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Consular Processing For Beginners

Speakers: Brian Bolton, Shanni Alexandrovitz, Maria Lianides Celebi, Magdale Labbe Henke, Farshad Owji, Joan Squires-Lind, Liam Schwartz and Nita Upadhye

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 November 5: Applications for Non-Immigrant Visas

  • What happens once an H-1/L-1 petition is approved by USCIS
  • What is the role of the Department of State
  • Non-immigrant visa application process
  • Documentary requirements
  • Grounds for denial
  • Security clearances/waivers of grounds of inadmissibility
  • Visa Waiver Program/ESTA system

SECOND Phone Session on December 3: Applications for Immigrant Visas

  • Application process
  • Immigrant Visa Interview
  • Documentary requirements
  • Affidavit of Support issues
  • Validity of immigrant visa
  • What happens if client isn't quite ready to re-locate to U.S.?

THIRD Phone Session on January 7: Proactive Lawyering

  • How to avoid surprise delays/denials
  • Know procedures at the consulate
  • Use the FAM as primary research tool
  • When/how to request advisory opinion
  • How to overcome issues of inadmissibility
  • How much is too much supporting documentation


Brian Bolton is Consular Affairs Specialist at Liam Schwartz & Associates. A former Foreign Service Officer, Brian has worked at U.S. Embassies in Mexico City, London, and Tel Aviv, as well as serving in the Department of State in Washington, DC. He holds a degree in linguistics and cognitive science from the University of Virginia.

Shanni Alexandrovitz is a Senior Associate at Liam Schwartz & Associates and leads the firm’s U.S. corporate immigration practice, with sub-specialties in consular law and visas relating to extraordinary ability employees, family issues, investors and artists and entertainers. With almost a decade of immigration experience, she is admitted to practice law in both New York and Israel, and is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) as well as the Israeli Bar Association. Shanni has lectured at the Export Institute in Tel Aviv and was a panelist at the AILA Rome District Chapter 2009 Spring Conference. She currently serves on the Ethics and CLE Committees of the AILA Rome District Chapter.

Maria Lianides Celebi is Partner at Bener Law Office in Istanbul, Turkey. She specializes in Immigration and Labor Law and is admitted in the California State Bar. Ms. Celebi is Chair of the Rome District Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers' Association, Chair of the Immigration International Practice Group for Ius Laboris, an international employment law alliance, and a Turkish Work Permit Expert for the American Business Forum Turkey (Registered American Chamber of Commerce). Ms. Celebi is also author of the white paper on Turkish work permits for the ABFT and assisting corporate members for their Turkish work permit issues and guest lecturer on Refugee law of the Refugee Legal Assistance Program of the Helsinki Citizen's Assembly, Istanbul, Turkey. Her work on Turkish immigration related case-work includes supervision of work permits and all aspects of residency permit services for individuals and companies. US immigration related case work includes: processing of immigrant and non immigrant visas through the Istanbul consulate and Ankara Embassy; filing of waivers with the Athens Citizenship and Immigration Services office; processing of Iranian and Iraqi cases through local posts; filing of Advisory Opinions with the U.S. Department of State, Reconsideration Requests of Expedited Removal Orders. Her non immigration related case-work includes leading team of attorneys servicing corporations comply with Turkish labor laws, particularly non-Turkish entities.

Magdale Labbe Henke is the Principal of MLH Consular Consulting - Global Immigration Law Services, based in Munich, Germany. Her practice focuses on U.S. consular processing and nonimmigrant and immigrant visa petitions, including employment, investor and family-based applications, as well as assisting with global immigration/expatriate assignments. Before moving to Germany in 2006 and starting her own practice, she practiced labor, employment and immigration law at Proskauer Rose LLP in New Jersey. Mrs. Henke was admitted to the New York and New Jersey Bars in 2001. She is also admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

Farshad Owji is an immigration attorney practicing in San Francisco, CA. Mr. Owji provides counseling and other services concerning the legal requirements and processing procedure for Naturalization, Permanent Resident, Asylum, Deportation, etc. Our clients are corporations, institutional employers and individuals.

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 has been named by Who's Who Legal as one of the worlds' top ten most highly regarded corporate immigration lawyers for 2009. Liam is on the Executive Committee of the Rome District Chapter of the American Immigration Law Association (AILA) and is a past chair of AILA - Department of State Liaison Committee. He authors the monthly "Consular Corner" column for ILW.COM and moderates two Internet visa fora. Earlier this year, Liam chaired the 2009 AILA Rome District Chapter Spring Conference in Tel-Aviv. Most recently, Liam is the author of "Israeli Work Visas: A Primer" and "The Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions"; and the co-author of "'DOs' and 'DON'Ts' for Attorneys Representing Visa Applicants (and for Consular Officers, Too!)" and "99 State Ten Years On: Is the Relationship between Consular Officers and Immigration Attorneys Advancing the Visa Application Process?" 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. Liam can be reached at:

Joan Squires-Lind has specialized in consular processing since 1986, when she began practicing in Paris. She is a graduate of Stanford University and of Cornell Law School, and practiced immigration law in New York prior to her move to France. She frequently speaks on immigration law and has, for many years, been the author of the consular processing article for France for AILA’s Visa Processing Guide. She has been listed in every edition of Who’s Who in Corporate Immigration Law. She is admitted to the bars of Paris and New York, and practices both US and French immigration law.

Nita Upadhye is a partner at Hodkinson Law Group in London, United Kingdom where she specializes in business immigration with a focus on nonimmigrant visa waivers, visas for members of the foreign media, investor visas and consular processing. She has written for Immigration Law Today and Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook and has spoken on panels of the International Bar Association and AILA in the UK, Israel and the US. She served as the 2008-2009 chair of the Ethics Committee of the AILA Rome District Chapter and currently serves as the chair of the Fall Conference Committee of the AILA Rome District Chapter. Nita Upadhye is recognized in the International Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers 2008.


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 CD of Thur, Nov 5, 2009 (90 minutes)
Audio CD of Thur, Dec 3, 2009 (90 minutes)
Audio CD of Thur, Jan 7, 2010 (90 minutes)

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