Lead Business Immigration Attorney

I counsel and assist employers in getting the right visas for their international employees; in developing policies that work well with a multi-national workforce and in otherwise counseling clients on compliance with challenging immigration-related laws and regulations.

My team and I love what we do – working with employers and interacting with individuals from around the globe makes every day interesting and a growth opportunity. That ernest enjoyment and commitment shines through in our client relationships.

Call me to talk about having a relationship with your Immigration Team that is both expert and meaningful!


Immigration, including (i) employer compliance (policy development, I-9 Process, E-Verify, FAR, etc.), (ii) compliance for colleges and universities (SEVIS), (iii) employment based temporary visas (H-1Bs, L-1A/Bs, Es, etc.), (iv) employment based permanent residency (PERM Labor Certification, EB1s, EB2 NIWs, etc.), and (v) investment-based immigration (E-2 and EB-5s).


Debra founded Dowd & Company PC to deliver immigration services premised on a strong foundation of education, knowledge, experience, technology and service. Debra is recognized as a leader in immigration, having been named amongst Virginia's Legal Elite and as one of Virginia's Super Lawyers. In 2002, she was recognized as the Commonwealth's top immigration lawyer.

The Team focuses on representing Employers and Individuals in the following areas of Immigration Law:

  • Employer Counseling and Compliance
  • Employment Based-Immigration
  • Investment Based Immigration
  • Family-Based Immigration
  • Citizenship

With today's global workforce and changing immigration laws, employers – both international and domestic – rely on Debra's experience to develop and implement a smooth immigration plan for key workers and their families and to speed international mergers, acquisitions and contracts. 

Honor, Awards and Appointments

2002 to Present

  • Special Counsel to the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Appointed by the Office of the Attorney General
  • Influential Women of Virginia
  • Virginia's Legal Elite
  • Virginia Super Lawyers
  • Virginia's Top Immigration Lawyer (2002)
  • Special Counsel to the Commonwealth of Virginia in immigration related litigation brought against several of Virginia's Universities and Colleges regarding their admission and enrollment policies for unlawfully present foreign national students.


  • Focus Group by the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia to deliberate the impact of immigration on Virginia's Court System.
  • Committee Member, appointed by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to review and revise Virginia's In-State Tuition Domicile Guidelines.

Legal Experience

  • Dowd & Company PC 2014 to Present
  • LeClairRyan 2007 to 2015 
  • Kaufman and Canoles 2002 – 2007 
  • LeClairRyan 1991 – 2001 
  • Hirschler Fleischer 1988 – 1991

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • Virginia State Bar

Community Service

  • Venture Forum, Board
  • Leadership Metro Richmond, Member (2005)
  • Virginia Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Alliance, Inc., Executive Committee
  • Executive Dialogue (Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce)

Recent Blog Posts


  • "I highly recommend this Law Firm..."

    This, Law Firm is nothing but caring kind considerate and professional. The concerns and timely response to the application process for immigration purposes is second to none. I highly recommend this Law Firm to anyone seeking immigration assistance highly recommended.
  • "Amazing job"

    Attorney Debra and her team did an amazing job in few of my immigration related cases. They follow transparent process and do proper planning and execution along with keeping us informed. The team including Debra are always a phone call or email away, ready to answer any questions. I highly recom...
  • "Best experience with Dowd and Company..."

    Best experience with Dowd and Company for any person aspiring to get permanent residency in USA. Debra Dowd is a very straightforward, down to earth person who will only tell you the correct legal position and she makes no false promises. At all times you know where you stand and what your chance...
  • Izaak Walton Recommends Debra Dowd

    "Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter."
  • "Always there for me when I needed them"

    I was fortunate to have Dowd & Company handle my immigration case through my employer. They did everything diligently and meticulously, my green card process went smoothly and got approved without any issues. Keep in mind that USCIS processing time vary on case basis. Dowd and company did a great...
  • "I highly recommend this place to those looking for any immigration service."

    This whole team is very best and amazing. Debra helped with my Eb1b I-140 (Biological Scientist) and I-485 petitions. Got my GC within a year of my application. They are experienced, were always responsive, and answered my doubts in their busy schedule. Both my employer and myself are very happy ...