Mariela is an experienced immigration attorney specializing in complex business immigration matters for U.S. and global organizations, including nationally-recognized medical centers and universities. She began her career in immigration after completing her undergraduate degree. Mariela gained extensive experience as an immigration paralegal serving large companies, small businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals, spanning nearly every industry from healthcare, scientific research, non-profit service and academic institutions, to finance and technology firms.

In 2008, Mariela transitioned in-house to work for a world class teaching hospital Beth Israel Medical Center, a Harvard University teaching hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, where she managed the entire immigration function responsible for overseeing all immigration related matters for all hospital employees, including medical fellows, physicians, researchers, scientists, informational technology employees and all other employees.

After attending law school, Mariela managed the immigration programs for a large public university the University of Virginia, managing all aspects of the immigration function for all university employees including Professors, administrative and research faculty, scientists, researchers and other University employees. Mariela has expertise in PERM applications for all employment based roles including professionals, nurses, physicians and other staff. Mariela’s expertise includes, H, L, O, TN, B, E, and other types of employment based non-immigrant visa status, as well as J-1 waivers and EB-1 Outstanding Research, Extraordinary Ability, and Multinational Management petitions.

As a first-generation American of immigrant parents, Mariela understands the personal challenges and impact of immigration on all aspects of a foreign national’s professional and personal life. Having led the immigration function/departments at prestigious organizations in healthcare, higher education and elsewhere, she is also able to understand the management and HR leadership objectives and priorities as well. This enables Mariela to understand strategic priorities of both groups and provide effective, mindful, and creative legal solutions and representation to her clients. She provides clients with a full range of immigration related legal services which are carefully crafted to reflect each client's goals and objectives. Mariela counsels clients on legal and strategic issues arising from the international movement of key personnel, from the individual transfer of high-ranking executives to high-volume transfers of expert and professional leadership and staff.

Professional & Civic Associations

  • American Bar Association, Immigration Law Section
  • Minnesota Bar Association, Section on Immigration law
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
  • The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

About Me

Mariela enjoys spending time with family and friends; traveling and discovering other cultures and food; and being a good mom to her two loving and energetic dogs.

Representative Matters

Representative Matters

  • Drafted corporate immigration policy and compliance programs, including setting up immigration service models and processes for healthcare, multi-national organizations and higher education institutes
  • Advised and represented healthcare systems, hospitals and individual physicians on waivers, nonimmigrant visas and lawful permanent options for physicians and other health care workers.
  • Trained university human resources departments concerning immigration laws and regulations for managing foreign national personnel.

News & Analysis

  • “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate; to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson


Practice Emphasis

  • H-1B – professionals (including physicians)
  • L-1A – executives and managers
  • J-1 exchange program students, scholars, trainees, teachers, research assistants
  • F-1 students
  • Labor certification applications
  • TN – Canadians and Mexicans entering under the North American Free Trade Agreement
  • Immediate relative petitions


William Mitchell School of Law

  • J.D., 2013

Queen Mary University, London, UK (study abroad program)

  • Certificate in Global Arbitration, Law and Practice, 2012

University of Minnesota

  • B.S., International Relations, 2005

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Minnesota, 2017


  • Spanish
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