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Immigration & Nationality Law Board Certification in California

Immigration law is governed under federal law under the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have jurisdiction over immigration matters. The immigration system is extraordinarily complex with many difficult issues, therefore, it is important that an attorney has an understanding of it. Immigration Specialists have met the rigorous application requirements by passing exams, demonstrating experience, and participating in the field amongst other requirements. 

A board-certified immigration attorney in California is awarded their certification for immigration and nationality law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. The immigration specialist has demonstrated that he or she has been substantially involved in the practice of immigration law

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About Immigration Law Board Certification in California

In California, the board certification for immigration and nationality law is awarded by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Only California attorneys who have earned board certification in immigration and nationality law can advertise or identify themselves as a "certified specialist" or "board certified" in this area of law.

The Standards for board certification in immigration and nationality law in California must be read in conjunction with the rules governing the State Bar of California Program for Certifying Legal Specialists, which govern the program requirements.

For purposes of California's board certification program, the term "Immigration and Nationality Law" is defined as the practice of law dealing with matters arising under and related to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended (Title 8 U.S. Code), and other laws and regulations dealing with immigration and naturalization.

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Board Certified Immigration Lawyers Active on Lawyer Legion

Carl Michael Shusterman
Law Offices Of Carl Shusterman
Los Angeles, CA
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Lincoln Lee Stone
Stone Grzegorek & Gonzalez LLP
Los Angeles, CA
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Amy Prokop
Law Offices of Carl Shusterman
Los Angeles, CA
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Anish Vashistha
Law Firm of Anish Vashistha, A.P.L.C.
Los Angeles, CA
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Geri Nadine Kahn
Law Office of Geri N. Kahn
San Francisco, CA
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David Hirson
David Hirson & Partners, LLP
Costa Mesa, CA
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Directory of Board Certified Immigration Lawyers in California

Lawyer Legion maintains a directory of board certified Immigration & Nationality Law specialists in California. This directory provides the public with a valuable resource that allows them to narrow their search to local attorneys who have earned board certification in Immigration & Nationality Law by the State Bar of California.

Lawyer Legion is the only commercial lawyer directory to properly acknowledge all ABA-accredited specialization programs and provide a dynamic directory of virtually every lawyer who has earned each certification, including board certification in Immigration & Nationality Law offered by the State Bar of California.

Use this directory to connect with lawyers who have earned the important distinction of board certified specialists in Immigration & Nationality Law by the State Bar of California. Start by choosing your county from the list below.


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More About Immigration Law Board Certification in California

Requirements for Certification in Immigration Law

An immigration attorney in California must demonstrate that he or she has been substantially involved in the practice of immigration law. For the program, a prima facie showing of substantial involvement in the area of immigration and nationality law is made by the performance of certain specified number and types of activities including:

  • Application for immigrant and non-immigrant status;
  • Non-immigrant visa petitions or applications, or non-immigrant waivers including ancillary applications such as labor condition applications;
  • Labor certifications;
  • Hearings before immigration judges for individual hearings on the merits of an application for relief or a non-frivolous motion to terminate;
  • Contested removal, deportation or exclusion hearings or rescission proceedings before immigration judges;
  • Naturalization or Nationality cases;
  • Administrative Appellate Practice including judicial review of immigration proceedings in the federal courts which can include Writ of Mandamus, Petition for Review, Petition for Declaration of Judgment, or Habeas Corpus;
  • State Department or Consular Practice;
  • Immigration consequences of mergers, reorganizations, downsizing and other business or employment changes;
  • Motions, writs or pleas in criminal cases relating to collateral immigration consequences in federal or state courts, Bond or custody proceedings;
  • Immigrant visa petitions, applications, or immigrant waivers;
  • Refugee or asylum applications; and
  • Immigration-related enforcement proceedings other than immigration court.

Requirements for Immigration Specialist

An immigration attorney in California must show that he or she has completed not less than 45 hours of educational activities specifically approved for immigration and nationality law, including:

  • Citizenship and Naturalization (minimum of 4 hours required)
    • acquisition and loss of citizenship
    • derivation
    • naturalization
  • Non-Immigrant Visas (minimum of 8 hours required)
    • change of non-immigrant status and all categories of non-immigrant visas
  • Immigrant Visas (minimum of 15 hours required) -
    • labor certification;
    • adjustment of status;
    • grounds for exclusion and waivers;
    • special immigrants;
    • relative preference categories;
    • immediate relatives;
    • registry and consular procedures;
    • legalization;
  • Administrative and Judicial Review (minimum of 6 hours required)
    • appeals to an appellate body of the Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Labor;
    • motions to reopen;
    • motions for reconsideration.
    • The subject matter of Judicial Review may include: habeas corpus proceedings, appeals to the Court of Appeals, and other district court actions; and
  • Removal/Deportation/Exclusion Procedures (minimum of 12 hours required)
    • immigration and administrative law court procedures and rules;
    • defenses;
    • removal/deportation/exclusion grounds and waivers;
    • arrest and custody procedures;
    • anti-discrimination procedures and defenses; and
    • employer sanctions.

Re-certification for Board Certification in Immigration Law

An immigration attorney who has earned the distinction of board certification in California must also apply for re-certification every five years and show that he or she has continued to have direct and substantial participation in the practice of immigration and nationality law.

The task requirements include:

  • direct and substantial participation as the lead attorney in a specified number and type of cases; and
  • completion of a specified number of continuing education classes related to immigration law.

Other Specialty Certification Areas by the State Bar of California

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