Representative Matters

Ian Wagreich handles business-related immigration law for multinational corporations, hospitals, nonprofit arts institutions, universities, athletic organizations, and individual investors and entrepreneurs. A passionate advocate for a more just and humane immigration system, Ian is committed to helping his clients navigate each step of an increasingly complex process.

In addition to providing counsel on nonimmigrant working visas, employment-based permanent residence, and labor certification, Ian advises clients on investment-related immigration and employer sanctions. Ian effectively assists a wide variety of clients in meeting their business immigration needs. This includes managing the paperwork required for hiring highly skilled workers, advising on the international transfer of personnel, leading corporate compliance initiatives, and assisting employees with obtaining U.S. permanent residence and citizenship.

Recognized as a leading voice on immigration law topics nationwide, Ian frequently speaks about immigration issues on campuses and continuing legal education seminars. He also provides commentary in print media and television news programs. You can follow Ian on Twitter at @IanDWagreich.

Ian's legal career spans more than 25 years practicing in Chicago. This includes nearly a decade at a firm where he was a founding shareholder. While there, he focused entirely on business-related immigration and nationality law issues.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • International Medical Graduate Taskforce

Honors & Awards

  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for Immigration Law, 2023 – 2024
  • Selected by National Law Journal as a 2023 Immigration Law Trailblazer
  • Named to the Law360 2023 Immigration Editorial Advisory Board

  • Selected for inclusion in Lexology’s International "Who's Who Legal" guides
    • Recommended in "Corporate Immigration," 2016 – Present
    • Thought Leader in "Thought Leaders – USA – Corporate Immigration," 2023 – Present
    • Thought Leader in "Thought Leaders – Corporate Immigration," 2023 – Present
  • Recognized on the Super Lawyers list by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2016 – 2022
  • "Sam Williamson Mentor Award," AILA, 2022
  • President's Commendations, AILA, 2011, 2014, 2015
  • Joseph Minsky Beacon of Light Award, Chicago Chapter of AILA, 2014
  • Holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability

Representative Matters

  • Successfully litigated immigration-related matters, including mandamus actions against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and U.S. Department of State.
  • Represented an intellectual property law firm in obtaining H-1B petition approval and permanent residence for employees, including associates and law clerks.
  • Represented a large public university in obtaining permanent residence for researchers and scholars.
  • Represented individuals in National Interest Waiver and Outstanding Researcher self-petitions.
  • Obtained approvals of complex L-1A Managerial and L-1B Specialized Knowledge petitions for large chain of retail stores.
  • Counsel to large health care organization in complex compliance matters.
  • Assisted professional athletes in obtaining temporary work authorization and U.S. permanent residence.
  • Assisted investors in obtaining approval of EB-5 petitions, often involving complex source of funds tracing.
  • Represented world-renowned symphony in obtaining O-1 extraordinary ability visas for performers.
  • Assisted small business owners in obtaining E-2 Treaty Investor Status to allow them to direct and manage their businesses in the U.S.


  • Panelist, "Tastes Like Home: Bridging the Immigration Gap through Food," South By Southwest (SXSW) Conference 2024, Austin, Texas, March 10, 2024
  • Co-Presenter, "Welcome and Remarks," American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Investors and Entrepreneurs Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 19, 2024
  • Moderator, "Out in Rugby: A Conversation with Nich McCarthy," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Chicago, Illinois, January 18, 2024
  • Co-Presenter, "LIVE WEB - 2024 Immigration Law Update: Effectively Representing Immigration Clients and Analyzing Immigration Matters in a Volatile World," Illinois State Bar Association, Webinar, January 16, 2024
  • Co-Presenter, "The Garage" – Northwestern University’s Program for Entrepreneurs, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, November 15, 2023
  • "US Immigration Options for International Faculty, Students, and Postdoctoral Scholars," University of Wisconsin – Madison Postdoctoral Association International Committee, Madison, Wisconsin, October 26, 2023
  • Co-Presenter, "Immigration Year in Review," Hinshaw's 27th Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, October 19, 2023
  • Panelist, "Representing the Exceptional and Extraordinary: EB-1 and NIW Cases," American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) 2023 Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida, June 23, 2023
  • Co-Presenter, "Immigration Law Update," Hinshaw's 26th Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, October 27, 2022
  • Moderator, "To Immigrate or Not to Immigrate: That Is the Question," American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) 75th Annual Conference, Javits Center, New York, New York, June 17, 2022
  • Panelist, "Full STEM Ahead: Biden-Era Immigration Options Beyond the H-1B Cap," Exigent Group, Webinar, April 19, 2022
  • Co-Presenter, “To Green Card or Not to Green Card? Strategies and Considerations Regarding Applying for Permanent Residency," American Immigration Lawyers Association Fall Conference and Webcast, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 12, 2021
  • Faculty, " Reading the Tea Leaves: Recent Adjudicatory Trends and Challenges," AILA Rome District Chapter of the EMEA 2021 Virtual Spring Conference, Virtual Event, April 28, 2021
  • Panelist, "PERM Session," AILA Chicago Spring Conference, Virtual Event, April 9, 2021
  • "New Horizons: Advanced Strategies in Immigration Law in the Biden and COVID Era," 2021 AILA NE Conference, Virtual Event, March 4, 2021
  • Panelist, "Perspectives from Practice:  Immigration Reform Under President Biden," University of Chicago Webinar, February 24, 2020
  • Co-Presenter, "Recent Updates in Employment-Related Immigration: Gazing into the Crystal Ball at the Year Ahead," Hinshaw's 25th Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Virtual Event, October 28, 2020
  • "Professional Visas: Overview of the H-1B and the Alternatives," American Immigration Lawyers Association Virtual Online Conference, July 21, 2020
  • "Immigration Options for International Students, Faculty, and Staff," University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, May 29, 2020
  • "Immigration Information Session on Permanent Residency not Requiring Labor Certification and Hot Topics in Immigration Law," Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, April 29, 2020
  • "Dealing with the Worst of Bureaucracy – When Red Tape Hinders Good-Faith Efforts to Normalize Status," American Immigration Lawyers Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, California, June 16, 2018
  • "Effects of the Trump Administration's Travel Ban," CBS Morning News, January 30, 2017
  • "Establishing the Employer-Employee Relationship in NIV Third-Party Placements," American Immigration Lawyers Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, June 23, 2016


  • "Visa Waiver Program and the Use of the B Visa for Athletes, Entertainers, and Artists," Immigration Options for Artists, Entertainers & Athletes, Third Edition, 2020
  • "Employment-Based Immigration: The First Three Preferences," Navigating the Fundamentals of Immigration Law, 2022 – 2023 Ed., 2020 – 2021 Ed., 2019 – 2020 Ed., 2018 – 2019 Ed., 2017 – 2018 Ed.
  • "RFEs & NOIDS: Templates vs. Special Unicorns," Immigration Practice Pointers: Tips for Handling Complex Cases, 2019 – 2020 Ed.
  • "Service Center Processing: U.S. Applications," Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Immigration Law, 2019 Ed.


Ian is a somewhat average bicyclist who has ridden across Iowa six times (and counting) in search of grilled corn, pork chops on a stick, and live music. In a former life, he played and coached rugby and has played on every continent except for Antarctica and South America. Ian is also an avid gardener, and he and his wife would welcome you to take some of their garden's chilis, tomatoes, or zucchini off of their hands.

Community/Civic Activities

  • American Immigration Council
    • Ambassador's Committee, Former Chair
    • Board of Trustees, Former Member


J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 1995

B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990