Our experienced immigration lawyers assist businesses and individuals with visas, I-9 forms and compliance, audits and other immigration matters throughout Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle. We provide each client with personal access to a team of senior lawyers who thoroughly understand the complex web of immigration laws and the enormous impact these laws can have on a person’s life or a business’s bottom line.

We advise our business clients on completing I-9 employment eligibility forms and verifying their accuracy, EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 employment visas, the PERM labor process, and H and L visas. We also represent clients in connection with outside employment eligibility audits.

For our individual clients, we prepare personal visa petitions for travelers, fiancées and students. We counsel our clients through the permanent residence petition process, including preparing applications for extreme hardship waivers (I-601As) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. We also assist them with naturalization. Our Immigration attorneys are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.


How We Can Help You?

Snapshot of Strengths

We help employers navigate immigration laws so they can attract and retain the employees they need to ensure business success. We also assist individuals with immigration issues. Our expertise includes:


I-9 compliance/ employment eligibility verification


External audits


Non-immigrant employment visa petitions


Provisional extreme hardship waivers


Deferred action for childhood arrivals


Non-immigrant personal visa petitions


Permanent residence petitions



Featured Client Stories

A Notario Is Not the Answer

Johnstone Adams was approached by a mother and daughter from Mexico who had entered the country illegally. The mother had married a U.S. citizen, but had left him due to spousal abuse. The pair had gone to a notario, who charged them nearly $15,000 to file a VAWA / Adjustment petition, which the notario never followed up on. Four years later, neither had any resolution. To make matters worse, the daughter had just had a child of her own, but could not marry the father until her immigration status was corrected.

Johnstone Adams approach and solution

We agreed to do the case pro bono and immediately used our contacts with AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) to determine the status of the pending petitions. After corresponding with both AILA and USCIS, we were able to secure work authorization for both the mother and her daughter, and shortly thereafter, get the VAWA / Adjustment petition back on track.


A few short months later, both received their green cards in the mail.



Foreign Student Issue Resolved

We were contacted by an embassy when one of its foreign nationals, in the U.S. on a student visa, was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a local jail. Our client was enrolled at a university when he abruptly needed to return home. He did so after speaking with the designated school official (DSO) at his university and was assured that doing so was not a problem. He returned to the U.S. at the end of the summer and was enrolled in classes for the fall semester when ICE picked him up. Apparently, a miscommunication with the DSO had resulted in the termination of his student visa.

Johnstone Adams approach and solution

We immediately sprang into action, driving to the facility and interviewing our new client. After getting the facts, we advised him on what to expect to help calm his nerves. We then requested a hearing with an immigration judge to set a bond amount, which ICE had refused to set. We were able to get bond set and secure the release of our client. Now we had to rectify the alleged immigration transgression. The university was not cooperating with our client, so we assisted him in finding a new school in which to enroll.


We coordinated our efforts with the DSO at the new institution while simultaneously requesting the reinstatement of his student status from U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). Ultimately, USCIS reinstated our client, he continued on with his studies at the new institution, and the removal proceedings against him were terminated.

Next Steps

When you hire Johnstone Adams for your immigration needs, you don’t just get a lawyer who knows something about immigration – you get the collective wisdom of our attorneys who will work personally with you on everything from filling out forms to establishing internal policies and procedures to representing you in petitions and audits. We handle cases throughout the region, thanks to advanced software that allows us to securely engage with our remote clients.

We care about our clients and want the best result possible, so every matter is reviewed by multiple attorneys to make sure we are presenting your strongest case. We understand that people’s lives literally hang in the balance and work tirelessly to achieve your objectives.

Practice Group Attorneys

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Business Services:

  • We help businesses prepare non-immigrant employment visa petitions, including petitions in the Canadian and Mexican TN (NAFTA), H-IB (professionals), E1/E2 (treaty traders/investors), L-1A (intracompany transferees), J (exchange visitors) and R (religious workers) categories.
  • Assist employers with Form I-9 employment verification and compliance issues, including the use of E-Verify.
  • Represent corporate clients in Form I-9 audits conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  • Advise clients on developing and implementing employment verification policies and procedures, including Form I-9, E-Verify, the IMAGE Program and SSA No-Match Letters.
  • Counsel businesses on the effect of the Alabama immigration law, the Hammon-Beason Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act.
  • Guide employers through the permanent residence process for employees in various immigration categories, including advice on the PERM Labor Certification system.

Individual Services:

  • Prepare non-immigrant visa petitions, including those in the B-1/B-2 (business/pleasure), F-1 (student) and K (fiancée) categories.
  • Guide individuals through the permanent residence process, through both adjustment of status (I-485) and consular processing.
  • Help individuals prepare comprehensive I-601 and I-601A extreme hardship waivers in conjunction with permanent residence petitions.
  • Advise individuals on the naturalization process.
  • Assist individuals in applying for Deferred Action.
  • Coordinate client responses to USCIS Requests for Evidence.

What Our Clients are Saying

Brandy Walker

“My husband and I were referred to Johnstone Adams in the spring of last year. We are working very closely with Jessica Welch and Greg Watts on an ongoing and unwanted family estate matter. Ms. Welch and Mr. Watts have been so professional and knowledgeable.

In addition, considering the nature of the suit, Jessica has provided my husband and I with a peace of mind we didn"t think was possible during this extremely stressful time of our lives. She is an amazing trial attorney. They have gone above and beyond. To sum it up, I have nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation for them. I would strongly reccomend either of them to my dearest friends and family members. I'm so thankful that we stumbled upon them. I'm actually going to miss Jessica Welch when this is all over.”

Andre Kistner

“I am currently using this law firm and they are informative, keeping me up to date with my case, and they return your calls/emails immediately. I am very satisfied.”

Stu Cookson

“My wife and I approached Johnstone Adams to help us make a better informed decision regarding her immigration. They have been a truly invaluable asset. They brought their knowledge, experience, confidence, and calm demeanor to the process, which put our minds at ease. The worry and anxiety that we were facing melted away, and we have been, literally, hand-held during this daunting process. We can’t thank or recommend Johnstone Adams enough and look forward to continuing to use their services in the future.”


Angela R.

“Johnstone Adams was a great help when it came to drawing up our family’s will and advanced directives prior to the birth of our first son. These are certainly things that no one wants to think about, but the process was easy. They were professional and knowledgeable, answering all of our questions along the way with compassion and sensitivity. Johnstone Adams responded quickly to any questions and was easy to get in touch with! We would highly recommend them for any legal work!!”

Alan C

“Jessica’s advice and assistance with our family's interests in a probate matter was exceptional from beginning to end-- always thoughtful, responsive and efficient, and focused and timely.

It was a genuine pleasure for the doubtless incorrigibly demanding old lawyer that I am to have a professional of her outstanding caliber assisting me on this matter—both generally and in my role as executor in particular—in a jurisdiction unfamiliar to me and on a matter completely outside of my own experience and expertise.

I might also point out that she was really excellent in interfacing, always in a timely and solution-oriented manner, with other parties involved in our matter to help keep our initiatives on track—including attorneys dealing with the disposition of residential real estate and financial assets.

Jessica and her excellent assistant, Shelly Perrone, also offered and provided pragmatic and efficient solutions to logistical and execution issues made significantly more challenging than usual given the COVID-19 crisis and my own location far from Mobile-- in Paris, France.”


“I highly recommend attorney Rick La Trace. Aside from being professional, polite, and yet firm, Rick is a combination of knowledge, detail, and responsiveness. (In my opinion, there are very few professionals who have ALL three qualities. Rick is one of the very few.) What makes him stand apart from the rest, is that he takes the time to listen to his client's concerns (no matter how "trivial"). He educates client’s on how the law works, shares his opinions, including the pros and cons of each. We would definitely use Rick's services again, and highly recommend him for anyone who wants a lawyer that they can trust to thoroughly handle their case from start to finish, even down to the small details. You can tell from working with Rick that he's not just about getting paid for his services, but that he enjoys working through problems and finding creative solutions for his clients. Also, I highly recommend the Johnstone Adams, LLC systems and processes. Shelly and Cathy were on top of things. I give Rick and Johnstone Adams more than five stars.”


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