Marina S. Grabchuk

Marina focuses her practice on immigration law. As a Ukrainian immigrant who has gone through the complex U.S. immigration process herself, Marina treats every immigration case she handles with exceptional care, priority, and diligence as if it were her own. She understands the high stakes and urgency of each client matter and is committed to providing thorough representation, reaching creative solutions, and achieving the best results for companies and individuals.

Practice Areas

Immigration Law

Marina strongly believes in providing superior quality legal work and individualized attention to every single client. Meeting the immediate and long-term immigration needs of her clients in a proactive and efficient way is very important to her. She takes pride in being knowledgeable and organized and in taking personalized and scrupulous approach to each client matter. Marina ensures that her clients are fully content with understanding the applicable law and how it affects their individual case. She makes it a priority to keep clients updated on their case progress and informs them on periodic changes in the law.

Marina began her career in Seattle, working for a nationally recognized law firm specializing in complex immigration matters, where she developed comprehensive expertise in immigration law. Prior to joining Belin McCormick, Marina spent over two years at a large law firm in Des Moines, specializing in employment-based immigration and I-9 regulatory compliance.

Employment-Based Immigration

Marina is passionate about increasing diversity in the workplace and helping employers hire and retain the best talent from around the globe. She represents employers across the spectrum, from multinational corporations to start-up companies, in a broad range of sectors, including high-tech, biotechnology, finance, marketing, industrial manufacturing, engineering, healthcare, and agriculture. In addition to corporate entities, she represents hospitals, educational institutions, and religious organizations in bringing workers to the U.S. on a temporary and permanent basis.

Her specialty includes non-immigrant and immigrant  visas, PERM, I-140, and Adjustment of Status  applications. She has successfully prepared H-1B,  TN, L-1, E-1, E-2, O-1, and other visa petitions for  professionals, intracompany transferees, investors,  researchers, physicians, scientists, professors, artists,  and individuals with an extraordinary ability in their field.  Marina assists companies in sponsoring their employees  for a permanent resident status through the PERM labor  certification process, Schedule A pre-certification, EB-1  petitions, and National Interest Waivers.

Marina also has extensive appellate experience and has successfully represented matters before the Administrative Appeals Office and the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals.

Family-Based and Individual Immigration

Marina represents individuals in consular process matters, family-based petitions, applications for adjustment of status, and naturalization. She helps individuals bring their family members to the U.S. on a temporary and permanent basis. She has successfully assisted in applying and obtaining tourist and fiancé visas, asylum, family-sponsored green cards, and U.S. citizenship. She has also successfully represented clients in removal proceedings before the Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. District Court, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

I-9 Regulatory Compliance

In her practice, Marina provides counsel and training to employers on workplace compliance, including Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process, internal company practices, procedures, policies, and hiring manuals, E-Verify program, and self-audits. She represents employers in external I-9 audit responses and related worksite enforcement issues.


Marina was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. She is fluent in Russian and Ukrainian. Marina is a huge Seattle Seahawks fan. When not working, she enjoys watching boxing with her husband and spending time outdoors with their French bulldog Marta. Marina received her Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2011, where she served as the Notes Editor for the Hastings Women’s Law Journal and was honored with a Public Interest Recognition Award. During law school, Marina participating in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic, where she represented victims of domestic violence in asylum applications. She also interned at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in San Francisco, where she researched family-based immigration and asylum law.

As a visiting student at the Seattle University School of Law during her second year, Marina was involved with the Ronald A. Peterson Immigration Law Clinic, representing detained individuals with criminal convictions and participated in the Access to Justice Institute Immigrant Detainee Justice Project. In the summer of 2009, Marina clerked at the Northwest Justice Project in Seattle, where she represented individuals in landlord-tenant disputes and civil litigation claims involving civil rights, disability, and housing law issues.

Marina received her Bachelor’s Double Degree in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Washington in 2006. As an undergrad, she was a legislative intern with Seattle City Council and was selected as a Global Immigration Delegate for the Harvard University Project for the Asian and International Relations Conference in Tokyo, Japan.

Honors and Accomplishments

Des Moines Business Record “Forty Under 40” Award (2017)
Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, Community Leadership Program Graduate (2016)

Community & Professional Activities

Community Youth Concepts (Board Member)
Iowa State Bar Association (Member)
Washington State Bar Association (Member)
American Immigration Lawyers Association (Member)
AILA Iowa-Nebraska Chapter (Member AILA)
Washington State Chapter (Member) (past Asylum and CLE Committees)
Youth Emergency Services and Shelter (Advisory Council Volunteer)
Iowa International Center (Volunteer)
Iowa Sister States (Volunteer)
Iowa Resource for International Service (Volunteer)
CultureALL (Volunteer)
MOIsson Breakfast Club (Member)
One America (Volunteer)
Kids In Need of Defense (Volunteer)
Washington Anti-Traffi cking Response Network (Volunteer)
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (Pro Bono Attorney)

Representative Work

Successfully obtained J-1 visa waivers under the Conrad 30 Waiver Program for foreign national physicians to serve in medically underserved areas in Iowa.

Successfully fi led an administrative petition in the civil forfeiture proceeding seeking the remission of seized U.S. currency by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, resulting in release and full return of the seized U.S. currency.

Successfully obtained L-1 intracompany transfer visa approvals for the top executive employees of a multinational fertilizer manufacturing company with a growing business operation in the U.S. Trained agricultural business executives and hiring
managers on employment eligibility verification issues, Form I-9 compliance, and employer sanctions.
Provided individualized webinar training to a University HR department on I-9 requirements compliance and E-Verify guidance, internal hiring process, form storage, retention, and destruction procedure, and preemptive practice and policy considerations.

Represented a national energy corporation in an internal I-9 and E-Verify audit and developed creative solutions and recommendations to ensure compliance.

Successfully obtained approval of Blanket L petitions for multinational corporations to help streamline the transfer process of the intracompany employees.

Managed L-1 intracompany transfer visa applications for the top executive and managerial employees of a Fortune 500 marketing company.

Obtained O-1 extraordinary ability visa approvals for the high-ranking executives of a multinational biotech company and an agrochemical manufacturer.

Prepared successful EB-1 immigrant petitions for outstanding researchers and professors in genetics, education, mechanical and chemical engineering, aerospace, and biochemistry fields.

Obtained approvals of National Interest Waivers for scientists and physicians.

Assisted with E-1 and E-2 Treaty Trader and Investor visas for entrepreneurial individuals in a variety of industries, including retail, technology services, and consumer products.

Represented one of the world’s largest software development and manufacturing corporations in successful temporary visa applications and permanent residence petitions for foreign national professionals.

Obtained EB-5 immigrant visas for foreign investors.

Publications and Presentations

Speaker, The Fog of Immigration and Corporate Compliance, Association of Corporate Counsel -- Iowa Chapter 6th Annual Corporate Counsel Forum, October 16, 2018

Speaker, Navigating the Fog of Immigration, Labor and Employment Law in Iowa Seminar, September 24, 2018

Speaker, Navigating the Fog of Immigration, Associated General Contractors of Iowa Fall AGC Days Forum, September 7, 2018

Speaker, The Nuts and Bolts of Trade NAFTA (TN) Visa, Corporate HR Training Session, July 11, 2018

Speaker, Immigration Law Hot Topics for Employers, Labor and Employment Law in Iowa Seminar, September 29, 2017

Speaker, Immigration Law Hot Topics for Employers, Iowa Association of Business and Industry Immigration Forum, September 7, 2017

Speaker, Recruiting Do’s and Don’ts for Job Applicants Requiring Visas, 2017 Iowa Employment Conference, April 5, 2017

Speaker, What’s New?...I-9 Changes and Best Practices, Central Iowa SHRM 25th Annual Legal and Legislative Conference, February 24, 2017

Author, Business Planning with Changing Immigration Policy, Iowa Association of Business and Industry Newsletter, February 15, 2017

Speaker, Immigration Law for Employers, CLE Presentation for In-House Counsel and HR Professionals, November 2, 2016

Speaker, Form I-9 – How Hard Can It Really Be, Right? Labor and Employment Law in Iowa Seminar, September 30, 2016

Speaker, Immigration Law Basics, CLE Presentation for Corporate General Counsel, June 23, 2016

Author, Demystifying the I-9: More Complex Than the Average HR Form, HR Briefing, A Quarterly Supplement to HR Insight Newsletter, May 2016

Author, Demystifying the I-9: Part IV, Iowa Employment Law Letter, Vol.22 No.13, May 2016

Author, Demystifying the I-9: Part III, Iowa  Employment Law Letter, Vol.22 No.12, April 2016 

Author, Demystifying the I-9: Part II, Iowa Employment Law Letter, Vol.22 No.11, March 2016

Author, Demystifying the I-9: Part I, Iowa Employment Law Letter, Vol.22 No.10, February 2016

Speaker, H-1B & U.S. Permanent Resident Petitions: What You Need to Know, Iowa State University International Students and Scholars Office, November 16, 2015
Speaker, I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Compliance: Avoiding the Violation of Employee Rights and IRCA Penalties, CLE Presentation: Lincoln Inne, November 9, 2015

Speaker, Employment Eligibility Verifi cation, Form I-9 Compliance, and Employer Sanctions, Employer Training: Agricultural Business Executives and Hiring Managers, August 27, 2015

Author, New CBP Joint Declaration Forms, Iowa Immigration Law Blog, September 18, 2014

Author, Reminder: USCIS Reviews All Immigration-Related Documentation In Employment-Based Adjustment Cases, Iowa Immigration Law Blog, September 17, 2014 Author, Visa Issuance Delays Resolved, Iowa Immigration Law Blog, September 16, 2014

Author, Form I-9 Guidance for Refugees and Asylees, Iowa Immigration Law Blog, April 28, 2014

Author, BIA Holds Pending Extension of Non-Immigrant Status, Maintains Lawful Status, Iowa Immigration Law Blog, April 25, 2014

Author, H-4 Visa Holders May Soon Be Authorized to Work in the U.S., Iowa Immigration Law Blog, April 9, 2014

Author, International Travel Requirements, Washington Immigration Law Blog, April 1, 2013

Author, Prosecutorial Discretion: New Process to Administratively Close Removal Cases Pending Before Immigration Courts, Washington Immigration Law Blog, 2012

Contributor, Essentials of Asylum Law, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, 1st Edition (2012)

Contributor, Families & Immigration: A Practical Guide, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, 3rd Edition (2011)

Co-author, Background Checks and Social Effects: Contemporary Residential Tenant-Screening Problems in Washington State, 9 Seattle J. Soc. Just. 319 (2011)