Nelson A. Castillo is an experienced immigration attorney who provides representation to multinational and domestic corporations, their employees and private individuals in immigration matters before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review and U.S. Consulates abroad.
Mr. Castillo has advised companies and their employees in the preparation of nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions, labor certification and condition applications, and adjustment of status and consular processing applications. He has assisted corporate clients with Form I-9/IRCA and H-IB compliance issues and helped them avoid audits.
Mr. Castillo has also completed family-based petitions and naturalization, asylum and temporary protected status applications. He has also successfully represented clients in appeals to the Administrative Appeals Office.
Mr. Castillo is the author of La Tarjeta Verde: Cómo obtener la residencia permanente en los Estados Unidos (Green Card: How to Obtain Permanent Residence in the United States, Penguin 2013).
A lecturer on immigration law, Mr. Castillo has presented at local and national events organized by groups such as the American Bar Association, the American Law Institute, the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Due to his legal expertise, he has been quoted in national media outlets.
Among print publications: New York Law Journal, Los Angeles Daily Journal, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Denver Post, Hispanic Business, EFE, La Opinión, Reforma, La Prensa Gráfica, El Diario de Hoy and Poder. In television: CNN en Español, MundoFox, Azteca America, NY1 Noticias, NTN 24, Telemundo and Univision. In radio: Which Way, L.A.?, El Show de Fernando Espuelas, Casos y cosas de la Collins, Neida Sandoval Show, Noticiero Caracol Fin de Semana, La ventana con Pedro Sevcec, Radio Martis’ Tempranito de los sábados and Radio Cadena YSKL Noticias.
With a mission to educate the Latino immigrant community, Mr. Castillo has produced and hosted immigration television segments for Univision 34, Noticias MundoFox and NY1 Noticias, and started Inmigración TV, a YouTube channel giving Spanish speakers on-demand access to immigration information.
Aware that many immigrants fall prey to notario fraud, he launched Inmigración Hoy, a Spanish-language immigration blog that provides accurate and easy to understand information in Spanish on immigration laws, immigrant rights, and links to consumer protection hotlines and websites. He also writes Consulta Migratoria®, a weekly immigration column for impreMedia.
A member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), he is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Mr. Castillo is a former National President and past Chair of the Immigration Law Committee of the Hispanic National Bar Association. He is also a past Co-Chair of the AILA Southern California Chapter’s Consular Affairs and Business Advocacy Liaison Committees.
Additionally, he is a past Member of the American Bar Association’s Presidential Advisory Council on Diversity in the Profession; the New York State Bar Association’s Committees on Diversity, Leadership Development, and Membership, International Law and Practice Section Committee on Immigration and Nationality, House of Delegates and Real Property Law Section Executive Committee, the Executive Council of the Network of Bar Leaders, Inc., and the Board of Directors of the Hispanic National Bar Foundation.
Despite his numerous professional commitments, Mr. Castillo has devoted hundreds of hours of pro bono service to persons in need and conducted immigration advocacy in Washington, D.C., visiting congressional representatives and marching for immigration reform.
Mr. Castillo has volunteered as a pro bono attorney for Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), CARECEN, and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He has trained employees at the Consulate General of El Salvador in Los Angeles on the proper way to re-register immigrants on the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, resulting in over 15,000 individuals receiving assistance. Additionally, Mr. Castillo has provided free legal consultations to more than 3,000 immigrants at various consulates in California, New Jersey and New York.
During his extensive pro bono service, Mr. Castillo uncovered widespread immigration related employer discrimination and wrongful denial of government benefits of TPS holders. He represented several of these individuals, successfully helping them maintain or regain their jobs and obtaining restitution of much needed benefits. His efforts led to changing governmental policy and to federal investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Mr. Castillo is also a past President of the Westlake South Neighborhood Council (WSNC), which represents the interests of over 30,000 people. Under Mr. Castillo’s leadership, the WSNC won an L.A. City 2015 Empower LA Award.
Mr. Castillo is listed in Who’s Who in America® and Who’s Who in American Law®. He was named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States in 2006 by Hispanic Business magazine. Mr. Castillo has been honored by various groups including the New York County Lawyers’ Association, the New York City Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, St. John’s University School of Law, the New York Immigration Coalition, and the Consulates of EI Salvador in Los Angeles and Long Island for his enthusiastic commitment and contributions to the legal profession and pro bono service to persons in need.
Admitted to practice in the State of New York, Mr. Castillo is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law where he was a Dean’s Fellow. He received his B.S. in Finance, cum laude, from St. John’s University College of Business Administration.
Additionally, he is a graduate of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility/Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program on Corporate Development, the Project Interchange’s Latino Leaders Program in Israel, and the Fundación Carolina/Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo’s Young Hispanic Leaders Program in Spain.
Originally from El Salvador, Mr. Castillo is a native Spanish speaker.
State(s) of Attorney Licensing
Year(s) of Admission
Legal Specialist Certification(s)
St. John's University School of Law
Law School Year of Graduation
St. John's University
Professional Work Experience (1)
Principal, Castillo Law Firm (7 years)
Professional Work Experience (2)
Partner, Ivener & Fullmer LLP (15 months)
Community Service / Bar Membership (1)
Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association (14 years)
Community Service / Bar Membership (2)
Past National President and Member, Hispanic National Bar Association (14 years)
Community Service / Bar Membership (3)
Pro-Bono Attorney, Kids in Need of Defense (6 years)