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

Financial Requirements to Get a DV Lottery Green Card
Applicants must overcome the public charge ground of inadmissibility in order to get permanent residency after winning the "green card lottery."
How to Get a Certificate of U.S. Naturalization
People who become naturalized citizens will automatically be given a certificate of naturalization - Form N-550 or N-570 - once they are sworn in as U.S. citizens.
Who Is Eligible to Become a Naturalized U.S. Citizen?
Becoming a citizen is open only to certain people, most of whom have already held a U.S. green card, learned English, and can meet various other criteria.
How to Apply for a U.S. Work Permit (EAD)
A step-by-step explanation of how to file Form I-765 for a work permit.
How Much Financial Support Immigrants Need for a Family-Based Green Card
If you’re immigrating to the United States through a family member, or through a job where your own relatives submitted the visa petition or own at least 5% of the petitioning company, then your petitioner will also have to show that a willingness and ability to act as your financial sponsor.
Can an Undocumented Immigrant Marry a U.S. Citizen?
There's no law preventing an undocumented (illegal) immigrant from marrying a U.S. citizen, but getting a green card (permanent residence) is not quite so simple.
How to Get a B-1 or B-2 Visitor Visa
Temporary visitors to the United States usually need to obtain an entry visa, and the B visas are most common. Here is an overview on the process to obtain one.
Sibling Petition for U.S. Permanent Residency (Green Card)
U.S. citizens with foreign-born brothers or sisters may obtain green cards (lawful permanent residence) for them and their spouses and children, but only after a long wait.
Who Is Eligible for a Family-Based Green Card?
U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can petition for only a limited list of family members. Find out who's on the list.
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.