Our Attorneys

Leaf, Ferreira, de Araujo, LLC is Proud of its Strong Legal Team

The firm represents individuals globally, with language capacities in Spanish, Portuguese, and French. The firm possesses familiarity with U.S. Consulates around the world and in-depth
expertise with U.S. immigration law, including daily focus on the United States of Citizenship and Immigration Services, as it is integrated into the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Maralyn D. Leaf
Rodrigo L. de Araujo Santos
Tadeu Ferreira
Alyssa Giordano
Isht Vatsa
Annelise Sander

Maralyn D. Leaf

Biography

Maralyn Leaf is a renowned immigration attorney with in-depth experience in business immigration, from basic “Green Card” petitions to the more innovative and complex National Interest and Extraordinary Ability petitions. Ms. Leaf has a long history, spanning decades, with the EB-5 program. She has successfully represented international investors seeking permanent residence through investment. She has achieved approval for “stand-alone” EB-5s, as well as with the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program. Her experience includes approval of BirchLEAF Miami 31, LLC, one of the first successful regional centers in South Florida, which provided substantial financing in the construction of the University of Miami Life Science and Technology Park.

 

Ms. Leaf provides a unique blend of professional excellence, assertiveness and proven ability to manage and bring to fruition the most intricate and challenging immigration matters. She has performed extensive work for Latin American, European and Asian executives. She brings to any organization or individual strong case management capabilities, making possible the development of creative and sound strategies that expedite matters for individuals planning to immigrate to the United States.

 

Ms. Leaf provides a unique blend of professional excellence, assertiveness and proven ability to manage and bring to fruition the most intricate and challenging immigration matters. She has performed extensive work for Latin American, European and Asian executives. She brings to any organization or individual strong case management capabilities, making possible the development of creative and sound strategies that expedite matters for individuals planning to immigrate to the United States.

Rodrigo L. de Araujo Santos

Biography

Rodrigo L. de Araujo Santos, Esq. is a partner of Leaf, Ferreira, de Araujo, LLC. Since joining the firm as an attorney in 2010, Mr. de Araujo has focused his practice exclusively on the fields of foreign investment and self-initiated immigration. He has successfully advised and overseen the legal arrangements of affluent families, business associations, and top professionals seeking to invest and attain permanent residence in the United States, particularly through EB-1A (Extraordinary Ability Alien), EB-2 (National Interest Waiver), and EB-5 (Investment) immigration petitions.

 

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. de Araujo served as a contract specialist for a Fortune 100 Telecommunication company in the United States and practiced complex commercial litigation with leading law firms in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Mr. de Araujo holds a Juris Doctor (J.D) degree from the University of Miami School of Law and a Bachelor of Law (LL.B.) degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. He is admitted to practice in New York, Florida, and the Federative Republic of Brazil. Mr. de Araujo is fluent in English, Portuguese, French, and Spanish.

Tadeu Ferreira

Biography

Jose Tadeu C. Ferreira, Esq. is a partner of Leaf, Ferreira, de Araujo LLC, a boutique law firm focused on the highly specialized fields of foreign investment and self-initiated immigration.

 

Mr. Ferreira has extensive experience with immigrant and non-immigrant categories including EB-1A (Extraordinary Ability Alien) and EB-5 (Investment) immigration petitions, as well as E-2 (Treaty Investors), L-1A (Multinational Manager/Executive) and H-1B (Specialty Occupation), among others. Mr. Ferreira has advised multinational corporations, successful entrepreneurs and leading executives on immigration strategy. Today, Mr. Ferreira represents leading banks, telecommunications companies, consulting firms and affluent families. Mr. Ferreira holds a Juris Doctor from Florida International University. While at Florida International University, Mr. Ferreira was selected to participate in the Honors Internship Program at the Securities & Exchange Commission. Having exceeded expectations at the SEC, Mr. Ferreira’s internship was extended. He was given further responsibilities, including participating in the SEC investigations, oversight of EB-5 Regional Centers, as well as participation in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations. Mr. Ferreira is admitted to practice law in the State of Florida. Mr. Ferreira is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

Alyssa Giordano

Biography

Alyssa is an Associate Attorney at Leaf, Ferreira, de Araujo LLC. She focuses her practice on employment- and investment-based visa matters. Alyssa represents individuals, distinguished professionals, small businesses, and multinational corporations across numerous and diverse industries. She has repeated successes in achieving lawful permanent residence for her clients through EB-1 and EB-2 immigrant visa petitions, as well as temporary employment through O-1A, E-2, H-1B, and L-1A nonimmigrant visa petitions.

Alyssa holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law. While in law school, she served as a Senator and Historian on the Student Bar Association. She was also a Research Assistant for Mr. Edgardo Rotman, an international lecturer, author, and visiting scholar at Harvard Law School. Prior to joining the firm, Alyssa completed a judicial externship with the Honorable Jose M. Rodriguez of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.

EDUCATION

University of Miami School of Law | J.D., 2017 
University of Miami | B.A., 2013, Summa Cum Laude 

PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS / MEMBERSHIPS

Bar Admissions: New York, Florida

The Miami Association of Realtors

 

Isht Vatsa

Biography

Isht Vatsa, Esq. centers his practice on seeking lawful permanent residence for distinguished professionals through complex Extraordinary Ability, National Interest Waiver and Investor-based visa petitions. These distinguished professionals perform critical roles for leading global corporations and have sustained international acclaim as individuals at the top of their field. Isht’s practice also includes business-related non-immigrant visa applications and petitions.

 

Prior to joining the firm, Isht served as an Assistant State Attorney (ASA) with the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office. During his time as an ASA, Isht prosecuted criminal cases before the county and circuit courts of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida. He is well-versed in all steps of the criminal adjudication process.

 

While in law school, Isht served as a Superior Court Intern and a Massachusetts Rule 3:03 Certified Legal Intern with the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office. He interned with the New England Innocence Project (NEIP) conducting postconviction review. As a student practitioner with the Boston College Civil Litigation Clinic, he assisted clients with landlord-tenant, family law, and Social Security matters. He participated in the Moot Court and Mock Trial competitions.

 

EDUCATION

Boston College Law School | J.D., 2017                                University of Florida | B.A., Cum Laude, 2013 

PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS / MEMBERSHIPS

Bar Admissions: Florida, 2017             

Annelise Sander

Biography

Annelise is a licensed attorney in the U.S. and Brazil. She has experience in Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions, Taxation, Asset Recovery, and International Arbitration. At Leaf, Ferreira, de Araujo LLC., Annelise applies her corporate expertise to building strong investor and exceptional talent visa cases, including National Interest Waivers (NIW), Extraordinary and Exceptional Ability (EB1, EB2, EB3, PERMs, O), Transfer of Executive and Managers (EB1C & Ls), and Investor Visas (EB5 & E).

During her time at University of Miami, she was a member of the International Moot Court Board. Due to her active participation in moot court competitions she was nominated to the Order of the Barristers — a National Honorary Organization. Every year the University of Miami nominates 10 candidates to the Order as a recognition and award for their oral advocacy and brief writing skills. Annelise was the only student competing in her second language, English, to receive the award that year.

While at UNICESUMAR, she was a registered researcher at the CNPq – Brazilian National Consul of Scientific and Technological Development and a law clerk at the Brazilian Treasury Attorney-General’s Office. Annelise also possesses a Specialization degree in Business Law, with a concentration in Tax Law, from the IPE – Parana Institute of Education. She has published 19 technical papers and articles in Law Reviews and Law Journals.

EDUCATION

University of Miami School of Law | JD, 2017, cum laude 
University of Miami School of Law | LL.M. in International Arbitration, 2017, honors 
Instituto Paranaense de Ensino | Specialization, 2013

UNICESUMAR | LL.B., 2012

PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS / MEMBERSHIPS

Bar Admissions: Florida, 2017; Brazil, 2012

Memberships: AILA-American Immigration Lawyers Association; Young ICCA-International Council for Commercial Arbitration; Young ICSID-International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes; CBAr-Comitê Brasileiro de Arbitragem; OAB/PR-Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil, Seção do Paraná

Published material:

Case Report. Murphy Exploration and Production Company v. Ecuador – PCA Case No. AA434 (2012-16) – UNCITRAL – Final Award – 10 February 2017. TDM – Transnational Dispute Management.

Aspectos práticos e teóricos da prescrição intercorrente nos processos executivos fiscais. Revista de Direito Público, Londrina, V. 7, N. 3, P. 125-146, Set/Dez 2012.

 

Languages

Portuguese

Firm Overview

Leaf, Ferreira, de Araujo, LLC represents domestic and multinational corporations and other organizations which employ foreign nationals on a temporary or permanent basis. The firm also represents talented individuals and business professionals, as well as entrepreneurs and investors who have decided to start a business, buy a business, franchise or explore business opportunities in this country.

 

Leaf, Ferreira, de Araujo, LLC tailors its representation for each client by addressing specific factors and needs. Based on our in-depth knowledge of U.S. immigration laws, practices and policies, our firm evaluates clients’ goals and expectations, and facilitates an appropriate course of action in order to file the appropriate petition and/or application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or pertinent U.S. Consulate.

 

Our firm enjoys a superlative record of successfully analyzing individuals’ credentials and formulating the appropriate strategy to expeditiously realize their ambition to enter the United States and contribute valued skills to the economy as a non-immigrant. Moreover, our informed judgment affords us the ability to evaluate the best process to achieve permanent residency for those wishing for immigrant status. (“Green Card”)