Services & Industries
J.D., Lewis & Clark Law School, 2011
B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1996
Bar & Court Admissions
Oregon State Bar
Melany represents clients of all sizes from a variety of industries, guiding employers and foreign nationals through the maze of immigration laws. She handles a wide range of nonimmigrant work visas, including specialty occupation categories, intracompany transfers, extraordinary ability in business and arts, internationally recognized artists and performers, religious workers, cultural exchange workers, and TN NAFTA status for Canadian and Mexican nationals. Additionally, Melany has extensive experience with PERM labor certifications, and immigrant visa petitions for multinational executives and managers, as well as individuals meeting the extraordinary ability threshold.
Melany’s most recent pro bono work has helped crime victims, with U visa petitions. She has also provided pro bono services to several organizations involved in immigration matters, including Surviving Spouses Against Deportation, and securing artists’ visas for participants in Portland-area arts events and festivals.
Melany’s interest in art is more than legal. She studied Byzantine mosaic techniques in Ravenna, Italy and has created and installed custom mosaics in tile and stained glass.
Community Involvement & Activities
2015–Present, Board Member
Business for Culture and the Arts
Art of Leadership Program 2016
American Bar Association
American Immigration Lawyers Association
Multnomah Bar Association
Oregon Women Lawyers
Chambers USA has recognized 28 Tonkon Torp attorneys in eight practice areas in its Chambers USA 2022 Guide.
On November 17, Tonkon Torp business immigration lawyers Alan Perkins, Turid Owren, Melina LaMorticella, and Melany Savitt hosted their Annual Immigration Update for employers.
Chambers USA has recognized 23 Tonkon Torp attorneys in seven practice areas in its Chambers USA 2021 guide.
On February 11, Business Immigration partners Alan Perkins and Melany Savitt hosted a webinar to help employers prepare for the upcoming H-1B Cap season, and to preview early changes to immigration made by the Biden administration.
On December 10, Tonkon Torp Business Immigration lawyers Alan Perkins, Turid Owren, Melina LaMorticella, and Melany Savitt hosted an encore presentation of their Annual Immigration Update for employers to review changes and challenges in business immigration during 2020, with a post-election look ahead to 2021.
By Melina LaMorticella, Turid Owren, Alan Perkins, and Melany Savitt – Registrations for the FY2023 H-1B quota must be submitted electronically to USCIS in March 2022. USCIS will designate a registration period shortly, which should be a minimum two week window. USCIS will charge a $10 fee per registration.
This week the Biden Administration issued a new Presidential Proclamation that will take effect on November 8, 2021, ending the U.S. COVID-19 travel restrictions that applied to most foreign national nonimmigrants traveling from Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.
Online registration for the 2023 DV Lottery (DV2023) opened Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 12:00 PM (noon) Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), and closes Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 12:00 PM (noon) Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5).
On May 3, 2021, as a result of litigation challenging processing delays, USCIS agreed that it will issue a policy to temporarily suspend biometrics requirements for I-539 applicants requesting an extension of stay or change of status for H-4, L-2, and E classifications.
The Biden Administration issued a Proclamation on April 30, 2021, adding India to the list of COVID-related travel bans.
Publications & Presentations
“What You Need to Know About FY2023 H-1B Cap Registration,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, January 2022
“Annual Immigration Update,” November 2021
“Business Immigration Update,” September 2020
“Trump Proclamation Suspends Entry of Immigrant Visa Applicants Into U.S. for 60 Days,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, April 2020
“H-1B Cap Season 2020,” American Immigration Lawyers Association, Oregon Chapter, February 2020
“U.S. Employment Options Post-Graduation for International Students,” Reed College, February 2020
“H-1B Cap Season 2020,” February 2020
“Worksite Enforcement Business Immigration Briefing,” September 2019
“Visas – Who Can Come? Who Can Stay?” Annual Labor & Employment Law Update, May 2019
“Advanced PERM and PERM-based I-140 issues,” NW Regional Immigration Law Conference, Seattle University, February 2019
“Business Immigration Review and 2019 Forecast Briefing,” December 2018
“Business Immigration for Startups,” November 2018
“L1A/L1B Petitions and Multinational Executives/Managers Immigrant Petitions: Overview, RFE Trends, & Practice Pointers,” Annual Northwest Regional Immigration Law Conference, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Seattle, March 2018
“H-1B Breakfast Briefing,” March 2018
“Worksite Enforcement, Compliance Best Practices & Forms I-9,” June 2017
“H-1B Cap Season 2017 and Trump Administration Executive Orders,” February 2017
“Business Immigration 2017,” February 2017
“Employment-Based Immigration,” American Immigration Lawyers Association, Oregon Chapter, May 2016
“H-1B Cap Subject Petitions,” NW Regional Immigration Law Conference, Seattle, March 2016
“L1 Visas: Overview, RFE Trends, & Practice Pointers,” Annual Northwest Regional Immigration Law Conference, American Immigration Lawyers Association, March 2015
“The Role of the Human Resource Department in Facilitating International Assignments,” Global Special Interest Group of PHRMA, February 2015
“Employment Based Immigration Update,” Labor & Employment Law Seminar, May 2013