US Visa Options for Architects and Designers
January 30, 2018, 6:00-8:00PM
Leo A Daly - 550 S. Hope St., 27th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071

US Visa Options for Architects and Designers- 2 CES LU's

Tuesday, January 30. 6:00-8:00PM.
Location: Leo A Daly - 550 S. Hope St., 27th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90071

This presentation will provide attendees understanding of the visa options to employ foreign architects and designers as well as knowledge on compliance documentation in support of those sponsorships - providing 2 CES LU's.

Learning Objectives:

1) Attendees will learn about the visa options available to architects and designers
2) Attendees will have an overall understanding of US immigration pertaining to firms and companies
3) Attendees will learn about how to build a sound case for work visas for foreign workers
4) Attendees will learn about to be compliant in a period of immigration enforcement with respect to work visas


John Mei, Esq. - Partner, danziger + mei

John provide clients with legal solutions in the areas of immigration and business immigration law. He currently represent international/multinational corporations, design and architectural firms, start-ups, publicly traded companies, hospitals, universities and other public agencies in helping them obtain temporary and permanent work visas for their international employees, physicians, and scholars.
In the area of academia, he currently represents several prestigious universities in helping its professors and scholars obtain temporary work visas and applications for permanent residency. He has also successfully handled many permanent applications for residency in the United States for professors and researchers under the EB-1 category as aliens of extraordinary ability and merit or as an Outstanding Professor or Researcher.
He also works closely with human resources managers and directors, advising them on various immigration and immigration compliance related issues to hiring foreign nationals before the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Among multinational corporations he has successfully processed many EB-1 petitions for international executives/manager transferees.

A list of his practice areas include:
• Nonimmigrant Visas: E-3, H-1B, L-1B, L-1A, O-1, J-1, and TN etc.
• Permanent Visas: EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4
• Labor Certifications: PERM Filing, Audits, Recruitment, Compliance, PERM Appeals/Motion to Reconsider
• Immigration Issued Related Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions
• Investment: Treaty Investor/Trader - E-1, E-2,
• Family Based Immigration: Petitions for spouse, siblings, and parents
• International Adoptions

He has authored numerous articles related to business immigration and a regular speaker at Southern California Institute of Architecture, Art Center College of Design, California State University, Fullerton, and California State University, Northridge. He is licensed to practice law in California and before the United States District Court, Central District of California. He is also Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Pierce College.

Lisa A. Russo - Registrar/International Advisor (PDSO/RO), Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

For over 30 years, Lisa has been the Registrar/International Advisor at SCI-Arc.  Located in downtown Los Angeles, SCI-Arc is a center of innovation and one of the nation’s few independent architecture schools. As Registrar, she coordinates all registration operations for 500 students, faculty, exchange visitors and scholars and is a key member of the Diversity Committee. She is an integral part of the Enrollment Management team and manages the Student Health Program.

As International Advisor, she manages over 250 F-1 students and 6-12 J-1 Exchange Visitors including Short-Term Scholars, Professors and Exchange Students. She has successfully completed F-1 and J-1  SEVIS Recertification throughout her tenure and is presently working to update SCI-Arc degree programs to be STEM eligible. She oversees all aspects of the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) programs on campus and assists faculty with employment strategy for international student/scholars. She is also a California Notary.

Lisa is a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Sociology.


Memberships include:

  • National Association of Foreign Student Advisor (NAFSA)
  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
  • Pacific Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (PACRAO)
  • National Association of Veterans Program Administrators (NAVPA)
  • Los Angeles World Affairs Council (LAWAC)
  • National Notary Association 

Qichen Cao - Associate, XTEN Architecture

Since 2013, Qichen has been an integral part of Los Angeles based firm, XTEN Architecture. Over the past years, he has worked on a few award winning projects including Madisonhouse at Palm Springs that won Merit Award from AIA Los Angeles in 2013, La Moraleja Villa in Spain which won AIALA Residential Architecture Award and American Architecture Prize in 2017 and most notably, as the project architect, Guggenheim Helsinki, which won American Architecture award and honor award from AIA Los Angeles in 2015. Currently served as the associate of the office, he is managing several custom residential projects throughout Southern California. 

As the supervisor of interns and junior staff of the office, Qichen has worked with program coordinators of several European institutes including ETH, University of Stuttgart, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and etc. to introduce foreign students to intern and work at XTEN. He has managed over a dozen J-1 trainee/intern short-term visa applications as well as H-1b non-immigrant worker applications. 


Qichen has been active in both practice and academia. He is a frequent guest jury at School of Architecture in University of Southern California and the project Nakahouse he worked on has been exhibited in “A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California” at Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Qichen received his Master’s degree in Architecture from University of California, Los Angeles. 

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