Palma Yanni

Palma Yanni, PC, founder of the firm, brings more than 30 years of legal experience. She represents large and small businesses as well as individuals on employment-based immigration matters. A former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, she is a frequent author and has been called on to testify before Congress on immigration matters.


Ms. Yanni counsels clients on all aspects of immigration law. She works with corporations in employment verification and work site enforcement matters, as well as with individuals on family-based applications and naturalization. She also represents clients before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, the Department of Labor, consular offices of the Department of State, and in federal court.

One of the country's leading practitioners in physician immigration cases, Ms. Yanni also handles matters involving scientific researchers, immigrant and non-immigrant investors, educators, athletes, entrepreneurs, ministers and religious workers, employees of international organizations and their dependents, skilled and essential workers, and students, among others.


Ms. Yanni began her legal career in 1979 as an attorney-advisor for the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. In 1983 she moved to the Department of Energy's Office of Hearings and Appeals as an attorney-examiner. She switched to private practice and immigration work in 1987, when she joined the Law Offices of Martha Saenz. After a stint with the Law Offices of Jan M. Pederson, Ms. Yanni opened her own practice in 1990, which she owned and operated for two decades before joining Dickstein Shapiro, LLP, in December 2010 as head of the immigration group. In July 2013, she returned to lead Palma Yanni PC.


Ms. Yanni has been a leader in national immigration law organizations for nearly 20 years, serving as a public voice on key policy and ethics questions in the field. She sat on American Immigration Lawyers Association's Board of Governors from 1996 to 2010, and was president of the organization from 2003 to 2004. She met with members of the federal executive branch on various policy issues and was called upon to testify before the U.S. House Committee on Small Business about the impact of visa approval backlogs on American small business. She was a founding member of the American Immigration Council's board of trustees from 1998 to 2002 and served on its board of directors from 2002 to 2005.

Ms. Yanni is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Illinois, as well as before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.


In 2008, Ms. Yanni received the American Immigration Lawyers Association Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award for Excellence in Advancing the Practice of Immigration Law.


Ms. Yanni received her B.A. magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College (1976), and her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law (1979).

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