Immigration lawyer Jennifer Hermansky is passionate about helping international employees and investors fulfill their dreams of moving to the U.S. She has focused solely on business immigration law since she began her practice and has guided talent and investors in the health care, real estate, pharmaceutical and scientific industries through the often-thorny immigration process.
A shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, Hermansky is particularly experienced in leading clients through the employment-based fifth preference category visa process. The EB-5 visa provides a path for immigrant investors to become permanent U.S. residents, and Hermansky has helped thousands of families through the process. In total, she has structured more than $3B in EB-5 capital rases for U.S. development projects – including the largest EB-5 capital raise ever structured. On the creative end, she has also aided international entrepreneurs in immigrating with their families to build new businesses in the U.S.
Lawdragon: Can you tell us a bit about the mix of work you do within your practice?
Jennifer Hermansky: I focus my immigration practice on employment-based immigration. I have experience serving health care, pharmaceutical and real estate industries, as well as entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers in scientific communities for a wide range of temporary visa options and permanent residence solutions.
I also have extensive experience with EB-5 investment immigration cases. I have structured a wide range of EB-5 visa projects across real estate, health care and hospitality industries. I represent EB-5 investors in I-526, I-526E and I-829 Petitions before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Finally, I have extensive experience guiding EB-5 regional centers and projects through the documentation process, including audits and site visits from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
LD: What do you find most satisfying or exciting about your practice?
JH: I really enjoy working with immigrant families to make their American dreams come true. It's very satisfying to help a family realize their goal of moving to America.
LD: Are there any matters that stand out as particularly memorable to you?
JH: I helped a Vietnamese family over more than a decade who opened their own business in the U.S. I led them through the visa process, the green card process and then the naturalization process. It is very satisfying to help the family all the way through the process and achieve their professional and personal goals.
LD: Are there any emerging trends you’re seeing in the business immigration space? Or any types of matters in particular that are keeping you busy?
JH: We recently had a legislative change for the EB-5 investment program with the passage of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022. It brought with it some much needed reforms to the EB-5 program, so there is now a lot of interest from new EB-5 investors to obtain green cards. I plan on continuing working with EB-5 investors who wish to immigrate to the U.S.
LD: Are you working on any matters related to the EB-5 program at the moment?
JH: Yes. I am currently working on structuring several new EB-5 projects that will accept new investments from overseas investors, who will then seek green cards to the U.S. through this investment.
LD: Are there any particular challenges to working on those projects?
JH: Structuring EB-5 investment projects is quite challenging because it is an intersection of many types of law: real estate, securities and corporate law, as well as immigration law. We have many novel issues right now in EB-5 with the new legislation, so there is a lot to think about when planning new EB-5 projects.
LD: Why is it vital to craft an EB-5 project well?
JH: EB-5 investment projects must be structured very carefully to meet the USCIS requirements and also to ensure that the EB-5 investors also can immigrate following making the investment into the project.
LD: And why are those visas so important for U.S. businesses?
JH: EB-5 projects are very good for attracting foreign direct investment to the U.S., job creation for U.S. workers and providing a means for investors to immigrate to the U.S. based on self-sponsorship.
LD: Your undergraduate work was in finance – how did that push you toward a career in the law?
JH: My financial background was very helpful when structuring large scale investment projects. I first became interested in the law because my financial background lends itself well to preparing EB-5 cases and advising EB-5 regional centers and projects regarding immigration requirements.
I really enjoy working with immigrant families to make their American dreams come true.
LD: Did you have any jobs between undergrad and law school?
JH: I was a paralegal before going to law school. It helped inspired me to continue working with immigrant families to realize their American dreams.
LD: Why did you choose your law school in particular?
JH: I went to Drexel University as an undergraduate, and following my graduation, they decided to open a law school. I became part of the inaugural class at the law school because the university has such a strong reputation and a devotion to its cooperative education program.
LD: Is this the type of practice you imagined yourself practicing while in school there?
JH: I worked as a paralegal in immigration law while in undergraduate studies and afterwards. It inspired me to continue in this field.
LD: What advice do you have now for current law school students?
JH: Keep following the areas that you are passionate about and it will lead you to a successful career.
LD: Once you began your career, did you have any formative early experiences or mentors?
JH: My first experiences working with immigrant families helped inspire me to continue in immigration law.
LD: How has your practice changed since that early part of your career?
JH: Immigration law has become more polarized and challenging since I started working in this field in 2003. However, this only helps me focus more on the clients' end goals to move to America.
LD: How would you describe your style as a lawyer?
JH: Working with many cultures helps me to be more open and inclusive and inviting. I think this puts clients at ease and also inspires confidence in me. It’s been very rewarding.
LD: What do you do for fun when you’re outside the office?
JH: I love to go swimming and fishing with my family.