July 10, 2024

Immigration Insights: Interview with Sam Adair from Graham Adair

Sam Adair CircularWhat made you start working in immigration?

I chose to go into immigration as a deliberate career choice.  For me this was fuelled by experiences that I had as a teenager working jobs in agriculture and construction where I was one of very few people working who wasn’t an immigrant.  When I was in law school I met two  immigration attorneys that I really admired and I asked them for a job.  I started working there in my second year of law school and have really never looked back.  To this day I still work with some of the same corporate clients that I worked with more than 20 years ago.

How has working within the immigration industry changed within the last 10 years?

Immigration in the United States has always been a politically volatile issue.  There has certainly been a major pendulum swing over the last several years, but there is an underlying reality that immigration is a vital part of the U.S. economy and while there have been efforts to restrict or limit immigration there are still viable paths to move forward through the process.  Unfortunately, the biggest changes we have seen over the past decade are probably related to processing delays on the part of the U.S. government.  We have also seen a complete inability for congress to take any meaningful action on immigration reforms of any kind.  Which unfortunately tends to be harmful to processes that need to be updated.  

What has been your career highlight so far?

Fifteen years ago we started the law firm of Graham Adair.  It has been so rewarding to see this firm grow as we work and grow with our clients.  Being able to provide outstanding services to our clients in a way that is both helpful for them and rewarding for our employees is really a highlight for me.  The work that we do isn’t particularly glamorous but it is incredibly rewarding to deliver consistently high service to clients to help take some of the stress out of what can be a frustrating process. 

Tell me about an interesting case you have had?

We recently had the opportunity to help a corporate client obtain a visa for a new CEO.  The only real visa option was an O-1 visa and we had a very short timeline in which to assemble the visa application and get an approval if the company was to be able to meet their timeline for announcing their new CEO.  An O-1 is for an individual with an extraordinary ability or achievement. As you can imagine, these can be very difficult to obtain! We were under considerable pressure because if the visa was not secured in time the new CEO would likely not be hired and the company would have been in a difficult situation.  Fortunately, thanks to our crack team of attorneys and some outstanding paralegals we put together a very strong application that was quickly approved and the CEO was able to come in and start their new job. 

Do you have any tips for anyone who operates within the immigration world?

My tip for anyone who operates in the immigration world would be to get your lawyer involved as early in the process as possible.  The sooner we are involved the sooner we will be able to get the desired outcome, be it a visa or permanent residence status.  Don’t wait to notify us of a change or new facts.  Let us know early and at every change in course. It will make us all happier in the end.  

What's something about you that we wouldn't know?

I love dogs, basketball, and H-1B visas.  (You probably shouldn’t include this.)

Sam Adair
Sam Adair has broad experience with most areas of immigration law, his practice is focused on employment based immigration ranging from visa processing, permanent residence, compliance issues and mergers and acquisitions.

Sterling Lexicon and Graham Adair partner seamlessly to simplify our client’s experience. When you have employees relocating to the U.S., our team of experts will manage the process efficiently and effectively so that the U.S. visas and the immigration support needed for relocation are the least of your concerns when you are putting your team in place.

If you have any questions regarding the topic above or other U.S immigration queries please
contact us.

Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over fifteen years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends, and currently serves as a member of the Worldwide ERC (WERC) Immigration Advisory Council.

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