Sarah K. Peterson

//Sarah K. Peterson
Sarah K. Peterson 2020-12-16T13:20:39+00:00
Sarah Peterson

Sarah K. Peterson
Principal Attorney

Between stalled legislation, executive orders and an alphabet soup of classifications, the world of US immigration law is complex. Employers from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups know that hiring international talent can quickly become an expensive, confusing and lengthy process. Particularly in this new environment.

That’s where I come in. My name is Sarah Peterson and I am an attorney focusing on employment-based immigration including H-1B visas, J-1 Waivers, PERM applications, Extraordinary Ability Petitions, National Interest Waivers, consular processing, and I-9 compliance and audits. Basically, I help your company retain the most competitive candidates from around the world.

I have practiced employment-based immigration law since 2006, helping transition foreign-born doctors, researchers, engineers, IT specialists and managers to some of our nation’s top universities and research facilities. I work with start-ups, non-profits, artists, and high-tech corporations. I make your field my business.

I hold a joint law degree and master in public policy from the University of Minnesota Law School and the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. I am very active in our professional association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). In 2012, I was elected as a Director on the AILA National Board of Governors and I continue to actively serve on this Board. I serve as Chair of AILA’s U.S. Department of Labor Liaison committee. I have previously served on AILA Liaison committees with the California and Nebraska USCIS Service Centers, AILA’s Health Care Professionals/Physicians committee, and Chaired the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter of AILA. Locally I served on the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota’s (ILCM) Public Policy Committee from 2013 – 2018. I am recognized by The Best Lawyers in America, 2020, Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Corporate Immigration (2019-2020), International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers (2014-20), Law Dragon’s 40 Up and Coming Employment Lawyers (2016-2018), and was selected as one of Minnesota’s Lawyer’s Up and Coming Attorneys for 2010 . When I am not in Minneapolis, I am traveling to speak nationally on immigration issues or to meet with leaders in Washington D.C. to make immigration reform a reality.

I am committed to providing relationship-based expertise and I hold myself to an impeccable standard of ethics and excellence. I serve clients with both enthusiasm and intellect. Our global economy necessarily requires global talent so let me help your team achieve its full potential.

Recent Media

H-1B Secrecy Veil Torn Off as Trump Steps Up Visa Targeting, Bloomberg, August 5th, 2019

H-1B Policy: DHS Announces Rulemakings to Restrict Availability, Eligibility for H-1B Visas; Revised Employment Definition Likely to Target Outsourcers, The Capitol Forum, Vol. 6, No. 36, January 29, 2018

H-1B Visa Policy: A Close Look at Homeland Security Data: Administration Closely Scrutinizing Petitions for Entry-Level H-1B Workers, The Capitol Forum, Vol. 6, No. 9, January 8, 2018

The Feds Had Their Turn. Time for State-Based Visas?, Bloomberg , May 12, 2017

Immigrant Nurses: Filling the Next U.S. Shortage, U.S. News & World Report, March 29, 2017

Rural health providers in Minnesota, elsewhere fear fallout from suspension of visas for immigrant doctors, Star Tribune, March 27, 2017

How Foreign Health Providers Impact U.S. Health Care, U.S. News & World Report, March 22, 2017

Recent Speaking Engagements

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Open ForumAILA Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida, June 21, 2019

DOL FLAG Overview and Highlights, AILA Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida, June 20, 2019

AILA Needs You – Becoming an AILA LeaderAILA Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida, June 19, 2019

All Things Labor Certification, Federal Bar Association’s Annual Immigration Law Conference, Austin, Texas, May 17, 2019

H-1BMAGGEDON: ARE WE DONE YET?, AILA RDC Spring Conference, Berlin, Germany, April 29, 2019

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Open Forum, AILA 2019 Spring Conference: Government Relations Update, Washington, DC, April 12, 2019

No Bachelor’s needed – Skills workers/ Entrepreneurs, 2019 Upper Midwest Immigration Law Conference, Minneapolis, MN, March 15, 2019

Running to Stand Still: PERM Update, 2019 AILA Midwinter Conference, Indian Wells, CA, January 25, 2019

PERM For Physicians, Physician Immigration Law Institute, Washington, DC, December 10, 2018

The Regulatory Confines of What Is Considered Normal for an Occupation: SVP/OOH/O*NET/SOC, 2018 AILA PERM Conference and Webcast, Washington, DC, December 7, 2018

 A Conversation with DOL, 2018 AILA PERM Conference and Webcast, Washington, DC, December 7, 2018

Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM) – Current Adjudication Trends and Anticipated Changes, 51st Annual Immigration and Naturalization Institute, New York, NY, December 5, 2018

DOL Open Forum, AILA Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, June 13 – 16, 2018

Ethics in PERM: Where the Line Is, and How to Draw It, AILA Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, June 13 – 16, 2018

AILA Ethics Compendium: LIVE, AILA Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, June 13 – 16, 2018

A Conversation with the U.S. Department of Labor, AILA Spring Conference: Government Relations Update, Washington, DC, April 13, 2018

Inside the Beltway with the DOL Liaison Committee, AILA Spring Conference: Government Relations Update, Washington, DC, April 13, 2018

2018 Top PERM and LCA issues, 2018 Midwest Regional Conference, Chicago, IL, March 12, 2018

PERM Under the Trump Administration, 15th Annual AILA New England Immigration Law Conference, Boston, MA, March 2, 2018

PERM – What’s in Store for 2018 and Beyond, 2018 Georgia-Alabama Chapter AILA Conference, Atlanta, GA, February 22-24, 2018

Advanced PERM Issues, 2018 AILA Midyear Conference, Cancun, Mexico, February 2, 2018

Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM) – Current Adjudication Trends and Anticipated Changes, PLI’s 50th Annual Immigration and Naturalization Institute, New York, NY, December 6, 2017

Responding to H-1B RFE’s Raising “Level I Wage” Issues, AILA National Audio Seminar, August 31, 2017

DOL Open Forum, 2017 AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law, New Orleans, LA, June 21-24, 2017

Arguing for H-1B Cap Exemptions, 2017 AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law, New Orleans, LA, June 21-24, 2017

Making PERM Great Again!, 2017 Upper Midwest Immigration Law Conference, Brooklyn Center, MN, May 19, 2017

Labor & Employment Law:  Who Trumps in the Workplace Under Current Immigration Law?, Hennepin County Bar Association, Minneapolis, MN, April 24, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Open Forum, 2017 AILA Spring Conference: Immigration and the New Administration, Washington, D.C., April 7th, 2017

Top PERM Issues in 2017, Midwest Regional Conference, Chicago, IL, March 13, 2017

Finally a New PERM?, AILA Midwinter Conference, St. Phillipsburg, St. Maarten, January 20, 2017

Did They Leave Us a Parting Gift – The Changes Brought by the High Skilled Non-immigrant Rule and How They Affect Your Clients, MN/DAK Chapter of AILA, Minneapolis, MN, January 13, 2017

Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM) Modernization – Current Adjudication Trends and Anticipated Changes, Practising Law Institute, 49th Annual Immigration and Naturalization Institute, New York, NY December 7th, 2016

PERM for Physicians, Physician Immigration Law Institute Advanced Issues for J-1 Physician Employers and Practitioners, Washington, DC, December 5, 2016

PERM Roundtable, Physician Immigration Law Institute Advanced Issues for J-1 Physician Employers and Practitioners, Washington, DC, December 4, 2016

The 212(d)(3) Waiver for Nonimmigrant Applicants, Wine and CLE: Fermenting a Consular Practice, Santiago, Chile, November 16, 2016

Learn more about Sarah’s experience…

What clients are saying about SPS

As a physician originally from Germany and now employed at the University of Chicago, I have worked with Sarah Peterson Stensrud successfully in obtaining a J-1 waiver and subsequently a Green Card.

The J-1 waiver process was daunting and I looked at several immigration firms. It was clear in my interactions with Sarah that she is extremely knowledgeable and updated in the field, as well as has a strong network of colleagues. She provided thoughtful, thorough, and, most importantly, practical legal advice regarding my immigration situation. She listens carefully to client queries and comments and responds quickly and clearly with analysis and advice aimed directly at the issue. I consider Sarah Peterson Stensrud one of the best in immigration law.”

Tanguy L-S, University of Chicago
Sarah has represented our firm on a variety of immigration matters, ranging from TN applications to obtaining green cards for our employees. Sarah has provided impeccable service at all times and she has delivered an outstanding result in every case. Choosing the right attorney, however, involves more than just finding someone with a successful track record. Sarah is the face of our firm to many of our employees and job candidates during the immigration process and I enjoy working with Sarah because of her high standards, dedication, ethics and kindness. She makes all parties feel at ease throughout what can otherwise be a stressful process and I trust Sarah to deliver the very best and represent our firm to the very high standards that we expect of ourselves. I highly recommend Sarah as an outstanding immigration lawyer. 
Jonathan K, Founder & Executive Creative Director
I highly recommend Sarah to anyone looking for a smart, caring, and responsive immigration attorney. As an Engineer from India, my immigration process has been long and complex. I was very pleased with Sarah’s work on my H-1B as well as my PERM labor certification and I-140 process. Sarah has a unique ability to take a complex immigration system and break it into easy to understand steps, including providing clear and accurate timeframes. She was always prompt in responding to all of my questions and she went out of her way to ensure that I always understood the status of my case and what to expect next. Sarah particularly impressed me with her substantive knowledge, her personalized and caring approach, and her absolute attention to every detail of my immigration process. Because of Sarah’s work, my case proceeded smoothly and I was never worried about the process. I routinely refer my friends and colleagues to her at every opportunity, so that they can benefit from the same outstanding representation that I received.
Selva N., Engineer
Sarah and I have worked together since 2009. Sarah has taken great care of all of our company’s immigration needs and goes above the call of duty many times both for our foreign nationals and for our company. She also is a mentor to me as I learn the constantly changing field of immigration. Because of her, I feel that I have grown in my position with regards to immigration with my company.”
Debbie T., Sr Human Resources Compliance Manager
As a physician originally from Pakistan and currently employed at Mayo Clinic, Sarah has been instrumental in guiding my path through a complex immigration process to allow me to complete my training and accept an appointment on staff. Sarah’s grasp on the nuances of immigration law is unsurpassed. She enabled me to obtain approval for a coveted O-1 visa while I completed training on a J-1 visa and just as swiftly, prepared and obtained approval for my EB-1 green card. In addition to the complicated and often daunting O-1 and then EB-1 process, Sarah also kept both my individual and family circumstances in mind. I was especially impressed with how thorough Sarah was in her information gathering and preparation of applications, leaving no stone unturned in ensuring a successful outcome. Sarah does her job exceptionally well and executes it all with such compassion and understanding that I feel at ease speaking with her about any and every immigration related problem. With Sarah as my lawyer, I know that I will always receive well considered and sound advice in a timely fashion. I highly recommend Sarah as an outstanding immigration attorney.
Asma J, Mayo Clinic
I’m very pleased with Sarah’s dedication to my case. Throughout the complex J-1 waiver and green card processes, Sarah was always available for any concerns I had. She has a keen awareness of the time sensitive issues and provided me with practical legal advice on a timely manner. She is an excellent communicator and I highly recommend her to anyone who is looking for a creative and responsive immigration attorney.
Takashi H, Hospitalist