Over 40 years of combined experience in strategic U.S. Immigration counseling and representation

Our immigration law firm focuses primarily on working with businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, academic institutions and artists/entertainers to obtain temporary work permits or permanent residence.  We also work with families who wish to sponsor a foreign national for a green card.

Entrepreneurs & Start-ups

Several visa pathways allow foreign entrepreneurs who have already started or are about to start a new business to direct their new enterprise temporarily or permanently in the U.S. Lipson & Pretorius LLP can help you with the following:

Investors & EB-5 Visas

The EB-5 visa for Immigrant Investors provides a pathway for obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States. We help guide investors in selecting between the 2 main investment options and implementing the most promising strategy:

Arts & Entertainment

The O  and P visas may be an appropriate  immigration strategy for persons with extraordinary ability in arts, business, film, television or athletics:

Professors & Researchers

Outstanding researchers and professors may be eligible for permanent residence based on proof of International Acclaim in their academic field or Extraordinary Ability in the arts, sciences, business or education , or by way of a National Interest Waiver petition. (Extraordinary Ability and NIW do not require employer sponsorship):

Family-based Immigration

Close U.S. citizen and permanent resident family relatives in the U.S. can sponsor foreign nationals for the green card. Close relationships include spouse, mother, father and siblings. A U.S. citizen can sponsor a fiancé from overseas to enter the U.S. so that the couple can marry in the U.S. and subsequently file for a green card:

J-1 Visa Waivers

Many J-1 scholars find themselves with a two-year home residence requirement which they must satisfy before switching to certain working visas or permanent residence. There is however, the possibility to waive this requirement by applying to the Department of State for a J-1 waiver based on one of the approved grounds.

They have an exceptional experience in this field, and they always figure out a way through the intricacies of immigration policy and bureaucracy.
—Dr. A.D, Professor and Software Engineer at Fortune 500 Company


A timely distillation of immigration strategies and events

Meet our Outstanding New Team Members!

Portrait of Carmel CasadoWe are pleased to announce that attorney Carmen Casado has joined Lipson & Pretorius LLP as Of Counsel. In this capacity, Carmen will be providing strategic immigration legal advice and counseling for our clients, with special emphasis on small and medium-sized businesses, including start-ups. Carmen is a citizen of both the US and Spain and has been practicing immigration law for over 10 years, in New York and San Francisco.

Portrait of Ting NiWe also welcome Ting Ni as Associate Attorney.  A cum laude graduate of Notre Dame law school, Ting has provided immigration legal services to a diverse set of clients, as part of Carmen Casado’s law practice.  Ting is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and will be based in our San Francisco office.

Presentation to California Lawyers for the Arts

logofinalcolortweak2On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, Hendrik Pretorius was invited by the California Lawyers for the Arts to present to a group of artists, arts entrepreneurs, lawyers at arts organizations, and art school representatives about various applicable immigration topics.

The discussion touched upon the often-misunderstood B-1 business visitor visa and Visa Waiver Program, the ‘extraordinary ability’ O-1 visa, the ‘professional worker’ H-1B visa, and also the ‘treaty investor/entrepreneur’ focus of the E-2 visa, among others.

 Korean Entrepreneurs at KOTRA

Portrait of Attorney Edwin (Todd) Rumberger of Foley & Lardner LLP in Palo Alto, CA

On Thursday, September 4, 2014 Hendrik Pretorius presented to a fantastic group of Korean Entrepreneurs at KOTRA along with  Attorney Edwin (Todd) Rumberger of Foley & Lardner LLP in Palo Alto, CA.

KOTRA, a Korean startup incubator program located in San Jose is an amazing venue that hosts promising startup teams from Korea and exposes them to the U.S. market and U.S. professionals, such as Hendrik and Todd, who assist these teams along the path in bringing their entrepreneurial visions into reality.Black and white portrait of Hendrik Pretorius - Attorney at Law

With so many technicalities and hurdles in today’s business world, especially those facing foreign-born entrepreneurs and startups, this talk was aimed at educating the KOTRA participants on some inevitable immigration law and corporate law hurdles that must keep in mind when planning business operations, growth, and overall success in the U.S.

Hendrik Pretorius spoke to the group and provided an overview of immigration fundamentals and non-immigrant visa options that apply specifically to entrepreneurs and startups throughout various phases of their lifecycle. As there are many hurdles for startups in the current immigration environment, due primarily to outdated visa requirements as applied to technology startups, Hendrik emphasized the pros and cons of certain visa options including the E-2, L-1, H-1B, and O-1 visas, while also providing insight into creative ways to plan for and navigate certain notoriously challenging visa requirements.

Todd Rumberger of Foley & Lardner LLP then presented on corporate law considerations for startups, including a very useful focus on entity structures specially concerning businesses that may have ties to international operations or may be using or planning to use foreign Intellectual Property within the U.S.

To schedule a similar talk at your organization or to meet with Hendrik individually please do not hesitate to email him directly at .



Image of the VISA Geek logoAn authoritative immigration law blog reviewing and reporting changes to immigration laws, procedures and policies that affect businesses and individuals. Published by Lipson & Pretorius, LLP.