Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

EB1 Green Card at 23 – Jen, Film Editor

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Tell me about where you are from and a little bit about your career and what you do

Hi! I’m Jen – most recently I’m from New Zealand, but I am originally from England and definitely do still enjoy a cup of tea. (Earl Grey, please.) I’ve spent the past few years working in film.

Currently I’m working as an animation coordinator at the Academy Award Winning Weta Digital – and before that I worked in the editorial department for Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” trilogy and Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s (of Flight of the Conchords ilk) vampire mockumentary, “What We Do in the Shadows”.

Have you ever lived in the US before? If so, under what circumstances? If not, what aroused your interest in a move to the US?

I’ve not lived in the US before.

The pragmatic answer for what sparked my interest in coming to the States was I felt like I’d already achieved all I could in my career here in New Zealand – I’d spend my day working on The Hobbit, then in the evening I’d hop over and work with comedians I’m a huge fan of for What We Do in the Shadows.

I know a lot more film work is coming to New Zealand, which is very exciting to see – so I hope that answer doesn’t sound too arrogant. The long and short of it though, is it was time for an adventure: so let’s go with this more whimsical answer! All of the books I was reading at the time had authors who were living or had lived in San Francisco – (Alan Watts, “The Wisdom of Insecurity”, Ed Catmull, “Creativity Inc”). I followed those signs and hopped on a plane to the land of technical hippies in pursuit of adventure.

As soon as my feet hit that San Franciscan pavement, I immediately felt at home. I interviewed around at a few places, and whilst employers were interested, none were willing to offer a job with the pesky employment sponsorship visa conundrum. This is how I decided to petition for a visa for myself!*

*(And I’m far too spiky of a person who’s still working on her vulnerability issues to even consider hoping to fall in love for the marriage option!)

What was your experience with the EB1 petition process? Did you ever consider giving up? What was your motivation to keep pressing on?

I don’t think giving up was an option. I was very thankful to have Chris and his team guide me through the legalese, and I was happy to slightly fulfill one of my childhood dreams of being a lawyer by crafting some of the arguments myself.

At times I was definitely frustrated with the time frame of putting the case together – but that’s just impatient youth talking, and looking back, considering what was achieved, it couldn’t have gone any quicker or smoother. (Thank you!)

What kind of relationship did/do you have Chris (and his team)?

A very positive relationship! I was always able to send through extra thoughts and queries to Chris and his team without doubt. All dealings I had with the team were very thoughtful, polite and prompt – thank you.

What were you doing when you found out you were approved? What was your immediate reaction? How did you celebrate?

Because of the time difference between New Zealand and the States, I was sleeping when Leslee, Lindsey, Kosta and Chris called through with the news – but it was a fantastic phone-call to groggily wake up to. (And definitely a dream come true, in more ways than one!)

Obviously, the reaction was a big “YAY!” – and I celebrated by booking my flight back.

What are you looking forward to most about moving to the US?

New adventures and new opportunities! I feel it’s definitely going to benefit my career – and I’m looking forward to not having a restricted Netflix selection, too.

What will you miss the most about living in New Zealand?

Kiwi ingenuity and hospitality – many times a stranger has given me a lift home from the bus stop when it’s been raining. I’m not saying that won’t happen in the US, but, I’ll probably need to be a little more wary of events and motives. Kiwis are absolutely lovely people – and I know I’ll always be welcome back.

What advice would you give to any immigrant considering an EB1 or who is already in the process?

Keep on keeping on! I know, tautologies like that are always terribly frustrating – but if you’re in the EB1 process, that’s really all you can do. Don’t underestimate yourself and your case – with a bit of thought, and with Chris and his team’s help on the case, you too can go on an adventure.


“VERY EXCITING NEWS – I have my Green Card in my hands!! The FedEx parcel arrived safe and sound this morning.
Thank you so much for all of your hard work on my case – I really, really appreciate it! 🙂
I’m so exciting to be (legally) pursuing this new life!
Again – a huge THANK YOU from the very bottom of my heart.
American best,

We are so pleased to have helped Jen secure her Green Card!

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US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
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