Skip to Main Content

Esther Contreras provides immigration solutions to corporate clients including foreign investors, domestic businesses hiring foreign workers, and multinational companies transferring foreign employees to the U.S. She also represents individual executives, professionals, researchers, scientists and artists regarding their specific immigration-related needs. Her practice comprises all aspects of nonimmigrant visas, permanent residence, citizenship and worksite enforcement, including Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification and E-Verify compliance.

Learn More

Esther is valued for her ability to anticipate the needs of her clients. A staunch problem-solver, she considers cost, timing and longer-term issues at stake, as immigration decisions can have a reverberating impact even decades into the future. By understanding what is important to each client she serves, Esther provides customized solutions specific to their business objectives.

Esther’s clients span a wide range of industries, such as information technology, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, financial services, healthcare, retail, mining, education, technical services and the arts. A “people person,” Esther truly enjoys serving her clients from around the globe — getting to know them, understanding their experiences, and finding practical ways to overcome their challenges.

Notably, Esther is actively involved in various legal and business associations and currently holds leadership positions and has done so in the past. She also provides pro bono legal services for The Joffrey Ballet, indigent clients in need of U visa petitions through Chicago’s Legal Assistance Foundation and Spanish-speaking individuals for naturalization eligibility at community organized workshops through Instituto del Progreso Latino.

Practice Areas

Education

  • University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 2008
  • Northwestern University, B.A., 2002
  • Universidad Catolica Argentina, - Law Exchange in Argentina, 2007

Admissions

  • Illinois

Languages

  • Spanish
  • French
.
Experience

Experience

Help employers and businesses understand and manage risks related visa and green card sponsorship for their employees, taking into account current government practices and their business' needs and preferences.

Represent international individual and corporate investors looking to set up operations in the United States to evaluate options and process work visas.

Assist multinational companies in developing optimal strategies to transfer employees from entities around the world to the United States.

Work with clients undergoing corporate restructuring, such as mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs, to understand their immigration-legal obligations, such as Form I-9 liability and compliance as well as continuation of work eligibility for foreign national employees.

Counsel employers on their immigration-related obligations to hiring and employment practices, such as complying with laws related to Form I-9 and E-Verify, as well as prohibitions on discrimination, document abuse, and the employment of unauthorized workers.
Obtain permanent residence for individual professionals such as artists, scientists and business professionals.
Memberships

Memberships

American Immigration Lawyers Association
Chicago Bar Association - Former Vice Chair, Immigration and Nationality Committee
Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law
Hispanic National Bar Association
University of Illinois College of Law Alumni Association - Former Board Member, 2013-2014
Professional Activities
Legal Updates/Client Advisories
Business Immigration Weekly for February 8, 2016
New Visa Waiver Program Restrictions Implemented Several immigration provisions were included in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for FY2016…
Business Immigration Weekly for November 20, 2015
I-94 for Refugees Automated The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced last week that it has started automating the Form I-94 for…
Immigration Alert - Diversity Visa FY 2017
GREEN CARD LOTTERY FOR FY2017 NOW OPEN THROUGH NOVEMBER 3rd The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released its instructions for the…
Business Immigration Weekly for the Week of February 6, 2015
COURT OF APPEALS REVERSES AND REMANDS FOGO DE CHAO L-1B CASE A legal battle over the delineation of what constitutes "specialized…
Business Immigration Weekly for Week Ending November 21, 2014
OBAMA ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE ACTIONS ON IMMIGRATION On November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama issued a much anticipated announcement…
Business Immigration Weekly for October 31, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RELEASES LATEST PERMANENT LABOR CERTIFICATION STATISTICS The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued its statistics…
Business Immigration Weekly for October 24, 2014
COURT OF APPEALS REVERSES AND REMANDS FOGO DE CHAO L-1B CASE A legal battle over the delineation of what constitutes "specialized…
Business Immigration Weekly for September 26, 2014
UNITED AIRLINES/FORMERLY CONTINENTAL AIRLINES FINED $270,000 FOR RE-VERIFICATION OF LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENTS IN THE I-9 PROCESS The…
GREEN CARD LOTTERY FOR FY2016 OPENS OCTOBER 1ST THROUGH NOVEMBER 3RD
GREEN CARD LOTTERY FOR FY2016 OPENS OCTOBER 1ST THROUGH NOVEMBER 3RD The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released its instructions for…
Business Immigration Weekly for August 29, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF STATE PROPOSED RULE WOULD INCREASE FEES The Department of State has announced that it will change fees for certain types of…
Business Immigration Weekly for August 1, 2014
VISA APPLICANTS SHOULD EXPECT SIGNIFICANT DISRUPTIONS IN VISA ISSUANCE The Department of State (DOS) has reported that it continues to…
Business Immigration Weekly for June 23, 2014
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Renewal Process Effective immediately, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)…
Business Immigration Weekly for June 11, 2014
EB-2 India Category Advances Four Years and Other July Visa Bulletin Changes To the delight of Indian nationals in the EB-2 category, the…
Business Immigration Weekly for May 23, 2014
Department of Homeland Security Proposes Important Changes to H-1B1 and E-3 Nonimmigrant Categories The Department of Homeland Security…
Immigration Weekly for the Week of April 7, 2014
MAY 2014 VISA BULLETIN UPDATE The U.S. Department of State ("DOS") released its May 2014 Visa Bulletin which shows the availability of…
Government Reopens
As of yesterday morning, Thursday, October 17, 2013, the federal government has reopened its doors after fifteen days of a general…
State of Illinois Issues Preliminary Guidance on Temporary Visitor Driver's Licenses for Undocumented Individuals
This week the Illinois Secretary of State has issued initial guidance on how undocumented individuals ("non-visa status") can apply for an…
Speaking Engagements
Wisconsin Employee Relocation Council (WERC) Summer Meeting "Navigating Today's Immigration Climate" - June 13, 2018
6.13.18
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Fall Business Conference, October 2017
Northwest Suburban Bar Association – Business & IP Committee, March 2017
Sterling Education - Essentials of Employment Law, February 2017
Mainstreet Organization of Realtors – International Real Estate Conference, January 2017
I-9 Compliance for HR Professionals and Other Immigration Topics for Employers: SHRM (DuPage, Northern Illinois, Decatur Annual Conference, Stateline, Racine and Kenosha Area Chapters, Will Grundy)
DeKalb County Association of HR Managers, Northwest Human Resources Council (NHRC), Rock River HRPA, South Suburban Cook HRA
Business Employer Workshop – "I-9 Compliance for Businesses", May 2016
Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) Corporate Counsel Conference – "W-2 or 1099? Employee & Independent Contractor Issues in the Uber Age", March 2016
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Business of Doing Business Immigration Conference – "Intro to Hiring Nonimmigrants", October 2015
National Association for Law Placement (NALP) – "Visa Update 2015" Webinar, May 2015
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Midwest Regional Conference – "Social Security and Tax Issues" Panel, March 2015
Events
Critical Concepts for Avoiding I-9 Fines Webinar
7.12.18
. . Did you know that: an estimated 65% to 75% of all Forms I-9 are non-compliant? businesses can be fined between $220 to $2,191 per…
2017 Annual Complimentary Immigration Law Update Seminar
2.24.17
2017 ANNUAL COMPLIMENTARY IMMIGRATION LAW UPDATE SEMINAR Continental breakfast will be provided. Topics: The Past, Present and Future -…
News
Masuda Funai Hosts 2018 Immigration Seminar
Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. hosted its annual Immigration Seminar on Friday, March 2, 2018. Approximately 100 executives…
Masuda Funai Promotes Esther Contreras
The Board of Directors of Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. is pleased to announce the promotion of Esther Contreras to Income…
Publications
"Immigration Law in Japan and United States (H-1B, L-1 and B-1)" - Co-authored chapters, Global Business Immigration Practice Guide, published by Matthew Bender, 2012
Distinctions

Distinctions

  • Leading Lawyers - Emerging Lawyer, 2015-2018