Immigration Lawyer Michael A. Harris has had a dynamic career in the field of immigration law since 2000, where he has been involved in all aspects of the law. From small families to multinational companies with over 20,000 employees, Mr. Harris has been successful in a wide variety of immigration matters.
Based in Miami, Florida, Mr. Harris is a Board Certified Immigration Attorney, which means that the Florida Bar has determined that he is an expert in the field of Immigration & Nationality Law. Mr. Harris has also earned an AV Preeminent Peer Rating, the highest rating available from Martindale-Hubbell, the leading independent attorney rating entity. An AV Rating signifies that the lawyer has reached the heights of professional excellence; he or she has practiced law for a number of years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity. As an attorney practicing federal immigration law, Mr. Harris is permitted to represent immigration clients around the United States and world.
In addition to greatly enjoying the practice of Immigration law and living in South Florida, Mr. Harris has deep ties to the community. He grew up in Miami Beach as a 1st and 2nd generation American, and graduated high school from Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, FL, one of the nation’s leading private secondary schools. He is an active father to two young children, whom he is raising with his wife. His mother was born in Lima, Peru, and his father was a World War II Air Force veteran whose parents were born in Eastern Europe in the late-1800s. After college at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, and during the midst of the Elian Gonzalez crisis, Mr. Harris began work as a paralegal for a board certified specialist in Immigration & Nationality Law. During these three-plus years in Gainesville he experienced the Post-9/11 overhaul of the legacy-INS into the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the problems created by the Patriot Act, Special Registration and the transition of immigration procedure into the BCIS (which is now known as the USCIS).
Following his immersion into the field of immigration law, Mr. Harris received his Juris Doctor Degree from Nova Southeastern University Law Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 2007. Prior to earning his law degree, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and English from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida in 1999. As well, Mr. Harris studied Political Science for two years in the nation’s capital at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. His studies in U.S. federal government and the American political system helped prepare Mr. Harris during the seven years he worked for highly distinguished immigration law firms where he was educated and trained by some of the country’s leading experts, authors and attorneys in the field of Immigration & Nationality Law.
Today, Mr. Harris is also recognized as a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist in Immigration & Nationality Law. Among all attorneys eligible by the Florida Bar, currently only 6% are board certified specialists. This is the highest level of evaluation by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in an area of expertise. In fact, out of over 96,000 attorneys currently licensed by the Bar, Mr. Harris is 1 of 70 attorneys or less than 1% who are board certified as experts in Immigration Law.
In support of his record of success, Mr. Harris has significant experience taking part in the representation of highly complex immigration matters, including:
- EB-5 Investment Immigration matters for U.S. companies seeking to qualify under the EB-5 Regional Center Program, which allows the companies to offer a foreign national an investment opportunity in order to apply for a green card based on their minimum investment of $500,000. Today, Mr. Harris’ EB-5 Regional Center clients are seeking to raise between $10 million and $250 million in EB-5 capital through the USCIS Immigrant Investor Program. The EB-5 Regional Centers which Mr. Harris has represented have earned USCIS-approval in industries such as: assisted living; food hospitality; gold and silver mining; and hotel/office construction. The geographic areas of these EB-5 Regional Centers include all or parts of the territories of the states of Alabama, Alaska, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, the State of Washington, Washington, D.C., as well as Florida. Additionally, Mr. Harris also represents individual EB-5 investors seeking to invest through a USCIS-approved Regional Center, in EB-5 Direct Pooled Investments, or through direct standalone investments in their own U.S. business. Mr. Harris’ expertise in the practice of EB-5 law has been recognized through his invitation to write and speak on EB-5 matters for distinguished EB-5 seminars and online publications.
- Family Immigration matters involving U.S. citizen petitioners and families in complex legalization, abused spouse cases, good faith marriage waivers, hardship cases, and other family immigration issues.
- Deportation Defense matters for detained and non-detained clients. Mr. Harris has successfully obtained various forms of relief for his clients, including: Cancellation of Removal, Motions to Terminate, Motions to Reopen, and Release on Recognizance (without Bond) for client detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As well, in today’s “crimmigration” world, Mr. Harris has also advised criminal defense attorneys on the immigration consequences of certain crimes and plea deals, such as food mislabeling, theft, and controlled substances offenses.
Mr. Harris is currently an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the nation’s largest bar association of immigration attorneys in the U.S., and the AILA South Florida Chapter. He actively serves his AILA chapter, previously as the Co-Chair of the New Member Division for the chapter, and he currently sits on two committees regarding the Unlawful Practice of Law (UPL) and chapter lunches.
- Admitted to Florida Bar, 2007
- Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist in Immigration & Nationality Law, 2013
- Juris Doctor Degree, Nova Southeastern University, 2007
- Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science & English, University of Florida, 1999
- American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Member since August 2006
- AILA South Florida Chapter, Co-Chair, New Member Division, 2013-2014
- AV Preeminent Peer Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, 2014
Office: (305) 792-8677
Fax: (305) 726-0048
100 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 2301
Miami, Florida 33132
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