Honolulu Immigration Lawyer, Sherry Nohara —
Noha Immigration Law Founder, Managing Attorney, and Client Advocate
Sherry has been a lawyer since 1996, and she has exclusively practiced immigration law for over 21 years.
What Sherry enjoys most from her practice is educating her clients on their options, so that they can make informed choices and feel confident that those choices are the best ones for them. Most of Sherry’s clientele consist of families working toward lawful immigration status for their loved ones, individuals seeking U.S. citizenship, employers navigating the complex web of I-9 compliance, and individuals in need of deportation/removal defense in proceedings before the Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Her goal is two-fold – (i) as a former federal prosecutor, to offer clients an “insider’s look” into the rules and practices that drive immigration enforcement and, in the process, to empower them as she helps them navigate their paths toward lawful immigration and compliance; and (ii) to do number (i) with integrity, respect, and empathy for her clients, in keeping with the values Sherry learned growing up in Hawaii.
Founder & Managing Attorney
Education & Recognition
JD, University of California College of Law, San Francisco (1996)
BA in Economics, minor in Spanish from University of Hawaii (1993)
Recipient of Director's Award, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under President Barrack Obama.
Vice Chair, Hawaii Chapter of AILA, American Immigration Lawyers Association
Global Mobility Specialist with the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council
Freelance Writer on Immigration for Nolo Press
Volunteer, Boy Scout Troop 33 Manoa, Aloha Council, BSA
She began her career as a civil litigator, but in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Sherry took a job as an Assistant District Counsel in San Francisco with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (now known as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or “ICE”, an agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security).
Sherry would stay with ICE for over 18 years and, as a Senior Attorney, worked closely on marriage and visa fraud cases with the Fraud Detection and National Security Unit of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. She also trained attorneys, agents, and officers alike on criminal grounds of removability (also known as “crimmigration”), U.S. citizenship claims, denaturalization, and border searches. She was the primary author of a brief that resulted in a published decision, Matter of Valenzuela Gallardo, 25 I&N Dec. (BIA 2012), relating to the crime of accessory to a felony. Sherry has litigated thousands of cases before the Immigration Court, many of them in a fast-paced detained setting and involving criminal charges of removability. She also served as Team Leader for several years for the agency’s Worksite Enforcement Unit in San Francisco and Honolulu. Sherry has reviewed and negotiated hundreds of Notices of Intent to Fine for alleged Form I-9 violations, and provided on-site legal advice during two worksite operations. She successfully litigated one of the largest I-9 violation cases of its time against an events-planning company in the Bay Area, United States v. Hartmann Studios, Inc. 11 OCAHO no. 1255 (July 15, 2015). In 2016, Sherry received a Director’s Award from Sara Saldaña, former Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under President Barrack Obama.
In 2020, Sherry left public legal service for a career in private immigration law, so that she could fulfill a long-time passion of helping others make sense of confusing immigration rules and policies.
Sherry was born in Honolulu, and raised in Honolulu, Kona, Waipahu, and Kaneohe. She graduated from Iolani School in 1989, and obtained her undergraduate degree with highest honors from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in 1993, where she was a Presidential Scholar and majored in Economics and minored in Spanish. She completed a summer study abroad in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand, through the Pacific Asian Management Institute.
Sherry obtained her law degree in 1996 from the University of California College of Law, San Francisco. She is active with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”), the preeminent national association of immigration attorneys, where she has served on the Online Course Review Committee and the Client Resources Committee. Sherry currently serves as Vice Chair of the Hawaii Chapter of AILA. She is a Global Mobility Specialist with the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council, and a freelance writer on immigration topics with Nolo Press. During her free time, Sherry volunteers with her son’s Boy Scouts Troop, works in her garden, and enjoys watching the Golden State Warriors. She can speak and write Spanish at an intermediate level.