Choosing an Immigration Lawyer in Los Angeles

Immigration Lawyer Los Angeles, Aggie R. HoffmanWhen considering retaining an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles, be aware that advance planning and zealous representation are paramount in the practice of immigration law. This is because much of the procedure is policy driven and changes frequently. Similarly, agency interpretations of law are often modified. Part of the practice often requires challenging incorrect decisions or delayed adjudication of languishing petitions and applications. I have successfully done so by filing suit against the government in federal court and reopening cases based on ineffective performance of prior counsel. As part of the court victories on behalf of my clients, I have been awarded attorney fees by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The victories were against the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Labor for delayed decisions in the labor certification (now PERM) process, and erroneous decisions of law, respectively. I process all types of nonimmigrant (temporary) and immigrant visas (green cards).

My clients are both employment-based, family-based, and independent investors.

While the employment-based categories are the most complex (entrepreneurial investors, extraordinary status, national interest waivers and PERM), family cases can also have challenging issues, particularly obtaining waivers of inadmissibility. I enjoy unscrambling and reorganizing the facts of each case, ultimately succeeding on behalf of my clients. Contact my Los Angeles offices right now for a personal and confidential consultation.

Honors and Awards:

  • AV rated peer review, Martindale Hubbell (over 15 years); SUPER LAWYER, peer selected, Los Angeles Magazine (2004-2013).

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certified Specialist, Immigration and Nationality Law, State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization.

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Speaker and moderator of numerous panels at national and regional conferences of American Immigration Lawyers Assn.
  • Chapter Past Chair, Unathorized Practice of Law Committee, American Immigration Lawyers Assn.
  • Past President, American Immigration Lawyers Assn, So. California

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • Participated as speaker, presenter, panel moderator on various topics of immigration law at annual national conferences of the immigration bar.  Served as co-author of comments to proposed federal regulations in the field of immigration law., presenter, moderator, American Immigration Lawyers Association

Verdicts and Settlements:

  • Yeghiazaryan v. Gonzales, 439 F.3d 994, 995 (9th Cir. Cal. 2006); and Yeghiazaryan v. Gonzales, 431 F.3d 678, 680 (9th Cir. 2005)Matsko v. Reno, (C.D. Cal), Case No. CV 96-6766-IH (RNBX), 1996 Loretta v. Herman, (C.D. Cal.),  CV 97-4479WJR(SHx)1997. Also have succeeded in obtaining remands (unpublished decisions) by the 9th Circuit to the Board of Immigration Appeals, and in turn back to the Immigration Judge (IJ) for a new trial, typically based on the prior actions of ineffective counsel. Ultimately, the IJ granted the relief originally denied to prior counsel.

Transactions:

  • APPELLATE WORK:  Board of Immigration Appeals, Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals, Administrative Appeals Office (CIS), Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • FEDERAL LITIGATION: mandamus to compel the governmet to adjudicate delayed processing; Declaratory Relief to change erroneos government decisions;  challenge incorrect government interpretation of law and overturn government action; motion to reopen erroneous decisions.
  • IMMIGRATION COURT:  Cancellation of removal, application for asylum, withholding of removal, protection under the Convention Against Torture, motion to reopen based on ineffective counsel.
  • IMMIGRANT VISAS/ GREEN CARDS: EB-5 (entrepreneurial investor) based on $500,000 in CIS approved Regional Centers or $1,000,000 in any qualifying investment); EB-1 (extraordinary alien), EB-2 (advanced degree and national interest waiver); EB-3 (professional and skilled worker)’ PERM, unskilled workers; family based immigration, including complex marriage cases and removal of conditions after failure of marriage (I-751), waivers of inadmissibility, and naturalization.
  • NONIMMIGRANT VISAS: B-1/B-2, E-1/E-2, H-1B, H-2, K, L, O, P, & R.

Representative Clients:

  • SAMPLE OF CASES SUCCESSFULLY PROCESSED AND LITIGATED: First in the U.S. to obtain a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Labor for unreasonable delay in processing a labor certification (now PERM) case (July 1997).
  • EB-5 visa:   Based on $500,000 investment granted to Iranian national & UK citizen (Nov 09); EB-5 granted to Turkish national and Israeli citizen (Dec 09).
  • EB-1 extraordinary ability petitions (I-140): granted to inventor in 5 days; to jockey (from Mexico) without a Request for Evidence (RFE); cinematographer (Holland), manufacturer of innovative LED lighting (Canada), Researcher (Russia) in Micro-electro-mechanical Systems (MEMS), all without an RFE.
  • L-1 visa granted in 3 days (2/2013) via premium processing to Sales & Marketing Performance Mgr (Germany), and in 5 days (4/2013) to Managing Director of a new office (Russia).
  • O-1 visa for jockey (2010) (Mexico) and from Japan (6/2012);  coach in free style wrestling (2000), manufacturer of innovative LED lighting (2001). E-2 and E-1 investor visas granted based on as little as $25,000 investment to Japanese and Filipino nationals, respectively.
  • E-1/ E-2 visas granted to art gallery curator from Mexico (2011), photographer (Japan), importer (Philippines). Other successful cases include E-2 based on investment as low as $25,000.
  • Multiple permanent resident statuses granted in cases of failed marriages, VAWA abused spouses (both male and female), surviving widows and widowers, and other family-based visa petitions.
  • Political Asylum: USCIS granted asylum to Syrian convert to Christianity (2010), politically persecuted Venezuelan (2011), Coptic Christian from Egypt (2012), and gay Mexican (2005).
  • Priority worker petition (I-140) granted to advertising executive from Singapore.
  • EB-2, national interest waivers petitions (I-140) granted without a Request for Evidence (RFE) to editor of online political site (3/2013), teacher of incarcerated youths (Nigeria), teacher of arts, charity fundraiser (U.K.), art gallery owner and curator (Mexico), bilingual dentist (Armenia), and international journalist (U.K.).
  • Labor certifications and PERM granted for a variety of occupations, including physicians, mechanics, hotel managers, apartment managers, housekeepers, child monitors, food and beverage manager, as well as restaurant and household cooks.
  • Waiver of inadmissibility (10 year bar) was granted to Mexican who became inadmissible when he left the country during pendency of his application to adjust status (I-485) under sec. 245(i), based on extreme hardship to his U.S. resident parent (2010); waiver granted to Russian based on extreme hardship to U.S. citizen spouse (2005); waiver to O-1 jockey after many years of unlawful presence (2011) .
  • Immigration Court: Cancellation of removal granted to Ukrainian based on exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to US citizen parent (Feb. 2009);  Removal proceedings were terminated for Iranian national convicted of two theft offenses (Oct 2007). Political asylum to Mexican based on homosexuality. Immigration Judge granted asylum to Armenian from the Republic of Georgia based on past persecution (Oct 2010), to Armenian from Armenia based on political persecution (2009); to Russian based on religious persecution; and to a Venezuelan activist who supported recall of Chavez from office (2008).  Motion to Reopen granted by Immigration Judge based on ineffective counsel to elderly Armenian citizen, who was subsequently granted resident status. Syrian convert to Christianity granted asylum by USCIS (2010).
  • APPEALS:  Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) granted reopening of removal based on ineffective counsel in marriage case; remand to Immigration Judge for violation of due process in refusing to grant a continuance. 
  • APPEALS: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals remanded a Motion to Reopen previously denied by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) based on ineffective counsel and ineffective interpreter; this was followed by a remand to the Immigration Judge who ultimately granted asylum (Aug 2009). Ninth Circuit  remanded to the BIA a Motion to Reopen based on ineffective counsel in a case of a Mexican seeking Cancellation of Removal due to exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to U.S. citizen children (April 2010). Ninth Circuit granted stay of removal to Tunisian national while his appeal was pending (July 2009).  MISC: Japanese citizen & long time resident was paroled in ( but not admitted) when  returning from abroad, due to an old conviction crime of moral turpitude; removal proceedings were initiated against him, but I managed to get him sworn in as a  citizen before the deportation hearing was scheduled for a hearing (Nov. 2010).

Educational Background:

  • Participated in an intensinve Russian studies program in the USSR pursuant to a grant from the National Defense Education Act., 1969
  • B.A in Education with a major in Spanish and minor in Russian. , 1968
  • Participated in intensive Russian studies pursuant to National Defense Education Act., 1968

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