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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.

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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


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


  • Illinois


  • Spanish
  • French


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.


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
GREEN CARD LOTTERY FOR FY2016 OPENS OCTOBER 1ST THROUGH NOVEMBER 3RD The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has released its instructions for…
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
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
2017 Annual Complimentary Immigration Law Update Seminar
2017 ANNUAL COMPLIMENTARY IMMIGRATION LAW UPDATE SEMINAR Continental breakfast will be provided. Topics: The Past, Present and Future -…
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…
"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


  • Leading Lawyers - Emerging Lawyer, 2015-2018