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Margaret H. (Peggy) McCormick

(312) 427-6163

Peggy McCormick, Chicago Immigration Attorney

Margaret H. (Peggy) McCormick is a principal in the immigration law firm of Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. in Chicago. Peggy has limited her practice exclusively to the field of immigration and nationality law since 1978. Her areas of focus include employment-based immigration, entrepreneurs and investors, global citizenship issues, work site enforcement, I-9 audits, and employer immigration compliance.

Peggy has been rated at the highest level by numerous prestigious publications that evaluate professionals, including Woodward/White’s Best Lawyers in America in the Immigration Law category since 1992; International Who’s Who of  Professionals since 1995, International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers, since 1997; and Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (rated AV “Very High to Preeminent” since 1988). Every year since 2005, she has been named an Illinois SuperLawyer (top 5% of lawyers) and is an Advisory Board member of the Leading Lawyers Network of Illinois in the employment and individual immigration sections (top 1% of lawyers). Leading Lawyers has named her one of the top 50 Women Business Lawyers of Illinois.

Leading Lawyers - Peggy McCormick

Most recently, she was named a 2014 Alumni Honoree by DePaul University’s College of Law for her outstanding service to the profession. Peggy was also named Best Lawyers’ 2013 Chicago Immigration Lawyer of the Year.

Peggy has testified in the U.S. Congress and has appeared as an expert witness in court proceedings on a variety of immigration-related issues. She is:

  • Adjunct Professor of immigration law at Loyola University School of Law from 1986 until 2014. She taught a seminar course on Workplace Enforcement and Immigration and a survey course on Immigration Law and Policy.
  • Member of the Board of Directors for the Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter and a former President. She has been Chair of an annual all-day conference, Workplace Enforcement and Immigration for the past six years. She also chairs the FBA Lefkow Fellowship program at Northwestern University School of Law.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Bar Association national Immigration Law Section and currently holds the office of Secretary. She also recently chaired a conference in Rome, Italy, sponsored by the Section and Loyola University on Citizenship in a Global Era.
  • Master Teacher of Immigration Law for Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education.
  • Past National President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), a national bar association of over 10,000 immigration lawyers (1997-98).
  • Member of the national AILA Board of Governors.
  • Past Chair of AILA Greater Chicago Chapter (1989-90). She served as Chair of the 1991 AILA Annual Conference in Chicago.
  • Past President of the Board of Directors of the American Immigration Law Foundation (now the American Immigration Council), a national organization established to conduct research on the impact of immigration and to advance fundamental fairness and due process in U.S. immigration laws.  During her tenure, she founded the Immigration Policy Institute. On September 19, 2003, she was recognized as an Honorary Fellow of the American Immigration Law Foundation for her lifetime of service and dedication to advancing the administration of justice in the field of immigration and nationality law. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Immigration Law Foundation, 19962003.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the American Refugee Committee, an international humanitarian assistance organization providing relief and recovery services to refugees and displaced persons around the world.
  • Past Chair and Vice-Chair of the Chicago Bar Association, Immigration Law Committee (1983-85).
  • Regular contributing author and speaker in programs on immigration law sponsored by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), The Chicago Bar Association (CBA), the Federal Bar Association (FBA), the Practicing Law Institute (PLI), The Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), NAFSA: Association of International Educators; Lorman Seminars; various law schools, including a recent presentation at Stanford Law School on  Work site Enforcement and Immigration.

Practice Areas

  • PERM
  • Investors & Entrepreneurs
  • H-1B & Other Nonimmigrant Visas
  • Citizenship and Naturalization
  • I-9 Compliance and Employer Sanctions Actions
  • Consular Processing and Adjustment of Status
  • Deferred Action and DREAMers
  • Employment-Based Immigration


  • Fluent in Spanish


  • J.D., De Paul University College of Law, 1977
  • B.A., Loyola University, Mundelein College, 1973


  • Bar of the State of Illinois, 1978
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1979
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1981

Published Papers

  • “Excludable and Deportable Aliens”1980 Immigration Law Manual Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (updates 1986, 1988).
  • “Waivers Under the Immigration and Nationally Act” – AILA: Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, 1988 (updates 1989 and 1990)
  • “Immigration Selection System” – AILA: Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, 1991
  • “Labor Certification for Alien Beneficiary Shareholders” – AILA:  Labor Certification Practice and Procedure, 1990
  • “Role of the State Department in the Implementation of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990”Practicing Law Institute: 24th Annual Immigration and Naturalization Institute, 1991
  • “Non-Immigrants” – Immigration Symposium at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1991
  • “The Doctrine of Consular Non-reviewability Applied to a Challenge to a State Department Advisory Opinion” – AILA, A Guide to Visa Processing at U.S. Consulates and Embassies, 1991
  • “Obtaining H-3 Classification” AILA: Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, 1992
  • “Immigration of Foreign Scientists through Non-academic Employers” AILA, 1993;
  • “B-1 Temporary Visitor for Business” Practicing Law Institute, 1994
  • “Finding the Correct Wage for LCAs: Recent Developments in H-1B Practice” Immigration Briefings, April, Federal Publications, Inc. 1995
  • “LCA Compliance and the Roving Employee” AILA: Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, 1996
  • “Does the EB-2/EB-3 Distinction Matter Anymore?” AILA, 2001
  • “The Visa Waiver Program” AILA, Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, 2002
  • “Inalienable Right” Illinois Issues, 2005
  • What the Immigration Conundrum Portends: ICE in the Workplace” Public Interest Law Reporter, Loyola School of Law (2008)
  • Agencies That Affect Immigration Law” — AILA Immigration and Nationality Law Handbook, (2009 and 2010)
  • “Workplace Enforcement and Immigration Law” The Federal Lawyer, (2012)

Blog Posts

Hidden Legal Traps in Deferred Action for Some Young Immigrants

Peggy McCormick urges foreign nationals to consult immigration attorneys.

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