QED: Norman Plotkin and Atessa Chehrazi. "How to Navigate US Immigration Law for Biotech Entrepreneurs"

Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
UCSF Mission Bay, Helen Diller Bldg., Room 160 (1450 Third St.)

Biotech companies want to hire talented employees with the right skills but many candidates may need to be sponsored by the employer because they might not be US citizens or permanent residents. What are the options for entrepreneurs starting up businesses? How can a founder establish an immigration policy to attract and retain the best and the brightest? What visa options are available and how best to navigate through US immigration laws? Norman Plotkin and Atessa Chehrazi, partners at the immigration law firm of Jackson & Hertogs, will explain how the most common visas such as H-1B, J-1, and TN work and will discuss recent developments in immigration law including changes to the F-1 STEM OPT work authorization.

What you'll learn

  • How US immigration laws work and what the differences are between the H-1B, J-1, O-1, and TN visas
  • How to establish an internal immigration program or navigate an employer’s immigration program.
  • The most recent developments in immigration law.


Norman C. Plotkin

Norman became a partner in February 2002. Throughout his career, Norman has been active in AILA. Previously, he served as the editor of the Gold Book, a resource for practicing immigration law in California, and as co-editor of the Western Region Directory for the Immigration Practitioner. He was also liaison for the Northern California AILA Chapter to both the California Service Center and the U.S. Department of Labor. In addition, he was a member of the national AILA/California Service Center liaison committee and previously served on the national AILA/Department of Labor liaison committee. He has also lectured at seminars and conferences including national AILA Conferences, the BIO International Convention, the BIO Human Resources Conference and the HR Star Conference. Norman has received high marks in all legal directories, including a listing in the Best Lawyers in America. He is fluent in Spanish.


Atessa Chehrazi

Atessa has been a partner at Jackson & Hertogs since April 2013 and an associate/senior associate since July 2000. She was previously an associate at Maggio & Kattar in Washington, D.C. from 1996 to 2000. She has held several volunteer roles within the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) during her career. For AILA’s Northern California Chapter, she has served as Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) liaison, and Customs & Border Protection (CBP) liaison. On a national level, Atessa served on AILA’s USCIS Headquarters and Benefits, Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), and Department of Labor (DOL) liaison committee. In addition, Atessa has served on AILA’s Business Immigration Advocacy, Issues, and Due Process & Civil Liberties committees, as well as several conference committees. She has served as a board member of the Iranian American Bar Association Northern California chapter since 2009 and is incoming President of the chapter. She is a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco, and the National Lawyers Guild. She has authored several articles published in AILA Handbooks. Atessa has presented at national and regional AILA conferences. Atessa has been highly reviewed in legal directories, including selection as a Northern California “Super Lawyer” (2010-2012), and listing in the International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers (2011-2015).