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Ellen Freeman

Partner
+1.412.355.8373
Fax +1.412.355.6501

Ms. Freeman has practiced for over 15 years in all aspects of employment-based immigration, from strategy to immigration compliance, including IRCA, I-9, LCAs, high volume of employment-based petitions, PERM labor certification applications, immigrant visa petitions, consular processing and adjustment of status filings. She excels at J-1 waivers for foreign medical graduates and "outstanding researcher and professor," "extraordinary ability," and "national interest waiver" priority worker preference petitions. Ms. Freeman supports clients through all steps of operating business in the U.S. from the formation of a corporate entity, the choice of immigration strategy, application for a temporary visa and through permanent residence. Ms. Freeman’s practice focuses on employment-based immigration for scientists, researchers and medical professionals, primarily in the areas of biotech, health care and education. She also advises start-up and foreign companies/investors in corporate entity formation and establishment of U.S. operations.

Ms. Freeman is highly active in various local and national committees on immigration. She plays a key role within the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), currently serving as Chapter Chair and as a member of its Global Immigration Executive Committee and Business Immigration Committee. As part of her membership, she organizes and selects speakers for AILA’s annual Global Forum, among other projects. Ms. Freeman is also a member of the Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council to the Mayor of Pittsburgh. Within this role, she helps shape the important work of the initiative, which aims to attract immigrants to Pittsburgh.

View Ms. Freeman's biography in Russian.

Professional Background

While in law school, Ms. Freeman served as a teaching assistant for the Legal Analysis and Writing Program. She won the 1998 Niagara International Moot Court in Chicago.

While living in the former Soviet Union, Ms. Freeman assisted an international humanitarian organization with the distribution of aide and resettlement of civil war refugees who were displaced during a conflict in Moldova in 1992.

Achievements

As an avid supporter of arts, Ms. Freeman regularly secures O-1 and P-1 visa status on behalf of individual musicians, conductors, actors, singers, performing artists, as well as large entertainment groups for their tours in the U.S.

In 2008 and 2011, she received a certificate of achievement from the American Immigration Lawyers Association for her dedication to public service in the field of immigration law and in honor of her pledge to provide pro bono legal assistance to immigrant communities.

Martindale-Hubbell® has given Ms. Freeman an AV Preeminent® peer review rating, the highest rating given by Martindale-Hubbell®. In 2012, she was recognized in Pittsburgh’s Top Rated Lawyers publication by LexisNexis® and Martindale-Hubbell® for her work in immigration law. More recently, Ms. Freeman is featured in the 2013 Top Rated Lawyer publication in labor and employment law by the American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell®.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council, Member (2014–2015)
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, Business Immigration Committee (2014–2015)
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, Board of Governors, Pittsburgh Chapter, Chair ( 2014–2015, 2009–2011)
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, Fundamentals Conference Committee, Chair (October 16-17 2014)
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association Rome District Chapter, Spring Conference Committee, Member (2013–2014)
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, Global Section Steering Committee, Member (2013–2015)
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, Students & Scholars Committee, Member (2012–2013)
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, Distance Learning (CLE) Committee, Chair (2011–2012)
  • World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, Education Committee Member (2010–January 2012)
  • Allegheny County Bar Association
    • Immigration Law Committee, Chair (2014–2015, 2009–2011)
    • Arts and Law Committee (2009–present)
  • Foreign Medical Graduates Task Force, Member
  • Pittsburgh Human Resources Association, Learning & Professional Development Committee (2008–2011)
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
    • Cardozo Society, Chair (2010–2011) and Co-Chair (2009–2010)
    • Blue Knot, Pittsburgh, Vice President (2008–2010)
    • Jack Buncher Leadership Program, Jerusalem, Israel (1992)
Ms. Freeman assists clients on the full spectrum of immigration issues including:
  • Advising corporate entities regarding the immigration impact of corporate reorganizations, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, including drafting opinion letters regarding continuous employment eligibility of foreign national employees
  • Assisting start-up and foreign companies with the establishment of U.S. operations, corporate entity formation and recruitment of talent
  • Counseling human resources and legal departments on compliance issues pertaining to DHS, FDNS, DOL audits and ICE raids
  • Securing temporary work visas and permanent residence for foreign workers
  • Developing corporate communication and immigration strategy during corporate downsizing and layoffs
  • Securing Blanket L status for numerous multinational corporations
  • Devising business immigration strategies for multinational, Fortune 500 and privately held companies
  • Assisting hospitals, medical research organizations and academia with visas, Section 212 (e) J-1 waivers and permanent residence for medical doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists and researchers
  • Working closely with medical residents to ensure compliance with the terms of residency programs, as well as negotiating contract terms and selecting best professional offers upon completion of residency
  • Drafting independent contractor, service provider and physician service agreements
  • Providing in-house training for personnel, human resources, benefits and compensation managers, including the development of training programs
  • Conducting LCA and I-9 employment-eligibility verification audits
  • Counseling U.S. permanent residents throughout and during their temporary assignment abroad, international relocation, complex family issues and citizenship process
  • Counseling spouses of international transferees at the onset as well as throughout international assignment in and outside of the U.S., including immigration assistance for their domestic staff
  • Obtaining approvals on Waivers of Inadmissibility for both nonimmigrant and immigrant visa purposes through the USCIS, as well as U.S. Consulates
  • Pursuing temporary and permanent residence on behalf of tenure-track and research faculty members, researchers and support personnel
  • Counseling foreign student advisors on best practices of addressing immigration needs of foreign students and scholars
  • Assisting offices of international students and scholars with complex immigration law issues
  • Advising incoming and graduating foreign national students on all aspects of immigration law and assisting universities in placement of foreign students and scholars
  • Preparing "outstanding researcher or professor", "extraordinary ability" and "national interest waiver" preference petitions
  • Advising U.S. investors on the formation of EB-5 regional centers and requirements to attract foreign investment