When individuals and families face immigration law challenges, their careers, futures and even personal safety can be at stake. And when businesses face ever-tightening immigration and employment law challenges and restrictions, one misstep can lead to thousands of dollars in state and federal fines as well as criminal liability. Immigration law is extraordinarily complex, and it changes constantly.
If you or your business faces immigration challenges, contact the immigration law firm of Chavez & Valko. From our offices in Dallas and Fort Worth, our lawyers are experienced in all aspects of immigration law, and have helped thousands of individuals, families and businesses. Among others, our clients range from individuals to families, and from small businesses to Fortune 100 company with over $8 billion in sales, and a sixth largest multi-national semiconductor company. We are committed to providing the best possible legal service to each client.
Do you have questions regarding working in the U.S., green cards, obtaining citizenship or petitioning to have your family join you here? Do you represent a business that seeks to hire foreign nationals for work in the U.S.? Contact us at 214-251-8011 (Dallas, TX), 817-332-1100 (Fort Worth, TX).
We have helped thousands of clients in each general area of immigration law, including, business immigration law, family immigration, and immigration litigation:
If your business needs foreign employees to work in the United States, we can work with the U.S. consulate in their home country to allow them to work in the U.S.
If your family lives in your country of origin and you would like them to be able to join you here, we can help with your petition. And if you are in deportation/removal proceedings, our experienced attorneys can represent you in court, as well as appeal unfavorable decisions.
For efficient and compassionate immigration services, contact the lawyers of Chavez & Valko. We offer low-charge initial consultations and are open on Saturdays for your convenience.
Nick Chavez is an expert in immigration and naturalization law. Specializing in helping individuals who are seeking solutions for obtaining lawful status or citizenship in the United States.
He is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has represented several notable immigrants including a Grammy-nominated artist, a racecar team member, and a highly accomplished muralist. He has written publications for local media and has been featured in radio and television shows to discuss developments in immigration law relevant to the community.
He is regularly invited to speak at lawyer conferences and community events on various immigration topics. He is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and is presently serving as a member of the AILA Amicus Curiae Committee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Nick is also a published cartoonist. He has published several legal cartoons over 20 law-related cartoons for national magazines such as The National Jurist and Immigration Law Today.
Certified Legal Specialties
Board Certified in Immigration & Nationality Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
U.S. Supreme Court, 2010
U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas, 2008
U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit, 2005
U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 2004
Supreme Court of Texas, 2001
University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas
Juris Doctor (JD) - 2001
University of Houston Immigration Clinic - 2000
University of Texas at El Paso
Bachelor of Arts (BA) - 1997
Honors: With Honors
Ethics and Practice Management. State Bar of Texas, Immigration Law 101 Conference. Houston, TX (2016).
Federal Case Law Update. UTCLE Annual Conference on Immigration and Nationality Law. Austin, TX (2015).
I-601 v. I-601A Waivers. State Bar of Texas, 13th Annual Advanced Immigration Law Course. Houston, TX (2015).
Whose Burden is it Anyway? AILA National Conference. Boston, MA (2014).
Federal Court and BIA Update. AILA National Conference. San Francisco, CA (2013).
Strategies in Complicated I-751 Cases. AILA National Conference. Nashville, TN (2012).
Hot Topics in Family-Based Adjustments. UTCLE Annual Conference on Immigration and Nationality Law. Austin, TX (2012).
Strategies for Success in Problematic Naturalization Cases. AILA Audio Seminar (2011).
A Mock USCIS I-130/I-485 Adjustment of Status Interview. UTCLE Annual Conference on Immigration and Nationality Law. Austin, TX (2011).
Yippee-Kai-Yay, This Is How It’s Done Before the BIA: Appellate and Motions Practice before the BIA. AILA Texas Chapter Spring Conference. Oklahoma City, OK (2011).
Review of I-751s in Removal Proceedings. AILA National Conference. Washington, D.C. (2010).
When Marriages Go South. AILA Texas Chapter Fall Conference. Playa de Carmen, Mexico (2010).
A Practical Guide to Removal Proceedings: A Two-Day Workshop and Training on Removal, Relief and Adjustment. UTCLE Immigration Law Conference. Dallas, TX (2010).
Unauthorized & Unethical Practices of Immigration Law – Concerns, Tips and How to Get Involved. AILA Texas Chapter Fall Conference. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (2008).
Removal Proceedings: The New Practice Rules. UTCLE Annual Conference on Immigration and Nationality Law. San Antonio, TX (2008).
Immigration Law & Employer Compliance, Sterling Institute CLE Seminar, Dallas, TX (2008).
Chavez, N., & Curiel, R., “The Art of the Initial Consultation in Immigration Practice,” Texas Bar CLE, Immigration Law 101 Course Book, Chapter 8, State Bar of Texas (2016).
Chavez, N., “Overview and Recent Updates on Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers,” Texas Bar CLE, 13th Annual Advanced Immigration Law Course Book, Chapter 8, State Bar of Texas (2015).
Chavez, N., Mendez, M., & Smith, P., “Whose Turn Is it?: Allocation of Burdens of Proof in Removal Proceedings,” Immigration Practice Pointers: Tips for Handling Complex Cases 503 (AILA 2014-15 Ed.).
Chavez, N., Crow, M., & Graves Jr., W., “Recent Developments and Strategic Considerations in § 212(h) Waiver Practice,” Immigration Practice Pointers: Tips for Handling Complex Cases 664 (AILA 2013-14 Ed.).
Burton, J., & Chavez, N., “Removal of Conditional Status in Immigration Court: Shifting Jurisdictions and Burdens,” Immigration Practice Pointers: Tips for Handling Complex Cases 138 (AILA 2012-13 Ed.).
Chavez, N., & Nayar, L., “Happily Ever After for an Unhappily Married Foreign National: Effects of Divorce on Spousal-Based Immigration Cases,” University of Texas at Austin School of Law CLE Immigration & Nationality Law Conference (2012).
Chavez, N., Haynes, J., & Smith, D., “I-751s in Removal Proceedings: Lessons on How to Stop Worrying and Love the Law,” Immigration Practice Pointers: Tips for Handling Complex Cases 586 (AILA 2010-11 Ed.).
Professional Associations and Memberships
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) (2003-Present)
AILA Amicus Curiae Committee (2011 to present)
Texas Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, Dallas, TX (2004 to present)
Immigration Legal Advisor, Mexican Consulate, Dallas, TX (2011 to present)
Texas Bar CLE Planning Committee, Austin, TX (2015)
University of Texas CLE Planning Committee, Austin, TX (2010-2012, 2015)
AILA-USCIS Dallas Field Office Liaison Committee (2007)
Immigration and Nationality Law Section, State Bar of Texas
Leadership Fort Worth (Class of 2011)
Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
Dallas Bar Association
An immigrant to this country, Mr. Valko is uniquely positioned to assist other foreign nationals as he has been through the entire immigration process himself. He has been a high school exchange student (J-1), college student (F-1) and a specialty occupation worker (H-1B). He also experienced the infamous wait for visas at US consulates abroad so he understands the importance of zealous representation.
Martin has been representing and providing immigration counsel to all types of clients from around the World – they are spouses, fiancé(e)s, parents and children of US citizens or lawful permanent residents. His employment-based clients are not only small businesses with a few employees but also a publicly traded US company with over $8 billion in sales and one of the largest global LED manufacturers. Martin has represented and counseled Fortune 500 and other multi-national companies, MLB and NFL trading card manufacturer, medical doctors and nurses, World Champion Track & Field athletes and Olympians, a professional race car team and driver, Grammy-nominated artists and several NHL players.
Martin's immigration practice includes permanent labor certifications (PERM), EB-1, EB-2, EB-3 immigrant visas, H-1B specialty occupation and H-2A and H-2B seasonal worker visas, E-3 visas, L-1 visas for intracompany transferees, E-1 and E-2 treaty investor and trader visas, F and J visas for foreign and exchange students, and O and P visas for extraordinary ability aliens, athletes and performers as well as TN visas for Canadians and Mexicans under the NAFTA treaty. Moreover, he assists his clients with securing I-212 and I-601 and I-601A waivers of inadmissibility before the US Citizenship and Immigration Services and US State Department (Consular practice), provides assistance with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of designated countries, and represents clients in removal proceedings and on appeals. Finally, Martin Valko is has been a frequent speaker at educational and business seminars on various immigration law topics. He is a former committee member of the AILA National USCIS Field Operations Liaison Committee (2013-2014), and current committee member of the AILA National USCIS Service Centers Liaison Committee (SCOPS/Texas Service Center).
In 2008, the Texas Bar Journal published a story about Martin Valko's representation of Slovak athletes which has even led him into the entertainment industry. He represented a legendary Slovak pop/rock singer Pavol Habera and his band TEAM in a copyright dispute with Sony Pictures Entertainment regarding the use of part of its song in the 2005 horror film Hostel. He was picked over an entertainment law firm that had represented Habera's Victoria Secret model spouse. He obtained an out-of-court settlement with Sony Pictures, and a written apology from the film's director, Eli Roth.
Born in Levoca, Slovakia, Martin spent his childhood traveling and living in several countries thanks to his father's life-long career as a diplomat and Ambassador for the Slovak Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia). In 1984, Martin Valko had the honor of meeting the late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
He is married to a 5-time Olympian (2-time Olympic silver medalist) and World Champion swimmer Martina Moravcova Valko, and they reside in Dallas, Texas, with their daughter Karolina and son Michal. Martin is fluent in Slovak, Czech, and English, and conversant in Russian.
Recent Legal Publications and Articles:
Advanced Topics in Conditional Permanent Residence (I-751) [Download in PDF]
Recent Legal Publications and Articles:
An article in Texas Bar Journal, March 2010
An article in Texas Bar Journal, October 2008
Areas of Practice
100% U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law
Supreme Court of Texas, 2003
District of Columbia, 2004
U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas, 2003
Southern Methodist University School of Law, Dallas, Texas
Master of Laws (LLM) - 2004
Law Review: Yearbook of International Financial and Economic Law, Notes Editor
Oklahoma City University School of Law, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Juris Doctor (JD) - 2002
Comenius University School of Law, Bratislava, Slovakia
Bachelor of Law (BL) - 2005
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Bachelor of Science (BS) - 1997
H-1B Specialy Occupation Visas & Alternatives for International Students, Southern Methodist University International Student and Scholar Services, November 2, 2016
Employer Strategies in H-1B and Immigrant Visa Processes for DFW Metroplex Accounting Firms, SMU Cox School of Business Accounting Department Advisory Board, April 22, 2016
H-1B Specialy Occupation Visas for Foreign Students, Southern Methodist University International Student and Scholar Services, March 9, 2016
H-1B Specialy Occupation Visas for Foreign Students, Southern Methodist University International Student and Scholar Services, October 13, 2015
Speaker, Immigration law and Classroom issues for Educators at the Teacher's Law School, American Board of Trial Advocates at the UNT Law School in Dallas, September 26, 2015
H-1B Specialy Occupation Visas for Foreign Students, Southern Methodist University International Student and Scholar Services, March 13, 2015
Speaker, Presidential Executive Action (DACA II, DAPA), Mexican Consulate General in Dallas, TX, December 2, 2014
H-1B Specialy Occupation Visas for Foreign Students, Southern Methodist University International Student and Scholar Services, October 23, 2014
H-1B Specialy Occupation Visas for Foreign Students, Southern Methodist University International Student and Scholar Services, March 20, 2014
Alternatives to H-1B Classification for Graduating Students, DFW-LINC Leading International Networking Clinic, March 10, 2014
H-1B Information Session at SMU, Southern Methodist University International Student and Scholar Services, October 11, 2013
Speaker, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Mexican Consulate in Dallas, September 8, 2012
Speaker, Nonimmigrant Derivative Beneficiaries and Household Members, 2012 AILA National Conference, June 13, 2012 - June 16, 2012
Speaker, Waivers of Inadmissibility (I-601; I-212), University of Texas CLE, October 20, 2011
Co-chair, AILA Spring 2011 Texas Chapter Conference, American Immigration Lawyers Association, April 14, 2011
Presenter, The I-9 Form: Employer's Compliance Responsibility, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, January 18, 2011
Presenter, Temporary and Permanent Work Visas, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, January 18, 2011
Speaker, "Overview of the Immigration Laws", Oklahoma City University School of Law, September 21, 2010
Speaker, "Overview of the Immigration Laws", The Fort Worth Breakfast Club, November 25, 2009
Speaker, AILA Fall 2009 TX/NM/OK Chapter CLE Conference (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico), American Immigration Lawyers Association, November 6, 2009 - November 7, 2009
Speaker, "Federal, State, and Immigration Consequences of Family Violence Convictions", CLE panel presenter for Tarrant County Mexican-American Bar Association, November 14, 2008
Presenter, "Know Your Rights" Videoseminar for respondents, American Immigration Lawyers Association, October 1, 2008
Speaker, "Employers' Ethical Obligations - Immigration Law & Employer Compliance", Sterling Institute CLE Seminar, February 15, 2008
Speaker, "No-Match" Regulations: Employers on "Constructive" Notice that Employee May be Working Illegally and How To Avoid Penalties, Hispanic Contractors Association of DFW, September 6, 2007
Professional Associations and Memberships
Board Member, National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library, January 27, 2015 - Present
Board Member, Consular Corps of Dallas/Fort Worth
Committee Member, AILA National USCIS Service Centers Liaison Committee (SCOPS/Texas Service Center), 2014 - 2015
Committee Member, AILA National USCIS Field Operations Liaison Committee (2013-2014), 2013 - 2014
Board Member, Council of International Leaders of the DFW International Community Alliance; Dallas World Affairs Council; Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce; Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; U.S.-Mexico Bar Association
State Bar of Texas; District of Columbia Bar; Dallas Bar Association; American Immigration Lawyers Association; Dallas and Texas Young Lawyers Associations