Ilona Bray


Ilona Bray, J.D. is an award-winning author and legal editor at Nolo, specializing in real estate, immigration law and nonprofit fundraising. 

Educational background. Ilona received her law degree and a Master's degree in East Asian (Chinese) Studies from the University of Washington. She is a member of the Washington State Bar. Her undergraduate degree is from Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in philosophy. She actually viewed law school as an extension of her philosophy studies, with its focus on ethics, fundamental rights, and how people can get along in society—of particular concern to her as the daughter of a WWII refugee. 

Working background. Ilona has practiced law in corporate and nonprofit settings as well as in solo practice, where she represented immigrant clients seeking asylum, family-based visas, and more. She has also volunteered extensively, including a six-month fellowship at Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle and a six-month internship at Amnesty International in London. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers' Association (AILA), the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). 

Working at Nolo. Ilona started at Nolo in 2000 as a legal editor. Since then, she has not only continued to edit other writers' books and online articles, but also has taken an active role in planning and authoring new Nolo books. Many of these have become consistent Nolo bestsellers and award-winners, among them Effective Fundraising for NonprofitsNolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, and Selling Your House.  Ilona particularly enjoys interviewing people and weaving their stories into her books. She also won the 2012 "Best Blog" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE). 

Spare time. (What spare time?) Ilona enjoys swimming, gardening (though she's still looking for a vegetable the squirrels won't eat every last morsel of), cooking gluten- and sugar-free meals, and writing children's books.

Articles By Ilona Bray

How to Speed Up the Green Card Application Process
Learn how to monitor your application and keep it moving through the system.
How Long Will the K-1 Fiance Visa Take to Process?
If you're filing an I-129F petition for a foreign fiance visa, you can expect the whole process to take at least eight months and possibly well over a year. Here's why.
What to Expect at the Green Card Medical Exam
If you're applying for permanent residence in the U.S. (a green card) you'll need to submit to a medical exam and be free of diseases of public health significance. Here's what happens.
Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident - FAQ
Answers to common questions about the immigration rules and procedures concerning Adjustment of Status.
Filing an I-601 Application for a Waiver in Your Immigration Case
By using Form I-601, certain foreign citizens who are ineligible to immigrate to the United States because they are "inadmissible" can request a waiver (forgiveness) of inadmissibility.
What Is the Public Charge Rule?
How do immigration officials predict someone's future financial situation?
U.S. Citizen Marrying a Foreigner or Immigrant - FAQs
As a U.S. citizen or green card holder, you're free to marry a foreign national or non-citizen immigrant - but you'll need to consider immigration laws to move your new spouse to the U.S. permanently.
Forms & Documents Needed for a B-1 or B-2 Visitor Visa
In order to apply for a B-1 (tourist) or B-2 (business) visitor visa, you will need to complete a few forms and submit supporting documents.
Who Can File an I-360 Green Card Petition?
The I-360 application is available to select groups of immigrants as a means of gaining permanent resident status in the U.S. Here is an overview of the various eligible groups.
How to File an I-360 "Special Immigrant" or VAWA Green Card Petition
Petition for a green card as a special immigrant (visa category EB-4) or VAWA protected battered family member.