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Melanie C. Walker


Melanie Walker assists clients throughout the world with their business- and family-based temporary and permanent immigration status needs, dedicating a significant portion of her practice to the EB-5 immigrant investor category.

Professional Biography


As part of the Firm's Global Immigration Group, Ms. Walker provides strategic guidance and immigration counseling services to companies and their employees. These services include business immigration through investment and trade (E-1/E-2) and corresponding registration of companies with Consulates and Embassies abroad; labor certifications/PERM (including Special Handling and Supervised Recruitment cases); nonimmigrant and permanent resident petitions for religious workers (R-1/I-360); Blanket L and individual international transferee programs (L-1), including new office L-1 petitions; specialty occupations (H-1B, TN, E-3); extraordinary/exceptional workers (O-1, EB-1 and EB-2) and multinational manager petitions (EB-1); naturalization applications; immigrant and nonimmigrant visa processing; and other consular representations. She has also assisted companies with developing training programs to enable temporary employment for J-1 interns and researchers or for STEM graduates seeking extensions for work authorization under revised regulations governing STEM OPT status.

Ms. Walker's work with individual clients includes not only employment-related filings, but numerous petitions for family-based immigration benefits through marriage or adoption, including experience obtaining permanent residency for qualified individuals under provisions of VAWA, and as victims of criminal activity through the U-visa classification. She has advocated on behalf of her clients to achieve resolution on unduly lengthy filings, including interacting with governmental liaisons and in some cases, pursuing mandamus actions.

Ms. Walker is a skilled EB-5 immigration lawyer who has significant experience coordinating with other professionals in the disciplines of securities law, real estate, tax, health care, and corporate finance, to develop immigration-compliant offering documents and has represented investors, developers and regional centers with their I-924 and related filings. She has represented clients in successfully obtaining regional center and project approvals, and overcoming complex USCIS requests for evidence challenging both project-related and individual source of funds aspects of filings originated by others.

She works closely with client representatives domestically and overseas to prepare clear and comprehensive funding documentation and has a wide foundation of diverse I-526 and I-829 filing experience.

As a member of the Advocacy Department, Ms. Walker has represented clients in various types of litigation where she has aided in the defense of employment discrimination and ERISA claims, and assisted in responding to charges filed with the EEOC.

Prior to joining Baker Donelson, Ms. Walker was a law clerk to Chief Judge Curtis L. Collier in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. During her clerkship, she provided extensive research and drafting support on decisions resolving various federal and state employment claims under FMLA, FLSA, ERISA, Title VII, Title VI and THRA. Ms. Walker worked as an immigration paralegal before attending law school and cultivated considerable experience serving clients with their employment and family immigration issues during her years in this position.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • Recipient – Baker Donelson Chattanooga Pro Bono Award (2019)
  • Recognized as a "Top Author" on Immigration in the 2017 edition of JD Supra's Readers' Choice Awards
  • Recognized as the 2015 Firm Associate of the Year
  • Member – American Bar Association
  • Member – Georgia Bar Association
  • Member – Tennessee Bar Association
  • Member – American Immigration Lawyers Association
Speaking Engagements
  • Panelist – "International Forum: Options for Students After Graduation," Lee University, Diversity Council (April 2012)

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  • University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., 2009, magna cum laude
    • Order of the Coif
  • Roosevelt University, B.F.A. in Acting, 1994


  • Tennessee, 2011
  • Georgia, 2009
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia 

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