Sarah K. Peterson

//Sarah K. Peterson
Sarah K. Peterson 2022-03-22T20:45:17+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 Chaired AILA’s U.S. Department of Labor Liaison committee from 2017 – 2021. 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 – present, Women in the Law” Business Edition since 2021, Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Corporate Immigration (2018-2021), International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers (2014-present), 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

What is really happening on the U.S. Border with Mexico, Kare-11, March 19, 2021

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

What Do the DOJ and DOL Facebook Settlements Mean for PERM Programs Going Forward?, AILA Virtual CLE, December 15, 2021

 Physicians Laboring Under DOL, 2021 Physician Immigration Law Institute, December 6, 2021, Washington, DC

Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM) – Current Adjudication Trends, 54th Annual Immigration and Naturalization Institute PLI, December 1, 2021, New York, NY

EB I-485 & Ongoing October 2020 AOS Downgrade Considerations, AILA MN/DAK Chapter Virtual CLE, October 6, 2021

Tips of the Trade; best practices in labor certifications and I-140 petitions, Catholic Legal Services Annual CLE, September 23, 2021

Wage Determinations and SOC Updates, Upper Midwest Immigration Law Conference, May 14, 2021

PERM Refresher and Updates, Philadelphia AILA Chapter Virtual Conference, April 30, 2021

First 100 Days & Beyond, AILA Rome District Chapter – EMEA 2021 Virtual Spring Conference, April 28, 2021

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Open Forum, 2021 AILA Spring CLE Virtual Conference, April 15, 2021

Bridging the U.S. Immigration Divide, 3rd Annual Love Actually Talk “Reconnect & Rebuild,” March 25, 2021

Pardon the Interruption: Advanced Tips and Tricks to Tackle Absurd Case Issues, 2021 Midwinter Virtual Conference, March 2, 2021

Using Alternative Wage Surveys for PERMs and H-1Bs: Money Matters Strategies, AILA web seminar, February 4, 2021

Updates from Department of Labor, AILA Ohio Virtual CLE Conference, December 4, 2020

Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM) – Current Adjudication Trends, 53rd Annual Immigration and Naturalization Institute Live Webcast, Practicing Law Institute, December 3, 2020

Another Brick in the Wall: Impact of COVID and POTUS on Immigrant Visas, AILA virtual Fall Conference, October 21, 2020

Top DOL Issues in 2020, Midwest Regional Virtual AILA Conference, October 9 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Open Forum, AILA Virtual Annual Conference, July 22, 2020

No Masks, No Meat, Know Your Rights and More, Minnesota State Bar Association web CLE, June 11, 2020

Dissecting the H-1B: The Anatomy of a Specialty Occupation in the Post-Pandemic World, MN/DAK AILA Virtual Conference, May 29, 2020

The Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak on H-1B Employers and H-1B Workers, AILA late-breaking web seminar, May 1, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Open Forum, AILA Spring Conference, Washington, DC, March 6, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Wage & Hour Panel, AILA Spring Conference, Washington, DC, March 6, 2020

Hot Topics in Business Immigration, AILA Midwinter CLE Conference, Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao, January 24, 2020

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