Nationally recognized, Steven H. Garfinkel has practiced business immigration law since 1984.

Steve led the immigration and visa practice as a partner in one of North Carolina’s largest law firms from 1989 to 1997. On September 1, 1997, he established Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm, now one of the largest law firms in the Southeastern U.S. dedicated exclusively to the practice of U.S. Immigration Law.

Steve has been rated by his peers with an AV® Peer Review Rating and is listed in the International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers.


  • Speaker, "Immigration Law Overview," University of North Carolina Charlotte, April 2016, April 2017 and April 2018
  • Speaker, "Immigration Law Primer," York County of Economic Development, 2015
  • Speaker, "U.S. Immigration Law Update,” Lincoln Economic Development Association, 2015
  • Speaker, "The Current (Sad) Status of U.S. Immigration Policy and Law,” Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm Quarterly Webinar, 2015
  • Speaker, "Immigration Special,” 5th HR International - Challenges and Best Practice Conference, April 2015
  • Speaker, "Beyond OPT,” University of North Carolina Charlotte, 2015
  • Speaker, "Anticipating Disruption: Preparing for 2014,” Great Charlotte Biz, 2013
  • Speaker, "Immigration Reform- What, If, When?" AdvantageWest Economic Developers Advisor, 2013
  • Speaker, "Immigration Reform- What, If, When?" Lake Norman Regional Economic Development
  • Speaker, "Immigration Law 101,” Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm Quarterly Webinar, 2013
  • Speaker, "Business Immigration Law Briefing – Current State of the Law & Likely Changes,” Charlotte World Trade Association, 2013
  • Speaker, "Immigration Update: Post-election Review,” The Employer’s Association, 2009
  • Speaker, "Immigration Compliance Issues,” Sterling Education Services, 2009
  • Speaker, "Immigration Update – New I-9 Form, Social Security Mismatch Letters & ICE Worksite Enforcement Actions,” The Employers, Association, 2008
  • Speaker, "Immigration Law Overview & Update,” FSU Center for Human Resource Management
  • Speaker, "Immigration Law Overview,” The North Carolina College & University Professional Association for Human Resources, 2008
  • Speaker, "Employment Law Update in North Carolina,” Sterling Education Services, Inc., 2007
  • Speaker, "Immigration & Employment Law; Hiring & Retaining Foreign & Domestic Workers,” Sterling Education Services, Inc., 2006
  • Speaker, "Immigration and Visa Law Summary,” NC Association of Health Care Recruiters, 2006
  • Speaker, "Immigration Compliance Today and in the Future,” The Employer’s Association, 2006
  • Speaker, "Practical Immigration Law 2004,” Wake Forest University, 2004

Honors and Awards

  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating
  • Business North Carolina (BNC) Legal Elite, 2020 – 24
  • Chambers USA, 2021 – 24
  • 2017 James E. Cross Jr. Leadership Award, North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization
  • NC Super Lawyers, 2008 – 24
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, 2008 – 24
  • Top 25: Charlotte Super Lawyers, 2013 – 14
  • Top 100: North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2013 – 16
  • Who’s Who Legal, Corporate Immigration Lawyers, 2008 – 24

Published Works

  • Achieving the Extraordinary: The O-1 Visa, Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm White Paper, September, 2016
  • The Current (Sad) Status of U.S. Immigration Policy and Law, Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm White Paper, June, 2015
  • Corporate Immigration Policies: A Survey, Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm White Paper, April, 2014
  • State Licensure Requirements—An Obstacle to H-1B Classification, AILA Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, 2004-05 Ed., 2004
  • B-1 Business Visitors and TN Nonimmigrants, AILA Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook , 2003-04 Ed., 2003

Bar Admissions

  • North Carolina, 1984


  • Wake Forest University School of Law, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (J.D. - 1984)
  • Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Bachelor's Degree, cum laude - 1981)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
  • Charlotte Regional Partnership
  • German American Chamber of Commerce
  • Mayor’s Immigration Integration Task Force, 2014-15
  • North Carolina Bar Association
  • North Carolina State Bar
  • Swiss American Chamber of Commerce
  • The Employers Association

Areas of Practice