Lawyer for American Expats in China

The Immigration Law Office of L. Ford Banister, II is dedicated to and focused on the practice of U.S. immigration law. I help people obtain visas to the U.S. for tourism, business, medical treatment, childbirth, marriage and permanent residency through investment. Operating from contact points in New York and in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland, my law office is a full service immigration law firm with the ability to meet all of your immigration needs. Having a presence in the centrally located city of Shenzhen allows me to personally serve my clients in China and throughout Asia.

In addition to my immigration practice, I am pleased to serve as the lawyer for American expats in China. I came to China in 2011 with the intention of staying for perhaps a year while working as an English teacher. I stayed for seven months, in Suzhou and Shenzhen, and then left China to travel through Asia. I returned to Shenzhen in early 2012 and, after sojourns in Guangzhou and Chengdu, continue to live here. I am a member of the Chinese family by marriage, am well settled here and have no immediate plans to return to the U.S.

There is a thriving community of American immigrants in China. We, from a nation of immigrants, do not often think of ourselves as an immigrant community but are indeed. Many Americans have come to China and settled here under similar circumstances as my own. Many have started businesses or are engaged in trade. South China is now at the geographic center of the world economy. With the Chinese economy continuing to boom in spite of ever present prognostications of a slowdown, opportunity abounds. China remains a country where fortunes can be made. Part of the business of law and being the lawyer for American expats in China is introducing people with similar interests. I am always pleased to meet new people and to put people in contact with others who may cooperate to achieve their common goals.

As the lawyer for American expats in China, I am available for consultation and representation on matters involving U.S. law. This includes but is not limited to business formation, specifically incorporation in New York, drafting and negotiation of contracts, due diligence, collection of monies owed, protection of intellectual property and defense of trademark infringement suits. I maintain an open door policy for consultations. I give everyone who contacts me a free fifteen minute consultation. Solutions are not usually offered during the consultation unless the matter is extremely simple. The purpose of the consultation is for me to determine what your question is and if your matter is something that I can or want to handle. If it is outside my practice areas, I may refer you to another American attorney who can help you.

There are some matters which I cannot or have chosen not to handle. I refer questions of Chinese law to Chinese lawyers. I do not handle tax matters. Family law matters, divorce and child custody, are creatures of state law. While I could advise on family law matters in New York specifically, I have chosen not to involve myself in this type of case. There are tough and dedicated lawyers who specialize in this area. I prefer to help people build things and to achieve positive goals. Please do not contact me regarding family law matters as I have simply chosen to exclude these types of legal issues from my practice and my life.

Likewise, if you have an unresolved criminal matter in the U.S., the only thing I can tell you is that you need to return home and deal with it. Eventually, it will catch up with you. The stress of worry will negatively affect your quality of life until it is resolved. Please consider also that it is very inconsiderate to our community for you to remain abroad under these circumstances. For very serious matters, I may be able to help arrange a surrender to U.S. authorities.  

I am pleased to support the community as the lawyer for American expats in China. Your success is my own. Please feel free to contact me for a free limited consultation via the firm’s website at

Best of luck and life in the Middle Kingdom.

L. Ford Banister, II
U.S. Immigration and Consular Processing Attorney