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

Adjustment of Status via "Parole in Place" for Family Members of U.S. Citizens in Military
Noncitizen spouses, parents, and ummarried minor children of U.S. citizen members of the U.S. military have a possible path to a green card that others don't.
USCIS Issues 2023 Poverty Guidelines: Raises Required Income Level for Family Sponsors of Immigrants
The U.S. government recently published its 2023 Poverty Guidelines. These figures, which are updated annually, are critically important to any U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who is sponsoring a family member (perhaps a spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister) for U.S. lawful permanent residence
How Does a Conditional Resident Prove Status With a Pending I-751?
Dealing with the period between filing the I-751 and awaiting a USCIS decision
Can I Travel If I'm a Permanent Resident Awaiting My Green Card?
I entered the U.S. as a permanent resident two months ago, but have still not received my green card. I'd like to take a trip to see my family -- what can I do to make sure I'm allowed back in?
Traveling Outside the U.S. With Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
If you are in the U.S. with TPS and wish to travel abroad, this article can help you learn how to apply for a travel document, called Advance Parole.
FAQs About How Long Immigrant's Sponsor Responsible for Support Under I-864 Affidavit
Wondering how long you are expected to be responsible for sponsoring a family immigrant? Get answers here.
What to Expect at Your Family-Based Adjustment of Status Interview
A step-by-step description of the typical adjustment of status interview (for a case based on family relationship).
How to Apply for J-1 Status From Within the United States
J-1 status allows a foreign-born person who is staying legally in the U.S. to remain longer, in order to take part an established exchange visitor program.
What's the Difference Between a Visa and a Green Card?
Some visas lead to green cards--others don't. Get acquainted with the overlaps and differences in these concepts' meanings.
Immigrating Through U.S. Citizen Parent: Will Divorcing Get You a Green Card Faster?
Facing long waits to immigrate as the married child of a U.S. citizen, some applicants wonder whether a divorce would speed up the process.