Marina S. Grabchuk

Born in Ukraine. Trained by U.S. Immigration Law national experts in Seattle and San Francisco. Brings a decade of unparalleled experience to the Iowa community and beyond.  These are the three things you should know about Marina, a shareholder at Belin McCormick, when you choose her as your immigration counsel.  Immigration is personal to her and is a part of who she is.  So, she cannot help but hold herself and her legal team to the highest quality standard, as she treats every single case as if it were her own.

Business Immigration

Marina is all about results.  There is no such thing as "good enough" in her practice.  She is a firm believer in the "no room for error" approach when it comes to immigration law.  Being overly meticulous helps her prepare thorough applications and find quick creative and effective solutions to the most complex immigration cases.  Marina serves her clients with exceptional care and provides them with the individualized attention, as she understands the high stakes and urgency of each case.

Marina helps multinational corporations, small and medium-size companies, hospitals, and universities successfully navigate the immigration process of sponsoring foreign national employees by providing practical guidance each step of the way.  Her practice is focused on assisting with employment-based non-immigrant and immigrant visa matters, including H-1B, L-1, TN, 0-1, PERM and I-140, EB-1 petitions, and J-1 Visa Waiver applications. Marina partners with in-house counsel, human resources personnel, and recruiters in securing and retaining foreign national talent and problem solving to meet business objectives.

Marina also handles applications for Adjustment of Status and Naturalization and family-based I-130 petitions and has successfully appealed decisions to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).

Worksite Compliance

Marina provides counsel to employers on workplace compliance and enforcement issues, including Form I-9 compliance assessment and risk management, I-9 and E-verify training, internal I-9 audits, and customized compliance program and policy development for processes, procedures, best practices, and compliance document retention systems.  Marina also represents employers in immigration-related agency audits and investigations, I-9 inspections, and site visits.  She helps companies successfully mitigate fines and penalties for non-compliance and I-9 violations.

Trademark and copyright law

Marina provides counsel on trademark and corporate brand selection, management, and protection.  She helps companies create and manage legal safeguards to ensure security and enhanced protection of their trademarks and brands.  Marina provides copyright solutions and helps secure, maintain, and protect state, federal, and foreign trademark registration.  She also represents corporate clients in negotiating licensing and assignment agreements.

Personal

Marina and her dad left Kiev, Ukraine when she was 13 years old.  She grew up in Seattle, Washington where she attended the University of Washington. She has since remained a loyal Seattle Seahawks fan, even while attending law school at the University of California - Hastings, and after moving to Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, Mark, and their French bulldog, Marta, in 2014.  Marina is fluent in Russian and Ukrainian.  Aside from her deep-seated passion for immigration law and serving others, Marina is an animal lover.  When not working, she enjoys spending time in the nature with her Frenchie and travels every chance she gets to places near the ocean and mountains. 

Honors and Accomplishments

The Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute's Distinguished Leadership Award Honoree, Community Vision Award for Inspiring (2019) 

Des Moines Business Record "Forty Under 40" Award (2017)

Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, Community Leadership Program Graduate (2016)

Community & Professional Activities

America's Cultivation Corridor, Advisory Council 

Community Youth Concepts, Board of Directors

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-Trafficking Response Network, Volunteer

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Pro Bono Attorney

Representative Work

Successfully appealed an unfavorable determination made by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Service Center Director to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), resulting in a favorable adjudication of an H-1B petition. 

Represented employers in U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) I-9 audits, resulting in reduced penalties assessed and favorable resolution without litigation. 

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 filed 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, Limiting Liability: Immigration Document Retention, Labor and Employment Law in Iowa Seminar, September 6, 2019 

Speaker, Immigration Worksite Enforcement - Are you Ready?, Central Iowa SHRM 27th Annual Legal and Legislative Conference, February 5, 2019 

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 Verification, 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)