Strategic Research Sponsor of the American Bar Association's Section of International Law
Bernard P Wolfsdorf
Office:
1416 2nd Street
90401
City:
Santa Monica
State:
California
Country:
USA
Tel:
+1 310 570 4088
Fax:
+1 310 570 4080

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders: Corporate Immigration

Bernard Wolfsdorf is the managing partner of Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP, an immigration law firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York City and Shanghai. He is past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, where he was given the Service Excellence Award. He was also selected as the 2017 Corporate Immigration Lawyer of the Year by Who’s Who Legal, who described him as a “famed practitioner” in the field of immigration law, known for his “outstanding work” relating to complex immigration matters.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO SPECIALISE IN IMMIGRATION LAW?

As an immigrant myself, I have been through the US immigration process. My experience not only motivates me to help others, but also gives me a unique perspective of what immigrants experience going through the process.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR CORPORATE IMMIGRATION PRACTITIONERS IN THE US NOW?

President Trump’s administration is focused on a nativist approach to immigration that fails to recognise that the “sum of the parts is greater than the whole”. Immigrants come to the US, start businesses and create jobs as evidenced by the fact that over half the Fortune 500 CEOs are immigrants or the children of immigrants.

WHAT EFFECT HAS THE PRESIDENCY OF DONALD TRUMP HAD ON US IMMIGRATION MATTERS/LAW PRACTICES?

The culture of “no” that we saw after 9/11 has turned into a culture of “got you”. In other words, how can we find a way, not only to say “no”, but also to close the door on legitimate cases using technicalities?  Also, the actions against persons from predominately Muslim countries are abhorrent and counterproductive.

IN THIS ERA CHARACTERISED BY RESTRICTIVE GLOBAL IMMIGRATION POLICIES, WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO HAVE TOP IMMIGRATION LEGAL COUNSEL?

Many people think immigration is about filling out forms, but that is the smallest part of it. The critical aspect is to have a deep knowledge of the process and to develop a viable strategy that must be carefully and intricately implemented through careful supervision as well as creative lawyering.

IMMIGRATION SERVICES ARE MOVING TOWARDS ONLINE “VISA SERVICES” ENTITIES, AS OPPOSED TO USING ATTORNEY SPECIALISTS. IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL PITFALLS OF THIS APPROACH?

The online visa service is an illusion or trap. Immigration is a highly complex area of law subject to massive subjective interpretation that now, more than ever, requires a careful, detailed presentation of facts and legal arguments. The online visa services expose applicants to massive danger. Many applicants, like lambs to the slaughter, find themselves denied and barred from benefits. The online visa services have become the “low-hanging fruit” which allows this administration to deny benefits.

HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR PRACTICE DEVELOPING IN THE FUTURE?

We have never been busier. We expanded to over 70 employees this year, including a merger, and we also opened a Shanghai office to meet the demands of families and companies in Asia. Demand for our services has been overwhelming – creating our best year ever.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?

There have been many. After eight years as counsel for Kazarian (in the leading case on EB-1A extraordinary ability), finally getting him a green card was hugely exciting. But there have been many others, such as getting a green card for a Russian burn victim who has been here for 30 years. We have magnificent victories almost every day that keep me excited. We help people.

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, ARE YOU STILL HOPING TO ACHIEVE IN YOUR LEGAL CAREER?

My goal is the same as the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) which strives to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and advance the quality of immigration law and practice. I remain active on AILA’s board of governors and this is my patriotic mission.

Biography:

Who's Who Legal Corporate Immigration

Bernard P Wolfsdorf is the "the most-recommended lawyer in the US" according to Who's Who Legal and is the US’s leading immigration lawyer, according to both WWL's "listings and his peers". He is also past national president of the 14,000-member American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and managing partner of the top-rated firm Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP.

WWL has named Mr Wolfsdorf its "Leading Immigration Lawyer" for six of the past seven years. Martindale-Hubbell has consistently given Mr Wolfsdorf AV Preeminent ratings (the highest possible) in ethics and competence. US News - Best Lawyers in America has named Mr Wolfsdorf "Lawyer of the Year for Los Angeles". He is one of only three attorneys in California to gain a star rating in Chambers USA's immigration chapter. He is listed in California Super Lawyers and the top tier of Chambers Global. EB5 Investors Magazine has rated Mr Wolfsdorf in its "Top 25 Immigration Lawyers" for the past three years. 

Mr Wolfsdorf has been certified by the California State Bar as an immigration and nationality law specialist for over 25 years. 

Mr Wolfsdorf is a long-standing member of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL) and ABIL Global, both of which include the managing partners of the top immigration firms worldwide. He has authored numerous publications on immigration law and frequently lectures on visa matters. He is renowned for his broad knowledge of immigration law and his ability to successfully navigate complex immigration matters. Over the years, Mr Wolfsdorf has had a major impact on the practice of immigration law. In recognition, AILA honoured him with its Service Excellence Award for his distinguished work. 

Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP handles a broad range of global mobility cases and is well known for its work in the EB-5 investor arena, assisting with filing both direct and high-volume regional centre cases and designation applications. 

WWL says: The “legendary” Bernard Wolfsdorf is the US’s leading immigration lawyer according to our research and is identified as an “out-of-the-box thinker with many strengths in many practice areas”.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Corporate Immigration which can be purchased from our Shop.

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