paris, is expert in both US and French immigration law, and is fully bilingual in English and French. She speaks and publishes regularly on immigration law, and has for some years been the author of the annual report on the US Embassy in France in the Visa Processing Guide published by the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She has been nominated by her peers to every edition of Who's Who in Corporate Immigration Law (often the only attorney in France to so qualify).

Michele Vakili is a partner at Rubin and Rudman LLP in Boston, MA. Ms. Vakili's practice focuses in all areas of Immigration and Nationality law including business immigration, family immigration, naturalization and removal cases. Prior to joining Rubin and Rudman LLP, Ms. Vakili was a partner in the boutique law office of Vakili Karimi LLC, also specializing in immigration law matters. Prior to forming Vakili Karimi LLC, Ms. Vakili founded Vakili & Associates, P.C. and developed the practice for six years. Initially handling criminal defense, Ms. Vakili quickly became involved in many of the immigration issues affecting her clients. Ms. Vakili worked as a law clerk in the United States District Court in Philadelphia, PA handling many cases dealing with the complex issues of criminal and immigration law. It was during this time, that she saw first hand the implementation of the new immigration laws (IIRAIRA) in the Federal Court system. Ms. Vakili is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Women's Bar Association (WBA) of MA. Ms. Vakili earned her JD from New England School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts and her Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University, W. Lafayette, Indiana. During law school Ms. Vakili was a member of the Law Review where she served on the Executive Committee, as the Business Managing Editor.


50% discount to attorneys working for a non-profit organization
50% discount to any attorney employed by any government agency
50% discount to an attorney that is unemployed

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Cancellation/Return/Shipping Policy
$199 Seminar Package 
Includes all three dates:

Audio File of Thur, Aug 6, 2009 (90 Minutes)
Audio File of Thur, Sep 3, 2009 (90 Minutes)
Audio File of Thur, Oct 8, 2009 (90 Minutes)

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Disclaimer: participation in this seminar does not create an attorney-client relationship with the speakers