Immigration 101: Focusing on Family & Business Visas and Citizenship In-Depth

Audio program! (check our CLE Programs page for live versions)

Geared towards the new/newer Immigration attorney, our Immigration 101: Family, Business and Citizenship In-Depth program is packed full of information about non-immigrant family and business visas, citizenship and naturalization and how to set up and build your immigration practice, including intake suggestions and other practical tips.

This is a critical time to have a good foundation of immigration rules and laws and this course will give you just that on a limited number of topics, including: Family-Based Immigrant Visas, Common Non-Immigrant Business Visas, and Naturalization and Citizenship.

For details on the topics covered and what you’ll also learn about setting up your practice, please see the agenda tab.

The program recording date is May 11, 2018.



Do you want to improve your public speaking skills? Get Faith Pincus’ newly published book Being Heard: Presentation Skills for Attorneys, from the ABA now (ABA members receive 10% off). It is also available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions.

What You Will Learn

Setting up Your Practice and Practice Tips

  • Getting your practice going – some essential information
    • Have a business plan with mission, goals, staffing, benchmarks and finances
    • Ethical marketing – Where do you obtain the clients?
    • Standardization of Questionnaires, forms and templates for letters or motions
    • Choosing a Case Management System and/or software or service provider
    • Accounting and Billing Systems – A must for success!
    • Balance between community service, paying clients and personal time
    • Practice resources to be a member of and involvement
  • When a Client walks in your door:
    • Gathering the essential information
    • Analyzing options (short and long term)
    • Red flags – cases to decline
    • Conflicts checks
    • Managing client expectations

Family-Based Immigrant Visas

  • Eligibility
  • Process and Procedure
    • Immediate Relatives
    • Preference Categories and DOS Visa Bulletin
    • VAWA
    • Child Status Protection Act (CSPA)
    • Age-outs
  • Immigrant Visa Process
    • Form I-601A Provisional Waiver for unlawful presence
    • Form I-601 (criminal, mental health, prostitution, fraud, unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility)
    • Form I-212 (prior removal/exclusion/deportation orders)
    • K-1 fiancee visa
  • Adjustment of Status Process
    • INA 245(a) & “admission” (TPS in 6th and 9th Circuits, “wave-throughs,” parole-in-place requests, advance parole)
    • INA 245(i)
    • Form I-601 (criminal, mental health, prostitution, fraud, unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility)
    • VAWA (certain grounds of inadmissibility don’t apply, other grounds have waivers not normally available to applicants)

Introduction to Common Non-Immigrant Business Visas

  • The fundamentals of the H-1B
    • Who is eligible for an H-1B?
    • Are they available year-round?
    • What are the most recent trends in processing H-1Bs? How are this administration’s policies impacting H-1Bs?
  • When is a TN visa appropriate?
    • Is every profession covered by the TN?
    • Which countries are covered?
    • How does one file a TN?
  • What is an E-3 visa?
    • How does it differ from an H-1B?
    • Is there a quota? What is the procedure?
  • L-1 visas – what are they?
    • What is the difference between an individual L-1 and a blanket L?
    • How does one apply for an L?
    • What are the most recent processing trends with regard to L visas?
    • How are the current administration’s immigration policies impacting L-1s?

Naturalization/ Citizenship

  • Application for Naturalization – Form N-400
    • Eligibility for Naturalization
    • Grounds that Subject Applicant to Deportation (Removal)
    • How to Apply for Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-400)
    • Naturalization Examination
    • Oath Ceremony
  • Application for Citizenship – Form N-600
  • Eligibility for Citizenship (Form N-600)
    • Child Automatically Acquired or Derived at Birth (INA 301 and 309)
    • Child Automatically Acquired After Birth
    • How to Apply for Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-600)


“This was well-organized and well-presented.” – Ronald L. Boorstein, Esq.

“Very helpful in understanding immigration law.” – Raymond F. Horne, Esq.

“The information was presented in a very clear manner that helped me to understand what I’ve learned on the job – and in my own research – much better.” – Kevin Kime, Esq.

“Very informative seminar. Knowledgeable speakers.” Elena Costa, Esq.

“Wonderful seminar! Everything was covered fabulously, and the speakers were knowledgeable and interesting.” – Laura Lee Robinson, Esq.

“Great seminar.” – Nicholas J. Brunick, Esq.

“On the whole, this was well-organized and well-presented.”

“Good review of family-based immigration. Good overview of business visas.”


Mercedes Badia-Tavas, Esq.
Barnes & Thornburg, LLP

M. Mercedes Badia-Tavas is a partner in the Chicago office of Barnes & Thornburg, where she is a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Law Department and the Immigration and Global Mobility Services Practice Group. Ms. Badia-Tavas concentrates on immigration and naturalization law, focusing on immigration matters for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses. She regularly counsels clients on the employment of foreign nationals, the permanent residency process, and immigration compliance issues.

Prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg, Ms. Badia-Tavas owned her own legal practice, Badia-Tavas Law Group, Ltd. As the founding partner of Badia-Tavas Law Group, Ms. Badia-Tavas represented U.S. corporations and foreign individuals throughout the U.S. with employment visas and in the permanent residency process.

Ms. Badia-Tavas is on the Executive Board of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Chicago Chapter, and a member of AILA’s Congressional Advocacy and several government Liaison Committees. In addition, she is a member of the American Bar Association-International Section, the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and the UNO Metropolitan Leadership Institute of Chicago.

Since 2017, Ms. Badia-Tavas was recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for her work in immigration law.

Her published works include “Observations on Argentine Arbitration” , American Review of International Arbitration, Parker School of Comparative and International Law, Columbia University as well as a contributing author to several articles in various volumes of AILA’s Immigration & Nationality Law Handbooks, including articles on “Employer Sanctions” , “Visa Options for Trainees” and “Proper Uses of the B-1 Visa.”

Ms. Badia-Tavas earned her J.D. from Tulane Law School in 1993, and in 1986 earned her B.A. from Agnes Scott College, where she was an economics and Spanish major. She is fluent in Spanish and conversational in French, and has traveled and lived throughout Latin America.

Ms. Badia-Tavas is admitted to practice in Illinois.

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Times; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000}

span.s1 {font-kerning: none}

Maria Baldini-Potermin, Esq.
Maria Baldini-Potermin & Associates, P.C.

Maria Baldini-Potermin founded Maria Baldini-Potermin & Associates, P.C. in Chicago. She focuses on removal defense, federal court litigation, waivers, family-based immigration, and immigration consequences of criminal dispositions. She has written extensively and trained attorneys about the intersection of immigration law and criminal law.  Maria is the author of Immigration Trial Handbook, update editor for Immigration Law & Crimes, and expert author-consultant for Interpreter Releases and Immigration Briefings.  

A member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Maria has been recognized with the 2013 AILA Presidential Commendation (For Always Fighting What’s Right), 2010 Edith Lowenstein Award for Excellence in Advancing the Practice of Immigration Law, and 2004 Chicago Chapter Joseph Minsky Mentor Award.  She has served on and chaired numerous AILA committees and is the AILA Federal Court Litigation Section Chair.  Since 2004, she has been recognized as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois in immigration law.

Maria has been involved in the field of immigration law since August 1990.  From 1990 to 1994, she worked with detained noncitizens on the Texas-Mexico border, first for Catholic Charities and then for the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR). From 1994 to 1998, she trained law students and traveled to ProBAR with the Asylum Law Project. In 1995, ProBAR presented her with an award for Outstanding Service in Defense of Human Rights through Asylum Representation.

Maria was the recipient of two National Association for Public Interest Law (NAPIL, now Equal Justice Works) Equal Justice Fellowships.  She worked with the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota in St. Paul (1997 – 1999) and the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago (1999 – 2001). In the aftermath of the 1996 immigration legislation, she wrote the second and third state-focused manuals on the intersection of criminal and immigration laws and trained public defenders.  Maria also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School’s Immigration Law Clinic from 1997 to 1999.   In 1999, Maria received the Human Rights Volunteer Award from the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights.

Maria obtained her B.A. degree magna cum laude from the University of Dayton (Ohio) in International Studies and Spanish in 1990.  She received her J.D. degree cum laude in 1997 from the University of Minnesota Law School. Maria speaks Spanish fluently.  A lifetime Girl Scout, she is the leader of her daughter’s Girl Scout troop and service unit delegate to the Greater Chicago area council.

Nell Barker, Esq.
Kempster, Corcoran, Quiceno & Lenz-Calvo, Ltd.

An attorney with the firm since 2006, Ms. Barker became partner in 2016.  She practices exclusively in immigration and nationality law. Ms. Barker has successfully assisted families, individuals, corporations and universities with a wide array of immigration processes, and has developed particular expertise in employment-based immigration. She is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) having appeared as a featured speaker at conferences and contributed to articles on various immigration topics.  Ms. Barker has served in a liaison capacity with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for the Chicago port of entry since 2010.

Ms. Barker began her work in the immigration field in 1999 as an Americorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) at the Political Asylum Project of Austin in Texas. 

Marketa Lindt, Esq.
Sidley Austin LLP

Marketa Lindt works with U.S. and multinational corporations to implement efficient business immigration visa programs to best attract and retain foreign national talent. Marketa also leads Sidley’s I-9 compliance practice, where she counsels and defends companies regarding their hiring practices of foreign national employees and compliance with the government’s I-9 verification requirements. Her I-9 compliance practice includes providing proactive counseling on I-9 hiring practices and the E-Verify process, defending employers in civil and criminal workplace enforcement actions, conducting immigration-related internal investigations, and conducting due diligence and analysis of I-9 issues in mergers, acquisitions and other corporate transactions.

In addition to representing U.S. companies with their business immigration and I-9 compliance needs, Marketa is actively engaged in national and regional advocacy efforts to change our laws and regulations so that they better serve U.S. employers, foster economic growth and promote fairness and justice in the immigration system. She currently serves as elected National Second Vice President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and as a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce immigration policy committee.

Marketa is recognized in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. In addition, Who’s Who Legal: Illinois, a directory of leading Illinois lawyers, has listed Marketa as one of the foremost corporate immigration attorneys in Illinois and nationally in every edition since its inaugural 2006 edition. Marketa is also named as a leading corporate immigration attorney worldwide in the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers.

Marketa regularly speaks at national and regional conferences regarding immigration law and I-9 compliance. She is a primary author of the immigration law and practice treatise Business Immigration Law (for both the Strategies for Employing Foreign Nationals and Forms and Filings volumes). Marketa has also authored articles for a number of leading immigration texts, including AILA’s Guide to Worksite Enforcement and Compliance, the Guide to PERM Labor Certification, and numerous annual editions of the Immigration & Nationality Law Handbook.  She serves as an editor of Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook. She has appeared a number of times on television, radio and print regarding developments in immigration law.

Marketa is committed to providing access to counsel for underserved immigrants. She serves in an advisory capacity to several Chicago-area cultural institutions and organizations that provide assistance to underserved immigrant communities. For a number of years, Marketa has served as a member of the Leadership Board of the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago. At Sidley, she provides pro bono representation to refugees and asylees.

Amina Najib, Esq.

Kempster, Corcoran, Quiceno & Lenz-Calvo, Ltd

Amina Najib is an attorney with Kempster, Corcoran, Quiceno and Lenz-Calvo, Ltd., where she practices immigration law exclusively.  She focuses her practice on asylum, U visas, benefits for victims of domestic violence, family-based immigration, naturalization, removal defense and federal court litigation. She is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and a member of the Arab American Bar Association.  She was previously a supervising attorney with the National Immigrant Justice Center.

Amina is the daughter of a Palestinian immigrant.  Prior to her career as an immigration attorney, she studied in Rome, Oxford and interned with Al-Haq, a legal human rights organization located in Ramallah, Palestine.  Amina has been selected by the Illinois Super Lawyers List as a Rising Star in the field of immigration law.

Susan Schreiber, Esq.
Managing Attorney
Catholic Charities Immigration Program

Schreiber is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School and has been practicing immigration law in the nonprofit sector for over 30 years. As a CLINIC attorney, she provides technical assistance and training to member agencies and other organizations and practitioners across the country.

After law school, Schreiber worked at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago for eight years, and then became managing attorney at the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center from 1988 to 1998.

Before joining CLINIC in 2001, Schreiber worked at the DePaul Law School legal clinic as a supervisor of law students representing asylum applicants and providing technical assistance to community-based organizations. She is a member of the Illinois state bar.

Tejas Shah, Esq.
Barnes and Thornberg

As employers increasingly seek to hire and retain talented foreign national employees to maximize competitiveness, Tejas is empathetic to their needs and offers practical immigration law advice. He is committed to guiding employers of all sizes – across a diverse cross-section of industries, including finance, banking, education, transportation, and healthcare – in efficiently and economically sponsoring workers for permanent residency in the United States through Program Electronic Record Management (PERM) labor certifications and in multiple temporary visa categories, such as H-1B, O-1, E-2, R-1, E-3, and L-1.

He also counsels employers who seek assistance and counsel on self-audits and responding to I-9 audits by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Social Security Administration (SSA) no-match letters, and Department of Labor wage and hour audits of H-1B workers.

Tejas represents and assists higher education institutions with a wide range of immigration issues in and outside of litigation, including advising student and faculty issues involving immigration statuses, sponsoring faculty and other professional staff for visas and permanent residency, and advising institutions on legally compliant immigration sponsorship programs. Tejas is often a resource for international student services offices as he provides guidance and counsel on complying with SEVP program regulations. Further, he has frequently presented on changes to immigration policy and litigation that could impact DACA recipients, international students from countries subject to certain Presidential Proclamations, and applicants for asylum.

In addition, Tejas maintains a healthy individual immigration practice. He works with investors, scientists, researchers, and artists on immigration strategies and represents individuals in family-based immigration and naturalization matters, including clients in deportation proceedings, in the U visa application process, and litigation in the federal courts.

Tejas also maintains a pro bono practice assisting individuals and families through the National Immigrant Justice Center and Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.

Before joining Barnes & Thornburg, Tejas practiced at two immigration-focused law firms and a labor, employment and education firm, all in Chicago. During law school, he was a law clerk in the Office of the General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.

Derek Strain, Esq.

Law Office of Derek Strain

Derek Strain has practiced exclusively in the area of United States immigration and nationality law since 1997. He has represented clients in all areas of immigration and nationality law including naturalization, family-based immigrant petitions, and employment-based immigration. His practice includes H-1B, L, O, E, and TN non-immigrant visas, PERM labor certification, I-9s/employer compliance issues, and deportation/removal defense.

Derek has been an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA) since 1997. He served as the Chicago Chapter President from 2013-2014 and has since served on numerous AILA committees.

Derek has been selected as an Illinois Super Lawyer, Illinois Leading Lawyer, and he has also been selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Immigration Law. Derek is a former Peace Corps Volunteer (Guatemala) and is fluent in Spanish.


Carlina Tapia-Ruano, Esq.
Tapia-Ruano & Gunn PC

Carlina Tapia-Ruano has been concentrating her practice in the field of immigration law for more than three decades. She has handled a wide range of immigration issues based on family and employment, and has extensive experience in litigation related to immigration. Ms. Tapia-Ruano was president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), a national bar association of more than 14,000 lawyers and law professors. She was the first Hispanic elected to this position.

Ms. Tapia-Ruano has served as liaison on several committees with the federal government. She has served as President of AILA Chicago Chapter, as a former President of the Immigration Law Section of the Chicago Bar Association, a former Board Member of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, and a former member of the City of Chicago Immigration Advisory Board. She was also a Commissioner on the ABA Immigration Commission, and has been a member of the Advisory Committee of the Presidential Commission on the Rights and Responsibilities of Hispanics of the ABA.

Ms. Tapia-Ruano was recently appointed by the Illinois State Senators, to serve on the Senate Selection Committee for Judicial, US Attorney, and US Marshall Nominations. She was an adjunct professor of immigration law at the IIT-Chicago Kent Law School, and at the De Paul University School of Law in Chicago.

Ms. Tapia-Ruano has testified before the US Congress about the USA PATRIOT Act and is a frequent lecturer on immigration laws to attorneys across the United States. Since she is bilingual, she appears frequently in Spanish-language television programs and other means of communication. She holds an AV rating (very high to pre-eminent) by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and appears in the Woodward/White’s Best Lawyers in America, and has been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" in Illinois, by the Leading Lawyers Network. In 2004, she received an Honorary Doctor of Law Degree from Wesleyan University in Illinois, where she received her BA, alma cum laude. She obtained her J.D. from the De Paul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Tapia-Ruano is a US citizen, who emigrated to the United States from Cuba.


Audio Recording & Materials Package — CD or Download: $425

For CDs please add $8.50 shipping and, in CA, sales tax.

The program recording date is May 11, 2018.

(Audio packages are available approximately two to three weeks after the seminar is held.)

CLE Credit

IL General:  This program is approved for 6.5 units of general CLE in Illinois through May 10, 2020.

CA General:  This program is approved for 6.5 units of general CLE in California.

This program is approved for CLE in the states listed above.  Upon request, Pincus Pro Ed will provide any information an attorney needs to support their application for CLE approval in other states other than what is listed above.


Terms and Policies

Recording policy: No audio or video recording of any program is permitted.

Seminar Cancellations: Should you be unable to attend for any reason, please inform us in writing no later than 14 days prior to the event and a credit voucher will be issued. If you prefer, a refund, less a $50 non-refundable deposit, will be issued. No refunds or credits will be given for cancellations received within 14 days of an event. However, if you notify us within 14 days of an event, and wish to convert your in-person attendance registration to an Audio CD package (with handout), we can do so. A small additional shipping charge, and sales tax in CA, will be incurred. No shipping charge is incurred for downloads. We will also issue a voucher for the amount paid if you notify us within 14 days and prefer not to have the audio recording.

Substitutions may be made at any time.

Webinars, Tele-seminars and Webcast Cancellations: Once log-in codes and passwords are issued for a webinar, tele-seminars or webcasts, a refund is not possible. If for any reason you cannot attend the event after you have received the codes, we will automatically convert your registration to an instant streaming/instant download or CD format and provide you with the information you need to access the recording after the program concludes and the recording is available.  Conversions to CD require a $8.50 shipping fee, and in CA, 9% sales tax.

Downloads/CDs/DVDs – Refund policy:

Downloads are non-returnable/non-refundable once purchased and received. Tapes, CDs and DVDs are returnable for a full refund or replacement if defective, within 90 days of purchase.

Reminder: The room temperature at hotels and other seminar locations are notoriously hard to control. Please bring a sweater or jacket in case it gets cold and/or layer as if you are going to the movies so you are comfortable.

$425.00 each

Recorded in 2018.