The U.S. has always regulated immigration through policy revisions, laws, and executive orders, a fact reflected in our time’s politics. Consequently, as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) undergo another revision after the change of administration, a successful immigration application’s requirements also change. This is where Stelmakh & Associates LLC, a business immigration law firm based in Seattle, Washington, steps in, offering legal services to provide favorable immigration outcomes for their clients – Manage HR Magazine.
At Stelmakh & Associates LLC, the company helps its clients get through every step of the immigration process. Their dedicated lawyers always keep in sync with the changes and developments associated with U.S. immigration laws and regulations and ensure that they provide their clients with the robust representation they deserve. To understand the company’s capabilities and how they help their clients navigate the intricate immigration laws here in the U.S., Manage HR Magazine interviewed Katya Stelmakh, the founder of the company. Katya has over 13 years of experience in the field of business immigration law. Before founding Stelmakh & Associates, she managed an international law firm’s business immigration practice with offices in Philadelphia, Moscow, and Kyiv. While working with that firm, she played a pivotal role as an immigration and litigation counsel for one of the world’s largest ferro-alloy and steel manufacturers.
Could you provide our readers a brief overview of Stelmakh & Associates LLC?
Stelmakh & Associates was founded in 2008 in Silicon Valley to help organizations hire foreign talent. I strategically chose the location in Silicon Valley to help the startup world, particularly technology companies, in hiring foreign talent. I currently practice immigration law from Seattle and represent both corporate clients and individuals who require work visas and immigration assistance. With my team of experienced attorneys, we provide legal advice on compliance-related issues, visa and green cards processing, relocating employees to the U.S., and more.
As a law firm that only provides business immigration law advice, we understand how important the results are for our clients and handle every case with integrity and attention to detail. We carefully examine the client’s requirements and circumstances through our consultation service and then advise on the best way to proceed. Our approach reflects a solid track record of client success and satisfaction. As I was an immigrant to the U.S. myself, I can understand my clients’ challenges better than anyone.
We are a technology-driven organization. For that reason, we are prepared to serve a digitally dependent world that requires us to communicate with clients who make the most sensitive immigrations decisions online. We are experts in providing virtual consulting service and can serve customers’ immigration-related needs through phone calls, video conferencing, email communication, or any other digital medium they prefer. We also have an AI-powered case management portal which allows our clients to provide us with their sensitive documents in a secure and convenient way and streamlines the visa petitions preparation process.
How do you customize immigration solutions for your clients?
When a new client approaches Stelmakh & Associates, for example, a corporate client or a foreign startup founder, we strive to understand the business first. We communicate with them extensively to know their requirements, including the number of foreign citizens they wish to hire, and their qualifications and period of employment. We then decide on the type of visa they require. In many cases, we design a long-term plan for our clients, especially for entrepreneurial customers who look for an investor or extraordinary abilities work visa.
While dealing with such clients, we often build a practical roadmap to help them start their own business in the US, make or find investment, and obtain a work visa or green card for them and their families. We literally provide them an action plan to make their immigration and business dreams come true. To do that, sometimes, we assign an expert to design a business plan for their newly registered American company and ensure that the plan complies with immigration regulations. Based on the plan, we proceed to obtain work authorization from the immigration agency.
How does digital technology help your clients in matters concerning immigration?
We utilize an AI-powered case management system to help our clients with their various immigration needs. We understand that immigration processes are followed by trailing paper works that are complicated and error-prone. We address such issues by bringing our clients to a secure online portal to fill out simple surveys which in turn auto-fill immigration forms. Customers can also upload their supporting documents on this secure portal.
Stelmakh & Associates is a highly responsive company. If our clients need help with any of their immigration needs or have questions about the requested documents or their case status, they can quickly send us a note using our AI-powered chatbot, and we respond to the query the same day, often instantly.
Could you narrate an instance highlighting the benefits brought to one of your clients after collaborating with Stelmakh & Associates?
One of our recent clients was a foreign founder who just graduated from Stanford University and received VC funding to develop an online fashion technology startup. He was in student visa status and needed a work visa to be able to work for his American startup as its CEO. After discussing all his visa options, we decided to apply for O1A – an extraordinary abilities work visa. We highlighted his awards of venture capital, press in major media about his startup, his high compensation through his equity share in his company, and provided evidence of other O1A visa legal criteria. His O1A visa petition was approved by the USCIS in 10 days! The next step for him would be for us to prepare and file his green card petition based on extraordinary abilities in business.
Another example is a tech company in Silicon Valley which wanted to bring foreign developers to its U.S. office and also employ a recent MBA foreign graduate in a marketing role. The company had a team of talented developers who worked abroad and intended to expand their in-house team. Upon approaching us, we went through the qualifications of every foreign beneficiary. By collaborating with the client, we identified the best visa options for all of their prospective hires. We quickly prepared the visa petitions and secured H1B work visas for all of them, which was a challenge for a marketing hire due to the nature of H1B visa regulations which favour highly specialized and technical jobs.
What does the future hold for Stelmakh & Associates?
Moving ahead, we want to become a one-stop-shop for our client’s visa and immigration needs. We also plan to expand the business consulting services to help foreign investors and entrepreneurs realize their dreams. We had a significant success when I was recently engaged as an Independent Counsel to consult a legal services start-up in Seattle which specializes in work visas for foreign founders. We have also recently expanded our team by hiring two new experienced associate attorneys and a digital marketing specialist.