* Honorary Consul of the Slovak Republic to Texas
** Legal Advisor to the Mexican Consulate General in Dallas and the Embassy of Slovak Republic in the United States
An immigrant to this country, Mr. Valko is uniquely positioned to assist other foreign nationals as he has been through the entire immigration process himself. He has been a high school exchange student (J-1), college student (F-1) and a specialty occupation worker (H-1B). He also experienced the infamous wait for visas at US consulates abroad so he understands the importance of zealous representation.
Martin has been representing and providing immigration counsel to all types of clients from around the World – they are spouses, fiancé(e)s, parents and children of US citizens or lawful permanent residents. His employment-based clients are not only small businesses with a few employees but also a publicly traded US company with over $8 billion in sales and one of the largest global LED manufacturers. Martin has represented and counseled Fortune 500 and other multi-national companies, MLB and NFL trading card manufacturer, medical doctors and nurses, World Champion Track & Field athletes and Olympians, a professional race car team and driver, Grammy-nominated artists and several NHL players.
Martin's immigration practice includes permanent labor certifications (PERM), EB-1, EB-2, EB-3 immigrant visas, H-1B specialty occupation and H-2A and H-2B seasonal worker visas, E-3 visas, L-1 visas for intracompany transferees, E-1 and E-2 treaty investor and trader visas, F and J visas for foreign and exchange students, and O and P visas for extraordinary ability aliens, athletes and performers as well as TN visas for Canadians and Mexicans under the NAFTA treaty. Moreover, he assists his clients with securing I-212 and I-601 and I-601A waivers of inadmissibility before the US Citizenship and Immigration Services and US State Department (Consular practice), provides assistance with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of designated countries, and represents clients in removal proceedings and on appeals. Finally, Martin Valko is has been a frequent speaker at educational and business seminars on various immigration law topics. He is a former committee member of the AILA National USCIS Field Operations Liaison Committee (2013-2014), and current committee member of the AILA National USCIS Service Centers Liaison Committee (SCOPS/Texas Service Center).
In 2008, the Texas Bar Journal published a story about Martin Valko's representation of Slovak athletes which has even led him into the entertainment industry. He represented a legendary Slovak pop/rock singer Pavol Habera and his band TEAM in a copyright dispute with Sony Pictures Entertainment regarding the use of part of its song in the 2005 horror film Hostel. He was picked over an entertainment law firm that had represented Habera's Victoria Secret model spouse. He obtained an out-of-court settlement with Sony Pictures, and a written apology from the film's director, Eli Roth.
Born in Levoca, Slovakia, Martin spent his childhood traveling and living in several countries thanks to his father's life-long career as a diplomat and Ambassador for the Slovak Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia). In 1984, Martin Valko had the honor of meeting the late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
He is married to a 5-time Olympian (2-time Olympic silver medalist) and World Champion swimmer Martina Moravcova Valko, and they reside in Dallas, Texas, with their daughter Karolina and son Michal. Martin is fluent in Slovak, Czech, and English, and conversant in Russian.
Recent Legal Publications and Articles:
Advanced Topics in Conditional Permanent Residence (I-751) [Download in PDF]
Recent Legal Publications and Articles:
An article in Texas Bar Journal, March 2010
An article in Texas Bar Journal, October 2008
*Not licensed to practice law or represent clients in matters of State law in Louisiana; But Authorized by Federal Law to advise and represent clients only in Immigration matters in Louisiana and throughout the United States.
Areas of Practice
- 100% U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law
- Supreme Court of Texas, 2003
- District of Columbia, 2004
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas, 2003
- Southern Methodist University School of Law, Dallas, Texas
- Master of Laws (LLM) - 2004
- Law Review: Yearbook of International Financial and Economic Law, Notes Editor
- Oklahoma City University School of Law, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Juris Doctor (JD) - 2002
- Comenius University School of Law, Bratislava, Slovakia
- Bachelor of Law (BL) - 2005
- University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
- Bachelor of Science (BS) - 1997
- Major: Psychology
- H-1B Specialy Occupation Visas for Foreign Students, H-1B Presentation to Undergraduate Students at Southern Methodist University, October 23, 2014 - Present
- H-1B Specialy Occupation Visas for Foreign Students, H-1B Presentation to Graduate Students at Southern Methodist University, March 20, 2014 - Present
- Alternatives to H-1B Classification for Graduating Students, DFW-LINC Leading International Networking Clinic, March 10, 2014 - Present
- H-1B Information Session at SMU, H-1B Presentation to Undergraduate and Graduate Students at Southern Methodist University, October 11, 2013 - Present
- Speaker, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Mexican Consulate in Dallas, September 8, 2012
- Speaker, Nonimmigrant Derivative Beneficiaries and Household Members, 2012 AILA National Conference, June 13, 2012 - June 16, 2012
- Speaker, Waivers of Inadmissibility (I-601; I-212), University of Texas CLE, October 20, 2011
- Co-chair, AILA Spring 2011 Texas Chapter Conference, American Immigration Lawyers Association, April 14, 2011 - Present
- Presenter, The I-9 Form: Employer's Compliance Responsibility , Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, January 18, 2011
- Presenter, Temporary and Permanent Work Visas, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, January 18, 2011
- Speaker, "Overview of the Immigration Laws", Oklahoma City University School of Law, September 21, 2010
- Speaker, "Overview of the Immigration Laws", The Fort Worth Breakfast Club, November 25, 2009
- Speaker, AILA Fall 2009 TX/NM/OK Chapter CLE Conference (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico), American Immigration Lawyers Association, November 6, 2009 - November 7, 2009
- Speaker, "Federal, State, and Immigration Consequences of Family Violence Convictions", CLE panel presenter for Tarrant County Mexican-American Bar Association, November 14, 2008
- Presenter, "Know Your Rights" Videoseminar for respondents, American Immigration Lawyers Association, October 1, 2008
- Speaker, "Employers' Ethical Obligations - Immigration Law & Employer Compliance", Sterling Institute CLE Seminar, February 15, 2008
- Speaker, "No-Match" Regulations: Employers on "Constructive" Notice that Employee May be Working Illegally and How To Avoid Penalties, Hispanic Contractors Association of DFW, September 6, 2007
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Board Member, National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library, January 27, 2015 - Present
- Board Member, Consular Corps of Dallas/Fort Worth
- Committee Member, AILA National USCIS Service Centers Liaison Committee (SCOPS/Texas Service Center), 2014 - 2015
- Committee Member, AILA National USCIS Field Operations Liaison Committee (2013-2014), 2013 - 2014
- Board Member, Council of International Leaders of the DFW International Community Alliance; Dallas World Affairs Council; Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce; Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; U.S.-Mexico Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas; District of Columbia Bar; Dallas Bar Association; American Immigration Lawyers Association; Dallas and Texas Young Lawyers Associations