My Immigration Story with Naveen Rahman Bhora – Lessons in Compassion

May 27, 2022 | Community

This May, WR Immigration is celebrating the outstanding contributions of our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) partners.  Partner Naveen Rahman Bhora quickly stands out as a leader in the field, having cultivated an international reputation for her expertise in U.S. immigration matters.  Her accomplishments include scores of publications on advanced immigration topics, presentations at local and national immigration forums, and leadership roles on several AILA committees.

As a mother of twins and a Bangladeshi immigrant, Naveen also brings a unique perspective and skillset to the field of immigration.  Naveen’s motto is “immigration is not a transaction, it’s a relationship.”  Her practice is driven by a profound empathy for clients stemming from her early exposure to humanitarian work, as well as a passion for guiding individuals through complex legal processes. Naveen’s professional and academic experience is undeniably impressive, and her skillset produces optimal results for clients.  At the end of the day, Naveen gets satisfaction knowing she makes a positive impact in people’s lives and for Naveen, that is the heart of immigration work.  We are proud to share Naveen’s inspiring immigration journey.

More About Naveen’s Immigration Story 

Labor shortages and U.S. immigration

Immigrants play a key role in the economy by offsetting labor shortages.  This is as true today as it was fifty years ago when Naveen’s father, Mahmood, immigrated to the United States.  As a petroleum engineer for Shell in Bangladesh, Mahmood was able to self-sponsor for his green card during the OPEC energy crisis, which created high demand for petroleum engineers in the United States. A self-sponsored visa means that an individual can apply for a green card without involving an employer in a process.  Naveen’s father moved to the United States ahead of his wife and two daughters, and it took four months for their family to reunite in Texas.

The courage of immigrants

When Naveen’s father moved across the world to work as a petroleum engineer, Naveen’s mother was left with a daunting task: settling their estate in Bangladesh, tending to two young children, and preparing to move across the world to a country she had never even visited. “Immigrating to a foreign country always requires courage,” says Naveen. “I’m in awe of my mother who navigated this transition with two very young children and her joyful, intrepid spirit.” Naveen remembers the immigration process as being an adventure for her family, especially for her father who saw the move as an exciting opportunity to advance his career globally.  Fortunately, the immigration process went very smoothly for Naveen’s family, and they very much enjoyed life in the United States. “I always saw myself as an American kid growing up even after I moved to Saudi Arabia.”

Naveen is aware that not everyone has such a smooth immigration journey however, and she understands that the immigration process can place stress on some families. “This is especially true after the travel bans and pandemic-related challenges of recent years,” she says. Naveen’s personal experience motivates Naveen and her like-minded team to create a seamless immigration journey for clients. “I want immigration to be a positive, joyful experience for my clients.”

Global immigration experience

“Home” is not a single place for Naveen who grew up in Bangladesh, Texas, California, and Saudi Arabia.  Her global travels helped Naveen to develop strong multicultural competency, including the ability to forge strong relationships with people of different cultures, religions, and ethnic backgrounds.  Naveen uses her skills in multicultural competency daily, not only as an immigration attorney but also as co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility (DEIA) committee at WR.

A role model in human rights…

One of Naveen’s role models growing up was her Aunt Ishrat. Ishrat worked as a sociology professor at Dhaka University in Bangladesh and dedicated much of her life to advocating for women’s rights, victims of trafficking and helping female sex workers. Naveen’s close relationship with her aunt led Naveen to cultivate both an interest in human rights and a deep empathy for those navigating complex economic, social, and humanitarian processes.  This interest inspired Naveen to study international relations at the University of Pennsylvania, a field which introduced her to global immigration issues. 

Naveen uses her skills in immigration law to continue to practice human rights work. Most recently, Naveen has found it rewarding to assist Afghans with humanitarian parole, asylum and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program.  The SIV program was developed by Congress to protect allies of the U.S. government during regime change and humanitarian crisis.  Since 2021, when the United States decided to remove its armed forces, Afghanistan has faced a precipitous increase in political instability, food shortages, and violence. In particular, Afghan interpreters, translators, and other allied workers have become high-profile targets for executions and beheadings under the Taliban, a fundamentalist terrorist group who has usurped control of the country. During the crisis, WR filed humanitarian parole applications to allow former Afghan employees of U.S. media companies to immigrate to the United States.

Motherhood and legal practice

Naveen is not just an attorney but also a wife and mother – to twins!  As a women leader in the field, Naveen advocates for the expansion of flexible work opportunities so that mothers can continue their careers without feeling that they are missing out on raising children.  Naveen acknowledges that one of the positive changes that took place during the covid-19 pandemic was the widespread implementation of work from home policies which allow employees better proximity to family life. Naveen continues to advocate and mentor mothers in the legal field who desire to balance their career and family lives.

About Naveen Rahman Bhora

Naveen Rahman Bhora is a partner at WR Immigration and manages the firm’s New York office. She represents a wide range of clients in US immigration matters, from individuals and small and emerging businesses to multinational corporations and major hospitals and universities. Naveen has developed a particular expertise in visas for intra-company transferees, people with extraordinary ability and outstanding researcher/professor matters. She is an active member of the California Bar, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the International Medical Graduate Taskforce.  She is also co-chair of WR Immigration’s DEIA Committee.

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