VLA offers a variety of programs and workshops, which are listed below. We also offer a selection of on-demand, online recordings of previously held education programs for those unable to attend or want a refresher. Click here to access and view these presentations.

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Immigration Panel for Artists (CLE)

October 30, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Join us on October 30, 2017 for an exciting panel discussion on current issues in immigration law. Moderated by a U.S. Immigration Judge, our expert panelists will explore scenarios that affect artists seeking authorization to work in the United States. We will discuss a range of questions, from visa eligibility requirements and building a compelling petition, to limitations on your work authorization.

Whether you are an immigrant artist or art student, an employer interested in sponsoring an artist, or an attorney advising your client on immigration-related issues, this panel is sure to present useful and valuable information.

1 CLE credit available for attorneys.

Monday, October 30, 2017, 5:30 – 7 pm

620 8th Ave, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10018

Panelists: (see below for bios)
Matthew Bray, Esq., Daryanani Law Group
Aja Pardini, Partner, Daniel Aharoni & Partners LLP
Hugh W. Thistlethwaite III, Parter, Fragomen

Moderator: (see below for bios)
Judge Mimi E. Tsankov, U.S. Immigration Judge

$20 Full-Time Student (student must present proof of full-time status with registration)
$20 Artists Over Sixty
$35 Arts Professional VLA Member
$50 Arts Professional Non-Member
$100 Legal Professional VLA Member
$150 Legal Professional Non-Member
$75 Young Associate Members (YAM’s) and Associate Board Members

All registration fees are non-refundable. Please note you are not registered until full payment is received.

To apply for a full or partial CLE scholarship, please view our Financial Aid Policy Guidelines here.

For more information on this program, please contact VLA at registrations@vlany.org or 212.319.2787 x 10

Panelists/Moderator bios:

Matthew Bray is of counsel to Daryanani Law Group, which represents corporate and individual clients in various fields, including entertainment, architecture, and fashion. He also consults with clients and attorneys on criminal-immigration issues and works with a small deportation defense firm based in Bushwick, Brooklyn. He is a member of the National Lawyers Guild National Immigration Project, and is also active with the New York Chapter of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), where he was co-chair of the Pro Bono Committee from 2014 to 2016, and of the ERO Liaison Committee from 2012 to 2014. Matt volunteers regularly at legal clinics sponsored by the New York City Immigrant Advocacy Initiative and the New Sanctuary Coalition.

Aja Pardini is a Partner at Daniel Aharoni & Partners LLP. This boutique firm handles all types of business and family immigration matters with a strong focus on acquiring visas for artists and other persons of extraordinary ability. Prior to joining Daniel Aharoni & Partners LLP, she was a principal at the Law Office of Aja Pardini. She is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), prior Chair of the Local Government Liaison Committee of the New York AILA Chapter, and is a volunteer for the New York City Immigrant Advocacy Initiative and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA). She is a frequent lecturer at AILA events as well as at various art institutions including New York University, Yale, Atlantic Acting School, The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, and the International Center of Photography. While a student a CUNY School of Law (Class of 2007), she was a member of the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic and President of the Italian-American Law Students Association.

Hugh W. Thistlethwaite III is a Partner in the New York office of Fragomen, where he practices exclusively in the field of immigration and nationality law.  Hugh currently advises clients in a variety of industries on issues involving employment-based temporary and permanent visa categories, family-based permanent residence applications, and U.S. citizenship applications.

Mimi E. Tsankov (Moderator) (personal capacity) has been serving as a U.S. Immigration Judge since 2006. She has published articles in the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), Immigration Legal Advisor, and in various academic law journals. She speaks regularly before members of the immigration law community at international, national, and regional conferences.


October 30, 2017
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
(212) 319 - 2787
View Organizer Website


Event type
CLE Class
Event Cate
CLE Class