Founder and Managing Director
Interesting fact: Melissa was the first legal clerk for the Supreme Court of the Tibetan Government in Exile in McLeod Ganj, India in 1998.
Melissa has practiced US immigration law in both Hawaii and Australia. Her qualifications are extensive, having graduated from William S Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii, as well as earning a Graduate Certificate in Migration Law from Australia National University.
With nearly 20 years of experience in migration law, Melissa has worked for numerous law firms, including the world’s largest US immigration firm, and has also owned her own practice for many years.
She has spent a large portion of her career representing victims of human trafficking rings and was actively involved in refugee matters having served as a Country Specialist (China and Tibet) for Amnesty International USA for more than 15 years.
Melissa was originally from Cleveland, Ohio before relocating to Dusseldorf, Germany at seventeen years of age and then backpacking throughout Europe.
A change in career prompted Melissa to move to California where she attended World College West, which took her to China in 1988. Melissa met her husband, Jamie, at that time and they planned to continue travelling the world, but were seduced into teaching English in Tokyo for several years. They eventually returned to the US, married, and spent 16 years in Hawaii. Having the travel bug bite them once again, they relocated to Sydney with their son in 2012 and are currently enjoying the sea change of the Central Coast.
Senior US Immigration Attorney
Interesting fact: Mark has completed four travel ‘builds’ with Habitat for Humanity where he and his team travel to build a house for a family in need over the course of one or two weeks. He has completed builds in Vietnam, Fiji, Jordan and Thailand.
Mark has been an immigration lawyer for more than a decade, working both in the United States and in Australia.
Originally from a small town in West Texas, Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Harding University, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center, and his Master of Arts at the University of Sydney.
During law school, Mark’s area of focus was on international, immigration and employment law, which included studying with Georgetown University Law Center’s International Law Program in Florence, Italy.
While attending law school in Houston, Mark worked as an apprentice lawyer at a legal aid clinic working on asylum-seeker and refugee cases. Immediately following law school, Mark joined the US Department of State as a Diplomat working in Washington, DC and at the US Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, handling consular affairs.
He loves travelling and has a passion for running. He has completed a full marathon and several half-marathons.
Mark has lived in Houston, Texas; Washington, DC; Florence, Italy; Caracas, Venezuela; Sydney, Australia; and since 2015 has made his home in Melbourne, Australia.
Senior US Attorney, Immigration and Tax
Interesting fact: Jeremy has been a speaker both at Bangkok District Chapter and national AILA conferences.
Jeremy earned his BA in Political Science from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey and then went on to study law at the University of Kentucky College of Law in Lexington. He has extensive experience with immigration cases handled by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of State Consulates and Embassies throughout Australia and Southeast Asia, as well as the National Visa Center.
Jeremy is a founding member and past Chair for the Bangkok District Chapter of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). He also has served as a member of the Board of Governors and on the AILA USCIS International Operations Liaison Committee. Currently, he serves on the AILA USCIS Headquarters Liaison Committee working with policy issues that affect the receipt, processing, and adjudication of applications and petitions for immigration benefits.
He is very devoted to the work of AILA in advocating for just, fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and strengthening the practice of immigration law within its members.
Jeremy is an expat, previously working for a law firm in Bangkok, Thailand. He has travelled throughout Asia including Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, India, and Philippines.
He enjoys living abroad and his favorite place to spend free time is either in the mountains, a nod to his time growing up in Seattle, WA, or the beach, which he has loved since living in Southern California.
Jeremy enjoys running, mountain biking, and hiking here in Australia, and also enjoys cooking and especially loves cooking Thai food with his Thai partner Fah.
Interesting fact: Kim has three passports and has lived in five countries.
Kim was born in New Zealand and travelled extensively growing up. She has lived in the UK and Canada. She moved to Melbourne, Australia with her family at seven years old. Kim earned her BA from La Trobe University in Melbourne. When she finished university, she obtained her US green card through the diversity lottery and moved to San Francisco. After her daughter was born, she moved to London, where she lived for five years. She now makes her home in Sydney, Australia.
Kim has worked in immigration law for the last seven years.
She is fascinated with world cultures and deeply appreciates the need for cross-cultural education when people relocate or even travel to new countries. She understands the complexities of moving overseas, having herself experienced this many times first-hand. Kim feels very fortunate to have travelled so extensively through Europe and Asia/Australasia.
Kim is completing a law degree part-time and between that and working and raising her daughter, she doesn't have a lot of free time, but would one day like to travel through Africa, Russia and parts of Eastern Europe.
US Immigration Paralegal
Interesting fact: Susan used to own a coffee bistro in Dallas and is also a photographer, specialising in landscapes. She now owns and runs an oyster farm with her husband here in Australia.
Susan has worked as a paralegal for over 15 years, after earning her Certificate in Paralegal Studies from the University of North Texas. Prior to relocating to Australia in 2012, Susan was a Senior Litigation Paralegal for Kimberly-Clark Corporation.
Susan grew up in Maryland in the US. She spent many years in Dallas, Texas, where she met her husband, who is Australian. They moved around the US after getting married, enjoyed travelling together, and buying and renovating houses. They lived just out of Atlanta, Georgia when their son was born and soon after they decided they wanted to raise him in Australia.
In her free time, she loves spending time with her family, volunteering in her community, travelling, hiking, swimming and playing soccer.
Interesting fact: Kelly used to be a scuba diving instructor and she has dived
with over 20 species of sharks.
Kelly worked in the commercial real estate field for more than 15 years, while in San Diego, California.
Kelly is from California and has also lived in Hawaii.
She met her husband in 2000 and their dream was to live in Australia one day and raise their daughter there.
They migrated to Australia in 2009 and her husband was on a Work Visa as an Air Traffic Controller. It was their dream to raise their daughter in Australia.
Kelly loves: her animals- 17 chickens and 3 dogs, travel, spending time with her family camping, volunteering at her church and daughter's school, and anything to do with the ocean including Scuba Diving, surfing and stand up paddle boarding.
Operations Manager and Legal Assistant
Interesting fact: Jamie says that Tibet is the most interesting and different place he has visited.
In the 1980s Jamie spent a year as a high school exchange student from the US in rural Australia. After the exchange year in Australia, Jamie attended a small university north of San Francisco where he studied cultural anthropology. The university focused on the foundations of western culture and required study abroad in a developing country.
Jamie chose Nepal and spent six months between two host-families, one in Kathmandu and another in a remote, mountain village. The mountain village consisted of 12 homes of extended family on a mountainside. Tragically, this village was completely destroyed by the earthquake in 2015 and has since been abandoned.
Jamie met his wife, Melissa, at university. They later spent several years together teaching English in Tokyo. They then moved and lived in Hawaii for 16 years. In 2012, they migrated to Australia and now live near Sydney with their son.
He enjoys travelling and spending time with his wife, son and dog. Someday, he hopes to show his son India, Cappadocia in Turkey, Venice and Amsterdam.