Elissa Noujaim Pinto

Bloomfield Hills
pinto@butzel.com | P 248 258 2612 | F 248 258 1439

Ms. Pinto is a shareholder practicing in Butzel Long's Bloomfield Hills office. She concentrates her practice on immigration law.

Over the last fourteen years, Ms. Pinto has focused her immigration practice on business immigration, and she has gained extensive experience representing local, national and international companies in obtaining authorization for foreign national employees to work temporarily and permanently in the United States, through various work-authorized visa classifications (including H-1B, TN, L-1 and O-1) and employment-based permanent residence processes (including Multinational Manager/Executive, Extraordinary Ability Alien and Outstanding Researcher and PERM Alien Labor Certifications).

In the last ten years she has successfully guided clients and their foreign national employees through the U.S. Department of Labor's PERM Alien Labor Certification Process and through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Immigrant Petition and Application for Lawful Permanent Residency Process. Ms. Pinto has also assisted clients in responding to complex Requests for Evidence and in preparing government appeals and motions to reconsider for client matters. She has assisted new and start-up companies in the United States in the hiring and retention of foreign nationals, including the transfer of their executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge personnel. She has also assisted companies and their employees with business travels or transfers from related entities in other countries, with the applicable outbound visa processes.

Ms. Pinto regularly provides comprehensive guidance to business clients with respect to their foreign national workforce, including short and long-term strategy and planning, immigration compliance (such as I-9s, H-1B Public Access Files and PERM Audit Files), as well as immigration-related issues that arise on a daily basis. She has assisted clients with internal audits and provides useful and practical training on how to conduct self-audits to ensure compliance with ever-evolving and complex immigration laws and policies. Ms. Pinto has also advised on the drafting and establishment of immigration policies and practices for companies, in conjunction with human resources personnel and management input. She regularly provides training that is tailored to company workforce and foreign employment policies and practices, including strategy and best-practice reviews to streamline the immigration process for human resources staff, management, and their foreign national employees.

Ms. Pinto also has substantial experience with the J-1 Intern and Trainee, H-3 Trainee and B-1 Business Visitor visa processes, providing relevant guidance regarding permissible activities in these visa classifications. She has represented individuals eligible for family-based permanent residence in the United States (including I-751 removal of conditions on permanent residency) as well as U.S. Citizenship.

Prior to joining Butzel Long, Ms. Pinto worked as an immigration attorney at two other Detroit law firms and a boutique immigration law firm in Farmington Hills. Ms. Pinto also worked as a Dean of Students in the Upper School of the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan where she also served as a member of the Alumnae Board.

Ms. Pinto is a member of the firm's Recruiting Committee, Women's Leadership Committee, and Foreign Internship Committee. She has presented at Butzel Long's Business Immigration Seminars and Annual Labor, Employment and Immigration Law Forums on various business immigration topics.

Ms. Pinto is a graduate of the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (B.A. in Political Science, 1998) and Wayne State University Law School (J.D., 2001). During her undergraduate studies, she studied international law and French in Paris, France. While attending law school, Ms. Pinto interned at the U.S. Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review at the Immigration Court in Detroit, where she assisted three Immigration Judges in researching and drafting for decisions and observed numerous immigration proceedings. She also interned at the Archdiocese of Detroit's Immigration Legal Services. Ms. Pinto was a member of Wayne State University Law School's Moot Court, and she advanced to the quarter final round of the Arthur Neef Moot Court Competition. She also served at Wayne State Law School's Free Legal Aid Clinic.

Ms. Pinto is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Federal Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan.  She was named a 2018 Best Lawyers in America (Immigration).

Ms. Pinto is fluent in Portuguese and also speaks French and Spanish.

  • Wayne State University Law School Law School 2001, J.D.
  • University of Michigan Undergraduate 1998, B.A.

Best Lawyers in America, Immigration Law, 2018

Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Star Immigration, 2013-2016

Hour Detroit Magazine, Top Women Attorneys, Rising Star - Immigration Law: 2014; 2015

  • Michigan

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

American Bar Association - International Law Section

Federal Bar Association

French-American Chamber of Commerce

State Bar of Michigan - International Law Section

State Bar of Michigan - Labor and Employment Section

  • Obtained re-entry permits to maintain permanent residence status in the United States for individuals transferred abroad
  • Assisted with preservation of residency for naturalization purposes for individuals transferred overseas
  • Represented employers in USCIS administrative site visit
  • Represented employers in investigations conducted by the USDOL concerning H-1B Labor Condition Application public access file including benching and wage and hour issues.
  • Represented clients with applications of waiver of inadmissibility due to past legal history or immigration history.
  • Represented clients seeking LPR status based on Cuban Adjustment Act
  • Represented clients in obtaining visas at various US Embassies and Consulates abroad
  • Conducted in-house training regarding preparing and maintaining H-1B public access files and Labor Certification Applications
  • Represented clients at Port of Entry to process admission to US under NAFTA
  • Preparation of J-1 Exchange Visitor and H-3 Trainee applications and petitions for employees of foreign companies with U.S. facilities
  • Advised employers regarding maintenance of employer/employee relationship when foreign national is placed offsite
  • Consulted with clients regarding special permanent resident card interviews
  • Prepared J-1 waivers of 2 year foreign residency requirement based on no-objection letters, interested government agencies, hardship and other grounds
  • Analyzed effect of corporate changes, including mergers and acquisitions, on foreign national’s immigration status.
  • Assisted family members in obtaining appropriate fianc
  • Analyzed eligibility for naturalization through parents or grandparents and prepare necessary documentation
  • Obtained re-entry permit to maintain permanent residency for individuals transferred overseas
  • Conducted internal audits of I-9 forms for clients
  • Assisted employers in obtaining appropriate nonimmigrant classification (TN, H-1B, H-3, L-1A, L-1B, O-1, E-1/E-2, P) and immigrant classification (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3 and EB-5).
  • Obtained approval of Immigration Petition for Alien of Extraordinary Ability for various professionals including engineers, scientists, corporate executives, professional athletes, entertainers, coaches, and trainers.
  • Obtained removal of conditions on permanent residency