Lee & Garasia, LLC
Tel: 732-516-1717
Toll Free: 888-404-5876
Experience, Accessibility, and Excellence
for Over 20 Years
“When it comes to immigration, I go to Paris and Angie–and trust me, I know a lot of lawyers all over the world.”–Renzo Gracie, Brazilian Jiujitsu and MMA Legend 
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“Lee and Garasia are excellent lawyers, punctual and professional. They are dedicated to going above and beyond the usual level of service to meet your client’s needs. Their staff is very knowledgeable, friendly and polite. I would highly… recommend this firm to anyone.”
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“I would definitely recommend Mr.Lee and Garasia as an immigration attorney because they did a great job with my case i.e. of Adjustment of Status (i-485). Mr. Lee helped us in each and every detailed information and prepared to the best of it. It was all well done and would like to appreciate.”
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“I would like to thank my lawyer Mr Lee & Garasia and the staff for all immense help and patience throughout this entire process, I really appreciate your constant attention to my case, as well to my questions and my concerns. You’ve really made this process much more comprehensive to me, which I greatly appreciate.”
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“Mr. Lee and Ms. Garasia did a great job with my renewal of my permanent residence application. They help prepare the paperwork with such a great attention to details and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time.”
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“Mr. Lee did a great job with the renewal of my permanent residence application. My case was very time sensitive and they worked really fast on my case with great detail and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time.”
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“I would recommend Attorney Paris Lee for anybody who needs immigration consultation. Mr. Lee is THE lawyer who respects and cares clients. Mr. Lee is professional and honest. Bottom line, preparation for the results and NO BS!”
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“Stalin – Lee did a wonderful job, Got my wife her visa in one year. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him for all your immigration needs.”
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“Hello. I appoint him as my immigration lawyer and that way he solved my cases was truly amazing. He was so honest and knowledgeable for his work. He solved my all family immigration issues and because of his effort we were able to get done our immigration work done successful. Thank you lee and garasia.”
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“Lee & Garasia stand for accountability and responsibility. They are reliable, honest and are always constructively looking for a solution. A big thanks :)”
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Brazilian Jiujitsu Visa Lawyer | Mixed Martial Arts Immigration Attorney

| Apr 1, 2015 | Green Cards


Some foreign athletes who excel in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts (“MMA”) may, depending on the strength of their accomplishments, potentially qualify for status here in the US. The O and P visas are temporary visas that authorize a practitioner to stay in the United States beyond what would be permitted on a typical tourist visa and more importantly, allow the person to work for a sponsor, which in this context, is usually a martial arts school or team. Depending on the person’s credentials and sponsor, permanent residence may also be a viable path to pursue. Employment-based petitions generally fall into three major categories or “preferences.” The category that is arguably the hardest to qualify under is the EB-1, or employment-based first preference, which is reserved for athletes of extraordinary ability. Individuals who are able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field of expertise, (whether it be Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Judo, MMA, etc.) through sustained national or international acclaim, may merit classification under this ground.


There are two main benefits of submitting a petition under this ground:

  • Time: EB-1 cases are usually “current.” This means that if the petition is approved, the individual can immediately proceed with the application for permanent residence, whether through an adjustment of status (where the person is already lawfully here in the US) or through a consular process (where the person would apply for an immigrant visa through the US Consulate abroad).
  • Job offer: no offer of employment is required. An individual can do a self-petition without being sponsored by a school, team, or organization. Other employment-based petitions normally require a sponsor who petitions for the individual. This can sometimes be problematic if there is a falling out between the parties since the petitioner controls the petition.


Unfortunately, not everyone will qualify for EB-1 status. In fact, very few will, as the standard is exceedingly high.

You must meet 3 out of the 10 criteria below or provide evidence of a one-time achievement (example: Olympic Medal):

  1. Receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
  2. Membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members;
  3. Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  4. Evidence that the alien has judged the work of others, either individually or on a panel;
  5. Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field;
  6. Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
  7. Evidence that the alien’s work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  8. Performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations;
  9. Evidence that the alien commands a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field;
  10. Evidence of commercial success.

The petition must be supported by extensive documentation and presented in a way that is lucid and compelling. Cases involving martial arts can be particularly challenging given that some adjudicators may not be familiar with the sport or art and hence, not recognize the prestige and momentous nature of an accolade or competition. Our firm has handled numerous petitions with great success for athletes and practitioners involved with Brazilian Jiujitsu and MMA. The firm’s founder, Paris Lee, holds a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo and Rolles Gracie, a rank that signifies not only technical mastery but a deep understanding of the art that very few legal practitioners have. For a free, in-depth consultation, contact our firm.

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