Meet Our Team
Rene has been a key driver in the firm’s operational expansion and global footprint since 2017. Heading up international partnerships, he offers expertise in global mobility for corporations and residency by investment pathways for high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs). To make this possible, Rene leverages affiliations he developed in India, Southeast Asia, and the broader Indo-Pacific region to realize our client’s expansion and residency goals.
Before GIP, as an Australian and New Zealand lawyer since 2014, Rene carved out a niche in global mobility strategy, influencing both government and corporate sectors. He worked on legislative reforms with Indo-Pacific governments to invite more international commerce into their regions. Further, he guided international companies through complex regulatory landscapes towards their multinational expansions. While leading the corporate division of a multinational law firm, he focused on petitioning federal government for corporations to develop their operations and represented clients through disputes with immigration departments in the Australian Federal Courts. Joining a specialist legal team in New Zealand, he advocated for clients in class-action lawsuits with government in Federal Tribunal’s. Through his consulting firm, he advised the Australian Defense Force on aligning regulations with EU standards, worked with the World Bank by drafting Tonga’s Airport Authority Act, and co-authored the authority text, ‘The Laws of New Zealand, Aviation Law’, with acclaimed publisher, LexisNexis. Other projects included advising oil and gas multinationals on compliance issues and navigating EU organizations on their international operational objectives.
At GIP, Rene leverages his background in foreign government policy and client advocacy to enrich our corporate mobility and investment by residency services. He also directs GIP’s domestic and international operations concerning finance, compliance, and risk management, working with the Partners to responsibly scale and grow the firm. Beyond this, Rene holds a JD, LLM, MSc, BEcon, and US pilot certification. As an immigrant himself, he brings a unique skillset and personal touch to the partnerships we build with our clients.
Heidi has been working in the immigration field since 1986. She started her career working for Ron Gotcher for several years and then 20 years later after working for a large immigration firm, came back to GIP. Heidi brings her management experience and vast immigration knowledge she has gained over the years and her experience in all aspects of non-immigrant, employment-based matters and family-based processes and procedures. With a keen eye for detail and her extensive knowledge of immigration, she is key to the firm’s review process prior to filing applications with the USCIS and DOL.
Heidi attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo CA and majored in Business Administration.
Heather has practiced exclusively in immigration law since 2006. She regularly advises individuals and companies on a wide range of immigration matters, including nonimmigrant and immigrant cases with a specific focus on O-1A, O-1B, P-3, EB-1A, EB-1B, EB-2 NIW, and AOS. She provides counsel to ensure employees and companies of varying sizes across different industries have plans and procedures to achieve short and long-term immigration goals and to ensure compliance with immigration processes and procedures. Heather is well versed in petitions across several professions, such as scientific research, medical, engineering, artificial intelligence, machine learning, business and entrepreneurship, design, music, acting, graphic art, virtual reality, screen writing, and film and television production, among many others.
Heather graduated from University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a minor in Law and Society and she earned her Juris Doctor from Southwestern University School of Law. In her free time, Heather enjoys spending time with her family.
Heather is admitted to practice law in the State of Washington.
Danielle has been practicing law since 2005, and has practiced exclusively in immigration law since 2012, with expertise in corporate and employment-based immigration matters. A graduate of Boston University, she received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, both awarded Magna cum Laude. Before joining GIP, Danielle’s practice focused on litigation, defending large retail chains, partnerships, insurance companies, employers, and professionals against liability claims. With her litigation background, she has a unique perspective and experience in guiding employers and business owners on liability and compliance matters.
She joined GIP in 2012 and now focuses her advocacy experience and skills on the business immigration needs of her clients. Danielle specializes in the Labor Certification (PERM) process, employment-based immigrant preference petitions, and worksite enforcement (I-9), and compliance issues. She enjoys and values the relationships she has created with her clients.
Prior to law school, Danielle was selected to work in the White House, serving in the Office of Communications and Press. She earned her law degree from Southwestern University in Los Angeles and is admitted to practice law in the State of California and the Central District of California.
Danielle has been invited to speak at numerous HR professional conferences and has been selected as an expert for panels and seminars at attorney conferences and continuing education courses.
Danielle was born and raised in Southern California, and she lives in Thousand Oaks, CA with her husband and daughter.
A co-founder of Global Immigration Partners, Jim has been practicing immigration law since 2006. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and he initially worked in the front office of the Oakland A’s baseball club. Subsequently, he graduated from Southwestern University School of Law.
Since 2001, he has worked in various positions learning the fundamentals of business immigration law. Over the years, he has developed highly advanced skills in the area of non-immigrant visas for various professionals including engineers, professors, doctors, nurses, professors and IT professionals. Valuing customer service and having successfully filed tens of thousands of immigration petitions, Jim enjoys the strong relationships he has built through his career.
Andrew has practiced exclusively in immigration law since 2015. He has experience advising individuals and companies on a wide range of immigration matters with a specific focus on nonimmigrant work visas such as the H-1B, TN, and O-1. Andrew has also gained significant experience in advising third-party placement cases. His clients operate in a variety of industries and range in size from small startups to well-established companies with hundreds of employees.
Andrew graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a minor in Gerontology, and he obtained his Juris Doctor from The University of North Carolina School of Law. In his free time, Andrew enjoys running and cycling.
Andrew is admitted to the Bar in the State of California.
Carlyn has practiced business immigration law since 2014. She has assisted companies of all sizes, from new start-ups to well-established multinational corporations, and across all industries, with their immigration needs. She provides immigration counsel to ensure companies, and their professional employees, have immigration plans and procedures in place to achieve both their short and long-term immigration goals. Carlyn is well versed in both nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions, including H-1Bs, L-1s, O-1s, TNs, E-3, PERM, I-140/EB-1, and AOS petitions.
Carlyn graduated from Tarleton State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a minor in Spanish. She obtained her Juris Doctor from Texas A&M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law). In her free time, Carlyn enjoys being outside with her family.
Carlyn is admitted to practice law in the State of Texas.
Richard has focused his practice on immigration and nationality law matters since 2014. Since then, Richard has prepared and overseen thousands of immigration matters, primarily nonimmigrant work visas such as the H-1B, L-1, TN, and E-3. Richard is also an expert in handling third-party placement cases. Richard’s clients have included software and engineering startups, IT staffing companies, engineering consultancies, CPAs, and physical therapy practices, among many others. His clients have ranged in size from tiny startups to several thousand employees. Richard believes that a strong compliance program is an employer’s only reliable defense, and regularly discusses how employers can meet their obligations under the immigration laws.
Richard graduated from California State University, Northridge with both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in History, and he earned his Juris Doctor from University of California, Los Angeles School of Law in 2013.
Monica began working as a Paralegal in Immigration Law in 1986. After a 20-year career in Immigration Law, she transitioned her focus to Human Resources and began her career as a Human Resources Manager in 2006.
Monica oversees all HR related functions, including recruitment and onboarding of our staff, benefits and leave management, payroll administration and implementation of company policies and procedures.
Monica attended California State University, Northridge and majored in Business Administration and Psychology. She is currently a member of SHRM, PIHRA and the National Human Resources Association (NHRA). In her free time, Monica enjoys watching all types of sporting events, cooking, and hosting get-togethers with her friends and family.
Derick is an accomplished bookkeeper with over 15 years of dedicated experience in financial management and accounting. His expertise lies in meticulously maintaining accurate financial records and ensuring the smooth functioning of financial operations. Throughout his career, Derick has worked with diverse clients including small startups, mid-sized companies, and established corporations. He has been instrumental in streamlining financial processes, optimizing systems, and implementing efficient workflows. Derick believes that the foundation of a successful business lies in its financial integrity. He is passionate about empowering businesses with well-organized financial data to facilitate informed decision-making and drive growth. Derick’s goal is to continue leveraging his expertise and support GIP in achieving their financial objectives.
Shannon joined Global Immigration Partners in 2013. She entered the field of immigration law in 1991 and has worked for several well-known law firms in the Southern California area. She was promoted to Team Manager at GIP in May 2022 where she applies her extensive knowledge and experience in handling casework as well as assisting clients. She also assists in training support staff and Case Managers in both NIV and IV. She is committed to ensuring clients receive prompt assistance with their cases and helping them navigate through the immigration system.
Brandon has practiced law since 2017 and has multi-faceted experience in immigration, business, political, administrative, non-profit, and national security legal issues. His practice focuses on complex business and treaty-based immigration matters for investors, executives, managers, and people with specialized knowledge or extraordinary abilities. He also addresses visa consular processing issues, including visa expedites and national interest exceptions. He is the firm’s principal litigator and has successfully pursued lawsuits against USCIS and the Department of State for unreasonable processing delays and improper denials.
He graduated summa cum laude from the George Washington University with a B.A. in history and political science (double major) and philosophy (minor); he received his Juris Doctor with a Graduate Certificate in Business Law from the University of Southern California. In law school, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal. He volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America in Ventura County and the American Conservation Coalition.
Brandon is admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, the State of California, and for US federal courts including the Central and Northern Districts of California and the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
David Raft is a seasoned legal professional with over three decades of experience in the field of law. He embarked on his legal career in 1989 and, since 1991, has honed his expertise in immigration and nationality law matters. A substantial portion of his legal practice has been dedicated to the exclusive representation of High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs), where he navigates the intricate landscape to suit their residency needs through investment.
With a focus on residency by investment, David has successfully facilitated applications for permanent residence and citizenship in the United States for HNWIs. This extensive work has encompassed accompanying clients to their visa interviews at US Embassies/Consulates abroad, dealing with the complexities inherent to such cases. He collaborates closely with tax advisors to offer a comprehensive suite of services tailored to the unique needs of these individuals, acknowledging the multifaceted aspects of their immigration requirements.
David Raft’s track record extends to successful litigation on behalf of clients before the Immigration Courts, further highlighting his mastery of the field. His commitment to excellence in immigration law has earned him certification from the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law since 2000.
Throughout his career, David Raft has held diverse positions that have provided him with a profound understanding of both business and family immigration law. Over the years, he has cultivated advanced skills in various nonimmigrant and immigrant case types, including E, H, L, O, P, R, and TN non-immigrant visas, catering to investors, specialty occupation workers, multinational transferees, and more. His expertise extends to representing companies of all sizes in managing their immigration programs, while also attending to the immigration needs of individuals, whether business-related or family-oriented.
David Raft’s contributions to the legal community go beyond his client work. He has served as the former Chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Immigration Section and has been a prolific author, with articles featured in industry publications. Additionally, he is a sought-after speaker, regularly addressing various Bar Association meetings.
David Raft is an alumnus of the University of California, Los Angeles, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He furthered his education by obtaining a Juris Doctor from Southwestern University School of Law in 1989. His remarkable journey in the legal field stands as a testament to his unwavering commitment to delivering top-tier legal services in the complex and ever-evolving realm of immigration and nationality law.
Lupita Hs been working in the immigration field for over 30 years and she joined Global Immigration Partners in August of 2014. Over the course of her career, she has worked for several law firms on a variety of family and employment-based applications. She applies her extensive knowledge and experience in this area to assist clients as well as training other support staff and case managers at the firm. As a fluent Spanish and Arabic speaker, and from an immigrant family, her commitment is to ensure that the clients are provided with the upmost professional service and to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
April has worked exclusively in the field of immigration law since 2014. Before receiving her law degree, she worked as an immigration paralegal at GIP and another worldwide immigration law firm for over 5 years. In 2021, she joined GIP as an immigration attorney.
Her practice focuses on employment-based non-immigrant visas including H-1B, H-1B1, TN, L-1, and E-3. She also has extensive experience preparing employment-based and family-based immigrant intent applications including PERM, I-140, I-130, and adjustment of status.
April graduated from University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and a minor in Law and Humanities. In 2021, April earned a Juris Doctorate degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Southwestern University School of Law.
April is admitted to practice law in California and U.S. District Court, Central District of California.
Katie has practiced exclusively in immigration law since 2013. She has experience advising individuals and companies on a wide range of immigration matters, including nonimmigrant and immigrant employment-based visa cases, and investor visa cases. She provides immigration counsel to clients of varying sizes across different industries to ensure comprehension of each respective immigration process and procedure.
Katie is also part of the firm’s entrepreneur and investor practice, which involves advising high net-worth individuals (HNWIs) on their residency by investment options. With over a decade of experience in this field, she provides advice to clients on how to structure both large and small-scale projects to ensure compliance with nonimmigrant (E-2) and immigrant (EB-5) requirements. She has also spoken on various panels and co-authored articles on a range of topics relating to the EB-5 program.
Katie graduated from University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Sociology and obtained her Juris Doctor from Southwestern University School of Law (Los Angeles). In her free time, Katie enjoys traveling, reading, following Bay Area sports teams, and working out.
Katie is admitted to practice law in the State of California.