Lawyer Monthly, an international legal news publication, has awarded Jamaican attorney Safiya Byars as the Immigration Lawyer of the Year in the United States for 2018 Safiya Odinakaolisa Byars is the founder of the Byars Firm, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her J.D from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2004 and her B.A from the University of Montevallo in 1999.
A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Byers traveled to the United States to attend college and was the first international student at the college in rural Alabama. Her experiences as an international student has given her first-hand knowledge of the challenges involved with navigating the US immigration process. In 2010 Byars opened the door to her acclaimed law firm.
She has utilized her personal experience in combination with her legal expertise to create a law firm that provides the knowledge and compassion required to meet the needs of immigrants. Byars has assisted thousands of immigrants since 2005, helping them to fulfill their dreams of living, working, and studying in the US. She has also served as an immigration legal advisor to the Liberian and Jamaican Honorary General Consul Offices in Atlanta, Georgia, helping to address the issues of importance to immigrant communities.
Her legal work and contributions to the immigrant and legal communities were recognized in 2017 when she was named one of Georgia’s Best Immigration Lawyers by Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite. She has contributed her leadership skills to the Atlanta Jamaican Association, the Jamaican Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta, immigration workshops, and is a 2016 graduate of the Leadership Institute of the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers. Byars is also a mentor to new lawyers and a Girl Scouts troop leader.
In addition to her practice, Byars serves as Of Counsel for the Cansino Blanchette Law Firm, Vice-Chair of the Immigration Section of the State Bar of Georgia and Chair of the Family Immigration Continuing Legal Education Seminar at the State Bar of Georgia. Her work also included writing a column and articles on immigration issues for the premier Jamaican community website Jamaicans.com.
The Byars Firm provides legal representation to clients in the US and to those who live overseas, specializing in family immigration law, which includes permanent residence and United States citizenship for foreign family members as well as temporary visas for fiancés, students, and tourists. In addition to achieving permanent immigration status and temporary visas for its clients, Byars’ firm also represents clients in deportation and other special immigration programs related to the US government.