Sharon R. Mehlman

Sharon3Innovative and strategic…An attorney of vast expertise ensuring a smooth client experience in the midst of the most complicated of immigration matters.

PHONE | 858.412.6300
EMAIL | sharon@mehlmanbarnes.com

Partner & Attorney at Law

Sharon Mehlman is an AV rated* attorney, whose vast expertise helps to ensure a smooth client experience in the midst of an array of business immigration matters for corporate entities. Her practice is concentrated in the high-tech, biotech, computer gaming, multimedia and telecommunications industries.

Sharon enjoys the challenge of practicing in an area of law that is constantly changing.  Sharon’s expertise spans virtually every corner of employment-based immigration law and practice, beginning with the recruitment and retention of foreign national employees, to the implementation of corporate immigration strategies and policies, all the way through enforcement issues such as I-9 audits, LCA compliance, and related trainings.   Apart from her active practice representing an array of industries, Sharon is dedicated to immigration advocacy through ongoing commitments to the national immigration bar for many years. In that capacity, she has met frequently with immigration agency executives and staff to discuss legal and procedural issues, the state of the current immigration system, and has made suggestions for improvement.  Sharon also works with immigration attorneys nationwide on best practice issues. She is a frequent lecturer, locally and nationally, on employment based immigration topics including USCIS and Service Center issues, H petitions, PERM labor certifications and I-9 issues.

The Individual

Sharon is a dog-lover and is the proud owner of two very spoiled Chihuahuas, Tucker and Augie. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and has varied interests, including baking, dance, travel, the performing arts, wine, and trying new foods. She has also been studying American Sign Language.

  1. 1
    Education
    • Juris Doctor, University of San Diego, School of Law, 1997
    • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1992
  2. 2
    Memberships
    • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
    • Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL) – President, January 2014 to present
    • Athena San Diego
    • California Bar Association
    • Federal Bar Association
  3. 3
    Recognition
    • AVVO.com Superb Attorney Rating
    • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated*
    • Super Lawyers – San Diego
    • International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers
    • International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers
    • Who’s Who Legal: California
    • Best Lawyers in America
    • Chambers and Partners and Chambers Global
    • 2006 San Diego Daily Transcript Top Attorney – Finalist
    • 2009, 2012 San Diego Daily Transcript Top Attorney – Nominee
    • San Diego Magazine – Best Lawyers
    • AILA Presidential Commendation Awards for Outstanding Liaison work – 2008, 2009, 2010
  4. 4
    Selected Immigration Bar Service
    • Current Vice Chair- AILA National Verification and Worksite Enforcement Committee
    • Past Chair, AILA National Interagency Committee
    • Past AILA-USCIS Lockbox Liaison
    • Past Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary – San Diego Chapter of AILA
    • Past Chair, California Service Center (CSC) Liaison committee – AILA
    • Past Chair, Service Center Operations Liaison Committee – AILA
    • Past Chair, USCIS Benefits (USCIS HQ) Liaison Committee – AILA
  5. 5
    Advocacy

    Co-Author, Regulatory Comment on Proposed New Form I-9, submitted to USCIS on behalf of ABIL, May 2012.
    Co-Author, Regulatory Comment on Proposed H-1B Registration System, submitted to USICS on behalf of AILA, May 2011.

  6. 6
    Publications, Blogs & Presentations

    Selected Publications

    Co-Author, “Risky Business: Assumptions in the Hiring Process”, Bender’s California Labor and Employment Bulletin, November 2014.
    Co-Author, “Negotiating with ICE in the I-9 Audit Process,” Federal Bar Association Worksite Enforcement Conference Handbook, October 2013.
    Co-Author, “Completing the New Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification,” AILA Immigration Forms Toolbox, July 2013.
    Co-Author, “Managing Frustrations about Recruitment in the PERM Process,” AILA Annual Conference Handbook, June 2013.
    Co-Author, “Practitioner’s Guide to Conducting Effective I-9 Self-Audits,” AILA Mid-year Conference Handbook, January 2012
    Co-Author, “Entrepreneurial Immigrants Could Mean Creation of More Jobs for U.S. Citizens” San Diego Union Tribune, Op-Ed Article, January 26, 2012.
    Co-Author, “Issues to Consider in Reviewing I-9 Procedures and Compliance: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You,” Immigration Options for Academics and Researchers (AILA), Fall 2011.
    Co-Author, “Practical Guidance for Establishing an Employer’s I-9 Processes and Procedures,” AILA California Chapters Conference Handbook, November 2011.

    Selected Blogs

    “Negotiate with ICE- Reduce Those I-9 Fines!” The I-9 and E–Verify Blog: Law Logix, January 2013.
    “Does the I-9 Receipt Rule Really Mean What it Says?” The I-9 and E–Verify Blog: Law Logix, May 2012.
    “Requesting Payment Plans from ICE for I-9 Violations and Fines,” CM Guru Blog: Law Logix, April 2012.
    Co-Author, “Evaluating an Electronic I-9 Program: the Devil is in the Details,” The I-9 and E–Verify Blog: Law Logix, September 2011.
    Co-Author, “Playing with ‘No Matches’- Don’t Get Burned: How the Social Security Administration ‘No Match’ Letters Fit into Worksite Compliance,” The I-9 and E–Verify Blog: Law Logix, September 2011.
    Co-Author, “In Search of Fraudulent Documents – Does the I-9 Process Really Require Employers to be Enforcers? “The I-9 and E–Verify Blog: Law Logix, November 2011.
    Co-Author, “The Big, Bad, Blue RFE: H-1B Petitions for Small and New Businesses,” California Chapters Conference Handbook, November 2004.
    Co-Author, “Making Extreme Adjustments: Advanced Issues in Adjustment of Status Practice”, AILA Annual Conference Handbook, 2002.

    Selected Presentations, As a Panelist or Discussion Leader

    “Employment Based Immigration Overview”, San Diego Law Library, January 2014.
    “Form I-9 Workshop,” San Diego Employers Association, December 2013.
    “Negotiating with ICE,” Federal Bar Association Worksite Enforcement Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, October 2013.
    “I-9 Compliance, Auditing & Settlements – Lessons from OCAHO,” AILA Webinar, September 2013.
    “Immigration Law Update” Balch & Bingham, Client Employment Law Seminar, Birmingham, Alabama, September 2013.
    “I-9 and E-Verify Compliance for Multi-state Employers,” AILA Webinar, September 2013.
    “The Dreaded Audit and How the Compliance File May or May Not Help”, AILA PERM Conference, Chicago, Illinois, August 2013.
    “Things I Hate About PERM”, AILA Annual Conference, San Francisco, California, June 2013.
    “Extraordinarily Confusing: EB-1 and EB-2 Options,” American Council on International Personnel Immigration Symposium, Pentagon City, Virginia, June 2013.
    “Employment Eligibility Verification, New Form I-9 – Are you Prepared?” Society for Human Resources Management (San Diego), June 2013.
    “Immigration Law Update for the Hospitality Industry,” San Diego Employers Association, Employment Law Update, May 2013.
    “Worksite Enforcement: Representing the Employer in an ICE Audit,” Federal Bar Association Immigration Law Seminar, Memphis, Tennessee, May 2013.
    “Worksite Enforcement: Criminal and Civil Litigation,” Federal Bar Association Immigration Law Seminar, Memphis, Tennessee, May 2013.
    “Employment Eligibility Verification, New Form I-9 – Are you Prepared?” Society for Human Resources Management (San Diego), May 2013.
    “The New Form I-9. Everything You Need to Know About This Difficult Two Page Form,” Park Avenue Presentations Webinar, May 2013.
    “The Mandatory New Form I-9: Q&A With Experts”, LawLogix Webinar, May 2013.
    “The New Form I-9: Now the Most Difficult Two Page Form in America” Human Resources GPS, Inc., San Diego, California, April 2013.
    “Tactical Strategies: Managing the New Secure Workplace/Workforce,” Palo Alto, California, Stanford University, Rock Center for Corporate Governance Worksite Enforcement Symposium, April 2013.
    “The New Form I-9: Everything You Need to Know About This Difficult Two Page Form,” Park Avenue Presentations Webinar, April 2013.
    “The New Form I-9. Now the Most Difficult Two Page Form in America,” San Diego Employers Association, San Diego, California, April 2013.
    “The New I-9 Form and How it Affects You,” AILA Webinar, March 2013.
    “Heightened I-9 Enforcement by ICE, What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You,” Park Avenue Presentations Webinar, March 2013.
    “PERM for Experts: Strategy Development for Prevailing Wage, Unique Work Site, and Travel Issues,” ILW.com’s PERM Seminar Series, February 2013.
    “Advanced Topics in I-9 and E-Verify: Notice of Inspect, Now What?” ILW.com’s Seminar Series, December 2012.
    “Workplace Enforcement – Keeping Your Client Compliant,” AILA California Chapters Conference, San Diego, California, November 2012.
    “Heightened I-9 Enforcement by ICE, What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You,” Park Avenue Presentations Webinar, October 2012.
    “Maintenance of Status/AC21”, AILA Colorado Rocky Mountain Regional Conference, Denver, Colorado, October 2012.
    “The Evolving Workplace: Remote Hires, Electronic I-9 Practice, E-Verify and IMAGE” Federal Bar Association Worksite Enforcement Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, October 2012.
    “Attracting and Retaining Employees to make your Immigration Law Practice Successful” AILA Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee, June 2012.
    “Proposed Changes to the Form I-9: Your Questions Answered” and “Electronic Verification Systems, Form I-9 Software and E-Verify Best Practices,” ILW.com’s I-9/E-Verify for Experts Seminar Series, May 2012.
    “Heightened I-9 Enforcement by ICE, What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You,” Park Avenue Presentations Webinar, April 2012.
    “ICE IMAGE Program,” Stanford University, Rock Center for Corporate Governance Worksite Enforcement Symposium, Palo Alto, California, April 2012.
    “2012 Employed Based Immigration Law Update,” Park Avenue Presentations Webinar, March 2012.
    “A Day in the Life roundtable,” UCSD 4th Annual Pre-Law Conference, San Diego, California, February 2012.
    “2012 Employment Based Immigration Law Update,” San Diego Employer Association, San Diego, California, February 2012.
    “Developing an Employer Immigration Compliance Program,” AILA Mid-Year Conference, Herradura, Costa Rica, January 2012.
    “Workplace Enforcement – Employer and Employee Perspectives,” AILA California Chapters Conference, San Francisco, California, November 2011.
    “Heightened I-9 Enforcement by ICE – What you Don’t Know Can Hurt You,” Park Avenue Presentations Webinar, October 2011.
    “PERM Tricks of the Trade,” AILA Annual Conference, San Diego, California, June 2011.
    “Agency Roundup – Reading between the Lines,” AILA Spring Conference, Washington, DC, April 2011.
    “Worksite Enforcement – Criminal Investigation Issues,” Stanford University, Rock Center for Corporate Governance Worksite Enforcement Symposium Palo Alto, California, April 2011.
    “USCIS Service Center Practice and Procedure,” AILA New England Chapter Conference/Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts, March 2011.
    “Locating a Key to a Lockbox- USCIS Lockbox and Service Center Updates,” AILA Podcast, January 2011.
    “RFEs: Engaging the Service Centers” AILA New York Chapter Immigration Symposium, New York, New York, December 2010.
    “USCIS Panel- East of Eden,” AILA California Chapters Conference, Monterrey, California, November 2010.
    “USCIS Open Forum,” AILA Annual Conference, National Harbor, Maryland, July 2010.
    “U.S. Immigration Compliance Issues,” Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers – Global Mobility Conference, London, United Kingdom, May 2010.
    “Updates from USCIS HQ and Service Centers,” Practicing Law Institute – Immigration & Naturalization Conference, New York, New York, April 2010.
    “USCIS – a Fresh Perspective on Benefits and Adjudications,” AILA Spring Conference, Washington, DC, March 2010.
    “Interpretations and Implications of the January 8, 2010 Neufeld Memo on the H-1B Employer-Employee Relationship,” AILA Audio Seminar, February 2010.
    “USCIS Service Center Developments (California and Nebraska),” AILA California Chapters conference, Marina Del Rey, California, November 2009.
    “Updates from USCIS HQ and Service Centers,” Practicing Law Institute – Immigration & Naturalization Conference, New York, New York, October 2009.
    “Help! My Great H-1Bs, O-1s, and I-140s are being RFE’s or Denied!” NAFSA (National Association of Foreign Student Advisors) Region 12 Conference, San Diego, California, October 2009.
    “USCIS Open Forum,” AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 2009.
    “How to Use the Liaison Process Effectively,” AILA Leadership Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 2009.
    “Ask an Immigration Attorney,” SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management) – Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, June 2009.
    “USCIS: State of the Agency,” AILA Spring Conference, Washington, DC, March 2009.
    “Immigrant Visas: Workshop 1 – PERM and I-140” and “Immigrant Visas: Common Pitfalls and Issue Spotting in the First Three Employment-Based Preference Categories,” AILA Moving Beyond the Basics Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 2008.
    “Hot Topics Panel,” AILA California Chapters Conference, San Francisco, California, November 2008.
    “Hot Topics in Business Immigration (H-1B and I-9 Strategies),” Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, San Francisco, California, October 2008.
    “USCIS Open Forum,” AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law, Vancouver, Canada, June 2008.
    “Developments in USCIS National Policy,” AILA Midwest Chapters Conference, Chicago, Illinois, March 2008.
    “Immigration Update,” CommNexus, San Diego, California, March 2008.
    “USCIS and Service Center Updates,” AILA New York Chapter Immigration Symposium, New York, New York, December 2007.
    “Developments at the California Service Center,” AILA California Chapters Conference, San Diego, California, November 2007.
    “USCIS Open Forum,” AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law, Orlando, Florida, June 2007.
    “The State of USCIS Bi-Specialization, Year One,” AILA Texas Chapter Immigration Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2007.
    “Service Center Updates,” AILA Northwest Regional Conference, Portland, Oregon, March 2007.
    “USCIS: Local, Regional/Bi-Specialization and National Update,” AILA New York Chapter Immigration Symposium, New York, New York, December 2006.
    “’Wish They All Could Be California H-1Bs’ Bi-Specialization: What’s Happening to My I-140s and I-129s?” AILA California Chapters Conference, Monterrey, California, November 2006.
    “Representing the Best and the Brightest. What’s So Special and How to Prove It,” AILA Annual Conference on Immigration Law, San Antonio, Texas, June 2006.
    “Bi-Specialized Adjudication is Here: What, Where, How?” AILA Audio Seminar, April 2006.
    “Navigating Through the California Service Center (CSC) For Newer Practitioners,” AILA Audio Seminar, March 2006.
    “California Service Center Updates,” AILA California Chapters Conference, Indian Wells, California, November 2005.
    “H-1B petitions for Small and New Businesses,” AILA California Chapters Conference, San Francisco, California, November 2004.
    “Occupational Workshop – Computer Professionals,” AILA Annual Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 2004.
    “Overcoming Hurdles in Consular Processing – Visa Processing, Security Checks and the Technology Alert List”, ILW.com Seminar, March 2004.
    “Homeland Security in Your Home Town: CBP and ICE,” AILA California Chapters Conference, San Diego, California, November 2003.
    “US immigration issues for the Biotech Community,” AIRI (Association of Independent Research Institutes), Waimea, Hawaii, September 2003.
    “Changing Export Control & US immigration Regulations and Their Impact on the Biotech Industry in the Hiring and Retention of Foreign Nationals,” CLA Business Partners, San Diego, California, April 2003.
    “The Final Step for Employment-Based Workers,” AILA Annual Conference, San Francisco, California, June 2002.
    “Immigration Basics: How to Do a Reduction in Recruitment Labor Certification Step by Step,” AILA California Chapters Conference, Los Angeles, California, November 2001.