Ellen Yost joined Fragomen as a Partner in 2001 when the law firm she previously co-founded was merged with Fragomen’s practice. She began her legal career serving as a corporate lawyer for seven years and headed the Canadian Practice Group for a Buffalo, New York firm of more than 100 lawyers.
Thereafter, she co-founded a law firm in Buffalo that primarily advised Canadians doing business in the United States in connection with corporate, tax and business immigration law matters.
Ellen concentrated her practice on Canadians entering the United States under the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Following the merger of her practice with Fragomen, Ellen assisted with the opening of our firm’s first office outside of the United States in Brussels, Belgium.
She practices exclusively in the area of U.S. business immigration law with an emphasis on small and medium-sized corporations. Ellen works with a wide range of industries and highly-skilled or high net worth individuals, primarily citizens of Canada or European countries.
In addition to representing foreign clients in obtaining permission to work or live in the United States, Ellen is actively involved with several international bar associations and is a frequent speaker and author.
She also represents the firm at international conferences and meetings with both governments and non-governmental organizations in connection with global business migration.
Ellen is the founder of the Pro Bono Immigration Project of the Bar Association of Erie County, which represents indigent aliens detained at the Federal Detention Facility at Batavia, New York.
Ellen speaks English and French.
- Assists Canadian clients qualifying for port-of-entry adjudication under the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA to present applications for admission at various U.S. Ports of Entry as intra-company transferees, management consultants, scientific technicians and technologists
- Assists U.S. companies and foreign companies doing business in the United States in obtaining work authorization for highly-skilled foreign nationals hired locally, as well as international assignees. Provides assistance with spousal work authorization, labor certification and all other aspects of nonimmigrant and immigrant visas
- Advises U.S. and foreign companies on immigration compliance issues, including I-9 employment verification program issues and deemed export rules
- Advises companies on the immigration consequences of mergers and acquisitions and assists in enabling the retention of key employees
- Assists medical device manufacturers, technology companies, beverage distributors, international food companies, international accounting firms and law firms in obtaining work authorization for key employees in the United States in a timely and cost-effective manner
- Assists professionally-qualified, adult children of non-U.S. lawyers and accountants throughout the world to obtain authorization to work in the United States in family-owned businesses or other enterprises
- Works with the firm’s Global Visa group and overseas offices to assist companies in gaining permission to engage in business in worldwide jurisdictions Also works with the firm’s Consular Practice group, to assist foreign nationals in obtaining visas at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad, as well as foreign Embassies and Consulates in the United States
- State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law | J.D., 1983
- Mount Holyoke College | B.A., 1966
Bar Admissions: New York, Balie te Brussel (Flemish Bar – admitted as a Foreign Legal Consultant)
Court Admissions: U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
- Member and Fellow, American Bar Association
- Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council in Geneva, American Bar Association
- Member, Advisory Board, Commission on Immigration, American Bar Association
- Liaison to the Union Internationale des Avocats, American Bar Association
- Steering Group, UN and International Institutions Coordinating Committee of the Section of International Law, American Bar Association
- President, Working Group on Immigration and Nationality Law, Union Internationale des Avocats
- Member, Council on International Affairs, Association of the Bar of the City of New York
- Member, Task Force on International Legal Practice, Association of the Bar of the City of New York
- Member, International Bar Association
- Member, Canadian Bar Association
- Member, New York State Bar Association
- Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association
- Former Program Officer, International Law Section, American Bar Association
- Former Council Member, International Law Section, American Bar Association
- Former Chair, Immigration and National Law Committee, International Law Section, American Bar Association
- Former Chair, Canadian Law Committee, International Law Section, American Bar Association
- Former Founding Member, International Law Section, New York State Bar Association
- Former Chair, Canadian Law Committee, International Law Section, New York State Bar Association
- Former Liaison to the Buffalo District Office of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Western New York Chapter
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