Safiya Byars was born raised in Kingston Jamaica. She is a graduate of Lannaman’s Preparatory School and Saint Andrews High School for Girls. After completing high school she moved to Alabama to attend college. Safiya has lived in Georgia since 2004 and in Gwinnet County since 2007.
Faced with being the first international student at her college Safiya realized then that she wanted to learn how to maintain her international student visa and transition to permanent immigration status. Based on her personal experience Safiya realized that there was a need for legal counsel that was truly knowledgeable and compassionate in assisting immigrants with their immigration needs and other legal issues that would surface if they decided to live in the United States.
Safiya now represents individuals, married couples, partners, and families as they make their immigration decisions, adoption decisions, end-of life decisions, as well as estate representatives in probate matters. Together Safiya and her clients work to create a smooth transition-with regards to moving to the United States, adopting a child, or making end-of life decisions and leaving and protecting a legacy for loved ones. Safiya has a record of consistently achieving desired results on complex matters that affect immigrants. Clients who complete their cases with Safiya are free to consult with her periodically by telephone or email regarding a range of personal or legal issues. In this way, Safiya has become a trusted legal advisor on a variety of immigration, family and financial issues.
Safiya received her Bachelor of Arts Degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Montevallo. Thereafter she attended the University of Alabama School of Law on scholarship where she received her Juris Doctor Degree in 2004. During her academic career, she received numerous honors, including membership in Phi Theta Kappa, All Alabama Academic Team, Golden Key International Honor Society and listings on the National Dean’s List and Honors list. At the completion of her law degree Safiya received the prestigious Dean’s Award of Community Service and the Order of the Good Samaritan Award in recognition of her community service and pro bono legal service to the residents of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Following law school Safiya was admitted into the State Bar of Georgia. She is licensed to practice in all Georgia State and Superior Courts, Supreme Court of Georgia, Federal Immigration Courts, and United States Consulate offices worldwide. Safiya is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, and the Immigration Section of the State Bar of Georgia. In 2017 Safiya was recognized by the legal community as one of Georgia’s Best Lawyers in Immigration Law by Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite.
In addition to her practice Safiya also devotes significant time to serving the legal profession and her community. Currently Safiya serves as the Vice-Chair of the Immigration Section for the State Bar of Georgia and the annual Chair of the Family Immigration Continuing Legal Education Program that is offered to Immigration Attorneys, court personnel, and immigration paralegals. Safiya is a frequent invited speaker on immigration, adoption, and estate planning workshops for community organizations, immigrant organizations, churches, and private groups both in Atlanta, Georgia and Alabama. Outside of work, Safiya enjoys traveling, collecting art and spending time with her family.
Speaking Engagements & Features
- Online Jamaican Community-www.jamaicans.com-“Online Immigration Articles”-2013 to 2016
- State Bar of Georgia – ” Family Immigration Continuing Legal Education Seminar– 2013 to 2018
- State Bar of Georgia-“Group Mentoring for New Lawyers”-2016-2018
- Caribbean Association of Georgia and Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce – “Citizenship and Immigration Clinic-April 2017
- Caribbean American Advancement Foundation-“Politics, Immigration and Economics”- March 2017
- Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia – “Caribbean American Immigration Forum”– February 2017
- Byars Firm – “Immigration Workshop”– December 2016
- The Jennifer Keitt Radio Show -“Basics of Estate Planning”-May 2016
- Caribbean Association of Georgia and Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce – “Citizenship and Immigration Clinic”-February 2016
- Caribbean Focus Television-“Focus on Immigration”-January 2016
- Urgent Legal Matters Continuing Legal Immigration-“Updates in Immigration Law”-1/2016
- Caribbean Association of Georgia – “Immigration Workshop for the Community”-April 2015
- Caribbean Association of Georgia – “Immigration and Citizenship Workshop”-January 2015
- GABWA Legally Speaking Radio Show-“Family Immigration Law”-February 2013
- People You Need to Know Podcast-“Five Things You Need to Know about Immigration Laws”-2012