Immigration thoughts from an Immigration Lawyer.



IMMIGRANTLY is an informational blog created by me, Yan Li, an immigration lawyer. I will provide the most up to date news about immigration law, and share my thoughts and experiences as an immigration lawyer. I hope this blog will help more immigrants and immigrants-to-be better understand immigration laws and find the options they have.

A little about Yan Li…

My first experience of immigration was when I moved from my birth country China to Japan at age 8. I didn’t know any Japanese at that time, and I was put into a public school where I was one of the two foreigners in the whole school. Being a foreigner in a foreign country made me realize my “common sense” is not necessarily common. I gradually learned to observe and adapt to new culture and environment. After graduating from high school in Japan, I came to the United States as an F1 international student. I was amazed by the diversity, flexibility, freedom and possibility in this country. However, my visa status has always been a big concern. Because of my Chinese nationality, my F1 visa was valid only for a year. I feared that my visa renewal would be denied and I couldn’t continue my education in the U.S., so I couldn’t go back to Japan to see my parents until I graduated from university. F1 students are not allowed to work off-campus. So I worked hard to find on-campus jobs, and took extra units per quarter to graduate early when the tuition was charged per quarter, not per unit. Over the years, I got more and more frustrated with my visa status, and I also learned about the complex immigration issues in this country of immigrants. Then I decided to go to law school and become an immigration lawyer, so that I could make the life easier for those foreigners who are striving for success in this country. I currently hold an H1B visa, working for Tomita Law Office, a law firm specializing in immigration law. I am the managing attorney at the Palo Alto branch office in California, working to deliver our expertise in immigration law and high quality service to the Bay Area every day.

This blog was born out of my hope that I can use my experience, knowledge and expertise in immigration to benefit the communities of foreign students, foreign workers, and immigrants. I welcome your comments, questions, suggestions and requests. Please feel free to post your concerns or contact me directly at

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