Sonal J. Mehta Verma is a recognized leader in the immigration bar, locally and nationally. She is former Chair of the Washington, DC Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), which represents the interests of over 1,000 attorney members across the Maryland, Virginia, and District of Columbia region. In addition, Sonal has been appointed to serve on many key national committees for AILA. Collectively, AILA has over 13,000 members.
Sonal has a commanding presence in the immigration bar, and has been invited to speak locally, nationally, and at international conferences. Most recently, in July 2021, she was featured as a discussion leader and speaker for AILA’s virtual webinar, “Leveraging Alternate Wage Surveys: A Practical Introduction,” for which she co-authored a companion article. A summary of other speaking engagements and articles follows:
- Panelist, “H-1B RFE Trends and Strategies for Winning at CSC, NSC, TSC, and VSC” AILA Webinar August 2020.
- Faculty Member, AILA PERM Online Course Program, “Job Description and Requirements.” Self-paced CLE online video course, eligible for up to 15 CLE hours in 60-minute jurisdictions, providing intermediate-level resource for PERM practitioners to help them navigate the common and less-common issues which can arise in PERM practice. Launched March 2019.
- Panelist, “Cracking the Glass Ceiling While Closing the Gender Gap” AILA National Conference, New Orleans, LA 2017.
- Co-Author, “The New Normal: Processing Green Cards for Clients Who Did Not or Will Not Receive H-1Bs,” 2016 AILA Immigration Practice Pointers, 2016
- Panelist, “Trends and Updates for H-1B and L-1” AILA DC Chapter Fall Conference, Rockville, MD 2015
- Panelist, “Alphabet Soup – NIV Basics Part 2: L to U” AILA National Conference, Boston, MA 2014
- Co-Author, “Audits in the Employment-Based Non-Immigrant Context: The Labor Condition Application,” What Every Lawyer Needs to know about Immigration, ABA Publication, 2014.
- Panelist, “RFE, NOID, NOIR Panel – Employment Track,” AILA DC Chapter Fall Conference, Rockville, MD 2013.
- Panelist, “Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Workshop with the Experts – Labor Certification,” AILA Fundamentals Conference, Washington, DC 2012.
- Panelist, “PERM Fundamentals,” AILA National Conference, Nashville, TN 2012.
- Panelist, “Consideration for the Individual Client,” AILA Midyear Conference, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, January 2011.
- Panelist, “Advanced Issues in Family-Based Immigration,” AILA Telephone Seminar, February 17, 2011.
- Author, “First Comes Love, Second Comes Marriage, Then Comes the USCIS to Tell You How it Should Be,” The Advocate, Maryland State Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division Newsletter, June 2010.
- Featured Guest, C-SPAN, Washington Journal; Topic: The Process of Becoming a U.S. Citizen, August 15, 2010.
- Panelist, “Unconditional Love, Conditional Residency: Pitfalls in I-751s,” 2009 AILA Annual Conference, June 4, 2009.
- Panelist, “Nuts and Bolts of Family Immigration Law,” Interfaith Immigration Coalition’s Briefing and Training on Family Based Immigration, Law and Politics, April 30, 2009.
- Author, “Home Care Workers – Providing the Elderly with Independence While Tending to Their Needs,” Immigration Options for Essential Workers, American Immigration Lawyers Association, 2008.
Sonal has been included in the Best Lawyers in America listing for Immigration Lawyers and has been featured in Who’s Who Legal for the past several years, along with several other prominent immigration practitioners from across the globe. Sonal often collaborates with other leaders in the immigration bar to solve difficult problems in the area of business immigration.
Her representative experience includes obtaining EB-1 visas for scientific researchers, EB-2 National Interest Visas for individuals in unconventional professions, managing all immigrant and non-immigrant visas for technology companies of all sizes across the globe, securing Waivers of Removability for individuals in Immigration Court proceedings, winning asylum for refugees fleeing persecution in their native countries, and attaining U visas for victims of domestic violence. In addition, she has filed thousands of H-1B and L-1 cases for nonimmigrant employment in the United States, as well as PERM cases to secure employment based lawful permanent residence.
Sonal graduated from Loyola College in Maryland (now Loyola University) with a major in Psychology, and minor in Philosophy. Thereafter, she attended the University of Baltimore School of Law, and graduated with a concentration in International and Comparative Law. While in Law School, she was co-Director of the Domestic Violence Advocacy Project, and was chosen to represent her Law School on the Jessup International Moot Court Competition Team after a competitive selections process.
Sonal is dedicated to providing the best service and advice to her clients, whether they are large multinational corporations, or individuals with a desire to fulfill their American Dream. She is approachable, and compassionate in her interactions with clients. As a first-generation American, she understands the need to do better for yourself and your family, and to ensure that your future is not dictated by where you were born, but rather, where you make your mark.