A. James Vazquez-Azpiri
33 New Montgomery St #1400, San Francisco, CA 94105
James is a partner in our San Francisco office. He has been practicing United States business immigration law for over thirty years and is a nationally recognized expert in many areas of this field. He has authored over fifty articles in many of the most renowned national immigration law journals and is the co-author of the leading book on the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act, AILA’s Focus on the AC21, which is a standard reference book for immigration attorneys nationwide. James also authored the leading article on the Visa Waiver Program in the Stanford Journal of Law and Policy. This has been cited with approval by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Most recently, he authored an article on PERM Actual Minimum Requirements for the 2023 AILA Guide to PERM Labor Certification.
Before joining the firm, James was for over ten years the Co-Head of the United States and global immigration practice at one the largest firms in the world. In this position, he directed a team of over fifty professionals and provided high-level counseling to virtually all of the major information technology companies in Northern California and across the United States. James’ deep experience in business immigration has enabled him to understand clearly the challenges faced by companies hiring and retaining foreign workers and to anticipate and resolve the most complex issues that arise in this area. He is especially skilled in assisting companies to establish and operate in-house immigration programs to streamline their hiring and retention needs.
James holds a Master of Laws degrees from the Harvard Law School and has received numerous awards for his work. He is ranked in Band One by Chambers USA’s immigration attorney rankings. James also received the national award of Immigration Law MVP from Law 360 in 2016. He has also received the top A/V Preeminent rating for attorneys issued by Martindale-Hubbell, and has been a member of the editorial board for the national law journal Bender’s Immigration Bulletin since the late 1990s. He has also served on national committees of the American Immigration Lawyers Association to assist in the resolution of business immigration law issues with a nationwide impact.
He has been a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association for thirty years and was the head of the Hispanic Lawyers Interest Group at his last firm. He maintains an active pro bono practice representing underprivileged Latino and Hispanic persons and received the Wiley E. Manuel award from the California State Bar for his work in this area. He is an avid supporter of youth sports, especially swimming and water polo.
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LL.M Harvard Law School
J.D., New York University
M.A. Princeton University
M.A. University of St. Andrews
American Immigration Lawyers Association
State Bar of California
Awards and Recognition
Band 1, Chambers and Partners, Immigration – California
Band 1, Chambers and Partners, Immigration – USA – Nationwide
A/V Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
Who’s Who Legal, Global Leader – Corporate Immigration
2016 Immigration Law MVP, Law 360
Wiley E. Manuel Pro Bono Award from the State Bar of California
Who’s Who in America
Community and Pro Bono
Member, Hispanic National Bar Association
Publications and presentations
Co-author, Book, AILA’s Focus on the AC21 (AILA 2009)
Author, The Doorkeeper of Homeland Security: Some Proposals for the Visa Waiver Program, Stanford Journal of Law and Policy, Vol. 16 (2005)Author, “PERM Actual Minimum Requirements” in AILA’s Guide to PERM Labor Certification (AILA 2023)
Numerous other articles in Benders Immigration Bulletin, Interpreter Releases, Immigration Briefings and various AILA publications
Various speaking engagements and articles published at AILA Annual Conferences as well as AILA California Chapter conferences