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

Process to Get a Green Card Under VAWA
If you're eligible to self-petition for permanent residency (green card) under the Violence Against Women Act, here's the process you'll need to go through.
Lost I-130 Approval? Use USCIS's I-824 Application for Action to Get New Copy
I-824 is used to request USCIS to take particular action with a pending I-130 petition or other application.
Filing an N-400 Application: Timing Issues
How many years of permanent residence you need, and the 90-day rule for early submission.
Financial Support You'll Need to Apply 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.
Options When Adjustment of Status (to Permanent Resident) Is Denied
If USCIS denies your adjustment of status application for a green card, or permanent residency, you might have some options to proceed with your case.
EB-3 Visa Processing Time and Backlog
Here's the wait to expect when applying for an EB-3 green card.
Staying in the U.S. With the I-601A Provisional Waiver of Inadmissibility
Immigrant visa applicants can request a waiver of unlawful presence in order to receive a green card.
U.S. Permanent Resident vs. U.S. Citizen: What's the Difference?
If you've been a green card holder long enough, you can become a U.S. citizen. What are the benefits?
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.
Adjustment of Status (I-485) Fees and Lawyer Costs
If you're applying for a green card (permanent resident status) in the U.S., expect to pay at least two thousand dollars in filing and attorney's fees.