Cyrus D Mehta
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6th Floor
New York
New York
+1 212 425 0555
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Cyrus D Mehta, a graduate of Cambridge University and Columbia Law School, is the founder and managing partner of Cyrus D Mehta & Partners, PLLC, representing corporations and individuals in diverse immigration matters. He also advises lawyers on ethical issues. Drawing on 25 years of experience in immigration law, Mr Mehta is able to comprehend all kinds of problems and provide effective, ethical and strategic solutions to his clients. He is also an adjunct professor of law at Brooklyn Law School and a prolific writer, blogger and speaker on contemporary immigration law topics. Mr Mehta is the 2018 recipient of AILA’s Edith Lowenstein award for advancing the practice of immigration law.

What motivated you to pursue a career in the law?

The notion that no one is above the law has always resonated in me, as well as the ability to apply that to achieve just outcomes on behalf of people

What was the greatest challenge you faced when setting up your own firm?

To make it and rise to the top relatively quickly, even though I arrived quite recently in the United States.

Since the election of the Trump administration, what has been the most significant change in corporate immigration in the US?

The Trump administration has blatantly restricted legal immigration through policy memos and challenging work visa applications that were hitherto routinely approvable. The administration’s recent intention of placing otherwise law-abiding foreign nationals in removal proceedings after their extension applications are denied is unnecessary and borders on maliciousness. While denials of routine applications have become more frequent under the Trump administration, there is no need to initiate removal proceedings as these people were authorised to remain in the United States immediately before the denials of their applications, and they generally have every intention to leave the country. Removal proceedings will force them to remain and clog up an already overburdened immigration court system.

How has the increasingly restrictive nature of global immigration policy affected your practice?

If the United States continues on this trajectory, many skilled immigrants may want to seek options in more hospitable countries. It would be incumbent to forge alliances with practitioners in those countries so that clients can maximise their options. Notwithstanding the restrictions, I stand ready to rise up to the challenges to assist clients, and to also resist changes to the law through advocacy and litigation. I remain hopeful that despite President Trump’s rhetoric against immigrants, America will remain true to its founding ideals as a nation of immigrants.

How have client demands evolved since you began your career?

Most information on immigration is widely available on the internet and so clients have become more knowledgeable and sophisticated. Clients thus demand creative lawyering, and one must remain ahead of the curve all the time. Immigration law has also become far more interdisciplinary, and intersects with many other areas of law such as corporate law, tax law and criminal law. An immigration lawyer, even if not practising in these areas, must be able to spot the issues and work with lawyers in these areas to provide clients with optimum solutions.

What is the greatest piece of advice you have received?

To be truthful and ethical at all times.

You have already accomplished so much in your career – what else, if anything, would you like to achieve?

I want to do whatever I can to ensure that the United States, and all countries of the world, develop fair, humane and rational immigration refugee policies despite trends to the contrary, and to further ensure that no one is denied competent representation. In this regard, I believe I am just starting.

What is your secret for success?

I love being an immigration lawyer while also enjoying life, and I do it with great dedication, hard work and passion.


Who's Who Legal Corporate Immigration

Cyrus D Mehta is the managing partner of Cyrus D Mehta & Partners PLLC in New York City. He represents corporations and individuals from around the world in a variety of immigration matters, including business, employment, and entrepreneur and investor immigration. Based on over 25 years of experience in immigration law, he is able to comprehend all kinds of problems and provide effective, ethical and strategic solutions to his clients He is an adjunct professor of law at Brooklyn Law School where he teaches a course on immigration and work.

Mr Mehta is a former chair of the ethics and pro bono committees of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and a member of the Commission on Immigration of the American Bar Association. Mr Mehta is the recipient of AILA’s Joseph Minsky Young Lawyers Award for outstanding contributions in the immigration field (1997), and AILA’s Michael Maggio Memorial Award for outstanding efforts in providing pro bono representation in the immigration field (2011).

Mr Mehta’s former roles include chair of the board of trustees of the American Immigration Council (2004-2006) and secretary of the New York City Bar Association (2003-2007), having also served as chair of the Association’s committee on Immigration and Nationality Law (2000-2003) He is also a member of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers.

Mr Mehta graduated with a BA degree from St. Xavier's College in Mumbai, and subsequently obtained an LLM from Cambridge University and an LLM from Columbia Law School.

WWL says: Cyrus Mehta is “the best lawyer in New York City”, say peers, who add, “He is at the top of his game and a leader in his field.”

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

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