Najia S. Khalid

Biography

Najia is a business immigration lawyer who has dedicated her career to helping U.S. and international employers secure work authorization on behalf of individuals with specialized skills needed to grow and thrive. An immigrant herself, Najia leads Wiggin and Dana’s Immigration and Nationality Law and Compliance Practice Group and is the firm’s first attorney focusing entirely on immigration law. She also serves as Chair of the firm's Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Committee.

Najia represents a wide range of employers in their business immigration and compliance efforts, including national and multinational companies, emerging companies, and franchisors, as well as research, educational, healthcare, and religious institutions. She serves clients in financial services, life sciences, technology, manufacturing, utilities, retail, defense, the arts, and more. Najia has recently helped several clients prove that their desired analysts, executives, marketing experts, and young careerists are essential, uniquely skilled “professionals” qualified for the positions for which they are being recruited.

Employers often consult Najia to clarify complex business immigration requirements in a dynamic enforcement environment. Described as diligent, thorough, and responsive, Najia has a strong acumen for short-term and long-term business immigration strategy from a compliance lens, including issues around: the establishment of new business entities; immigration sponsorship policies; the review of mergers, acquisitions, and other changes in corporate structure; and the international transfer of students, faculty, and employees. She represents clients in connection with employment-based nonimmigrant and immigrant visa petitions and applications, labor certification applications, family-based petitions, adjustment of status and citizenship applications, and immigration interviews, and related government requests for evidence and audits. She also regularly counsels employers with respect to I-9 compliance and E-Verify, immigration status-related employment tax, and international trade compliance issues, and global immigration procedures.

A sought-after speaker on business immigration topics, Najia has been a featured panelist at the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference. She has been asked to present client workshops and to participate in student outreach events through PowerBridgeNY and FWD.org and at educational institutions such as New York University and Columbia University. She often speaks to minority law students about challenges in the legal profession and presents at Wiggin and Dana's in-house HR Circle events and its Lunch & Learn Visa Workshop Series.

Najia is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, has served as a speaker at the annual Immigration Law Conference, and serves on various committees for its local New York and Connecticut Chapters, including being Founder and Chair of the Connecticut Corporate Practice Committee. She is a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation. Najia is also a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, serving on its Awards Committee, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and Immigration Law Committee; the South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut, where she is on the Board of Directors; the South Asian Bar Association of New York; and the Muslim Bar Association of New York.

Najia obtained her law degree from Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University (formerly Pace University School of Law). While in law school, Najia devoted significant time to the Immigration Justice Clinic and represented indigent immigrants in complex removal proceedings, including immigration raid detainees, women with claims under the Violence Against Women Act, and asylees seeking immigration relief in the United States. She continues similar work on a pro bono basis. She was also employed by Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP prior to attending and during law school, where she gained significant experience in business immigration matters that laid the foundation for her current practice.

Najia obtained her degree from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. She is fluent in Hindi and Urdu.

Education

  • Pace University School of Law  (J.D., 2009)
    • Honor Board; Honor Roll
  • University of Michigan  (B.A., 2003)
    • University Honors

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut
  • New York

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
    • Annual Conference Speaker
  • AILA New York Chapter
    • Has served as a member of the following committees:  Advocacy & Media, Corporate Practice, I-9 & Workplace Compliance, Law Student Liaison, and Pro Bono
  • AILA Connecticut Chapter
    • Founder and Chair, Corporate Practice Committee, serving since 2014
  • Connecticut Bar Association
    • Awards Committee since 2015, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (2017-2018), and Immigration Law Committee since 2017
  • Connecticut Bar Foundation James W. Cooper Fellow
  • Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity Mentor
  • Muslim Bar Association of New York
  • Practicing Attorneys for Law Students Program, Inc. (PALS) Mentor
  • South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut (SABAC)
    • Board of Directors since 2015, Banquet Committee Co-chair 2016, Community Service Co-chair since 2017
  • South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY)
  • Women's Business Development Council Volunteer

Languages

  • Hindi
  • Urdu