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Get to Know Series: Esther Oh, Senior Business Immigration Paralegal


How much do you really know about your immigration team?

Esther Oh is a Senior Business Immigration Paralegal with Bashyam Shah. Esther is a maestro when it comes to PERM and H-1Bs. You can thank Esther for her impressive immigration strategy which has benefitted our clients many times over.

Esther received her B.S. in Family & Consumer Science from the University of Georgia and her ABA paralegal certificate. Esther joined Bashyam Shah in March 2007. Prior to Bashyam Shah, she worked at several leading immigration law firms in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

In continuation of our Get to Know series, we asked Esther a few questions.  We want you to get to know Esther, an integral part of our immigration team.

Here’s what Esther has to say:

Where are you from? 

I was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to the US when I was 4.

Why did you become a paralegal and go into immigration law?

I originally wanted to pursue a Master’s in Child Psychology, but decided to take a break and make some money before going back to school. While looking for jobs, I ended up getting my paralegal certification after seeing many open paralegal/legal assistant positions and believing it was something I would enjoy.  While my intention was to go back and get my masters, after landing my first official job as an Immigration Paralegal I haven’t looked back since.  Experiencing a little piece of the immigrant’s journey through my parents has pushed my efforts in helping others with their own journey.  Immigration has been rewarding and challenging, but worth it knowing that I had a little piece in making our client’s US dreams a reality.  Also, I really enjoy helping others and being organized – keys to being a good paralegal.   

What is your favorite vacation spot and why?

My favorite vacation spot is any location when I am with my husband, family and/or friends.  It has never really been about the place; it is always who I am with that makes it a favorite vacation spot.

What is your favorite movie?

‘Footloose’ and ‘Remember the Titans’ – I can have these on repeat all the time. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I am starting to enjoy gardening. I had little appreciation for my parent’s garden growing up, but now I understand the hard work they put into it and the satisfaction of eating the fruits and vegetables of that labor.  Also, the joy to be able to share food with others is so rewarding.

What are three things still on your bucket list?

  1. Spend at least 6 months in Korea.
  2. Go skydiving.
  3. Visit Iceland during Northern Lights season.

Who do you admire and why?

The person I admire the most is also the person that can drive me the craziest, my MOM. Among the beautiful qualities that my mother beholds are: her humility, sacrifice, kindness and resourcefulness. These drive me to be a better daughter, wife, sister, aunt, friend and worker.

Best mom advice: “Speak lovingly, tenderly and kindly to one another”. 

Funniest mom advice: “If the car in front of you brakes, you brake too.” HA! This was the first thing she said to me when I started learning to drive. 

What are three things everyone should know about immigration?

  1. Immigration is great and needed;
  2. Speak to an immigration attorney – There is a lot of good and bad information about immigration policies and procedures out there. Although there can be common experiences with the process, please know that you and your situation are unique.  Speaking to an attorney can empower you to make and apply the best decisions for your future;
  3. Know the terms of your immigration status – There are regulations in place for each type of status, learn those limitations and don’t do anything that violate the terms. What may seem minor could have major effects for your current and future immigration benefits. 

Esther’s mom said it best, “speak lovingly, tenderly, and kindly to one another.” Immigration, now more than ever, is a stressful situation for everyone involved. There are many factors to take into account, and, ultimately, we are working with people’s lives and their families. We must remember in these times that we all could use a little more kindness and patience with ourselves and with one another. Esther is an excellent example of kindness and patience at our office with our clients and her co-workers.

Always remembering to be kind and to speak kindly to one another, we remember to be patient and understanding of the stress that our clients experience whenever they are having to deal with USCIS and the U.S. government. Because it is stressful! We are here for our clients to provide guidance and strategy, and to work support them during one of the most contentious times of their lives.

We hope you got to know an important member of our team, Esther Oh, a little better.

Stay tuned for more on the Get to Know series. We will be introducing a different Bashyam Shah team member every month!

For the latest immigration information, tips, and interesting stories, visit our Facebook page – Bashyam Shah, and subscribe to our newsletter.

Live long, prosper, and continue to reach beyond borders!