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Stone Grzegorek & Gonzalez LLP is a U.S. immigration law firm of 11 attorneys with substantial experience in representing U.S. businesses and foreign nationals with their U.S. immigration needs, including the EB-5 category. Only a small percentage of immigration law attorneys have certified specialist standing, which is attained based on depth and breadth of immigration law experience, specialized legal education courses, rigorous examination, and professional references. We have more certified specialists in immigration law than any other law firm. In the EB-5 field, we have successfully represented over 4,000 clients, including an estimated 1,800 clients whom we assisted in obtaining removal of conditions from their resident status. We have assisted dozens of our U.S. regional center and business clients in raising over $4 billion for more than 100 different job-creating enterprises through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
Michele Franchett is a partner at Stone Grzegorek & Gonzalez LLP. She is admitted to the California Bar, and is a Certified Specialist in the practice of Immigration and Nationality Law. She has over twenty years of experience in the field, and her current practice is focused on investor and entrepreneurial immigration, with particular emphasis on EB-5 capital group representation. She provides counsel to a number of regional centers seeking to obtain or amend regional center designations and exemplar petition approvals. Ms. Franchett serves as Vice Chair of the 2020-2021 national EB-5 Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”), the Public Policy Committee of Invest In the USA (“IIUSA”), and is a former chair of the AILA Southern California Chapter. Ms. Franchett has since accumulated experience encompassing virtually every area of business-based immigration, including employment-based visas, employer compliance, and I-9 audits (both internal and those initiaated by ICE/Homeland Security Investigations). She has represented multinational corporations, research hospitals, universities, investors, entrepreneurs, academicians, artists, and entrepreneurs. Ms. Franchett has also represented clients applying for visas at U.S. Consulates around the world, including personal appearances in Toronto, Halifax, and Ciudad Juarez, and the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. Ms. Franchett is conversant in Mandarin Chinese.
Selected speaking engagements:
- 2019, October – The New Normal for TEAs: What Are the Changes & How to Adapt – IIUSA 9th Annual EB-5 Industry Forum, Seattle, WA
- 2019, May – RFEs, NOITs, and Regional Center Terminations: Trends and How to Respond – IIUSA 12th Annual EB-5 Advocacy Conference, Washington, DC
- 2018, October – USCIS Adjudications: RFE, NOIT, and NOID Trends, Response Strategies and Implications for Investors – AILA & IIUSA EB-5 Industry Forum, Chicago, IL
- 2018, April – USCIS Processing Times & Practical Strategies for Investor Success – IIUSA 11th Annual EB-5 Advocacy Conference, Washington, DC
- 2018, January – RFE/NOID Trends (Case Studies), EB5 Investors Magazine’s Global Investment Immigration Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada
- 2017, December – Latest RFE Trends, AILA EB-5 Investors Summit, Las Vegas, Nevada
- 2017, October – RFE Trends: What is USCIS Focused on in EB-5 Investor & Project Adjudications, IIUSA EB-5 Industry Forum, Miami, Florida
- 2016, October – Issue Spotting in EB-5 Legislation for Investors – IIUSA EB-5 Industry Forum – Los Angeles, California
- 2016, October – Representing Regional Centers with Setting Up, Maintaining Status, and Planning Projects – AILA EB-5 Investors Summit, Washington, DC
- 2016, April – The Future of EB-5 in California – California Association for Local Economic Development (“CALED”) 36th Annual Training Conference, San Francisco, California
- Associate Editor, Immigration Options for Investors and Entrepreneurs (AILA 4th ed. 2019)
- Job Creation for I-829 Petitions, Immigration Options for Investors & Entrepreneurs, 4th Edition, AILA, 2019
- Regional Center Terminations and Impacts on Immigrant Families, IIUSA Regional Center Business Journal, July 2017
- No Legislative Reform, Now What? A Roundtable With EB-5 Experts, IIUSA Regional Center Business Journal, April 2016
• Representing Investors and Entrepreneurs from China, Amidst a Market Enthralled by EB-5, Immigration Options for Investors & Entrepreneurs, 3rd Edition, AILA, 2014
• Immigration Update, PIHRA Scope, May 2002
• Spousal Work Authorization Bill Signed by President Bush, PIHRA Scope, March 2002
• Overview of Recent Changes in Immigration Law Affecting Health Care Human Resource Administrators, AHHRA News, 1996
• DV Lotteries–A Mad or Rational Way to Allocate Immigrant Visas, AILA Immigration & Nationality Law Handbook, 1996 • Non-Traditional H-1Bs and TNs, Emerging Issues in Immigration Law, AILA California Chapters Conference Handbook, 1994.
Notable Professional Activities:
• Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
• Vice Chair Communications,, Board of Directors, International Visitors Council of Los Angeles, 2013 - present
• Chair, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Southern California Chapter (AILA), 1996-1997
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