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

What Does “Transparent Pricing” Mean for Home Buyers?
Homes for sale are advertised with a “list price,” which is set by the sellers. But the question for buyers is, is the seller using "strategic pricing" or "transparent pricing"?
What Is an Escalation Clause in Real Estate and How Does it Work?
Adding an escalation clause to your home purchase offer—which would match and exceed all other bids—might be a way to edge out the competition.
Starting Early November, COVID-19 Travel Bans to Be Rescinded: Proof of Vaccination Instead Required From International Travelers
The Biden Administration has announced plans to ease travel restrictions on all international travelers coming into the United States, starting in early November of 2021.
What Is a Temporary Green Card?
In legal terms, there's no such thing as a "temporary green card." However, it comes up as a slang expression for what's known as "conditional residence" in the United States.
Notifying National Visa Center (NVC) About a Change of Address Before Visa Interview
Given the many months or years it can take for your immigrant visa interview to be scheduled at a U.S. consulate, it's important that you advise the NVC of any changes of address, phone number, or email.
Will My One-Day Tourist Visa Overstay Create Future Immigration Problems?
Immigration authorities are highly unlikely to track you down over a one-day overstay. But the law can make your next visit more difficult.
Deferred Enforced Departure Status Granted to Residents of Hong Kong Currently in the U.S.
August 5, 2021 Residents of Hong Kong currently in the U.S. will be temporarily protected from removal (deportation), by a presidential grant of "Deferred Enforced Departure" or DED, lasting 18 months.
Will Collecting Unemployment During Coronavirus Outbreak Make Me a Public Charge?
Claiming unemployment insurance coverage is permissible, but receiving other benefits could lead to problems with gaining U.S. approval of future visas or green cards as a potential "public charge."
Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Opens October 7, 2020
October 6, 2021. A new government fiscal year brings a new opportunity to submit an entry in the diversity visa lottery, and win a chance to apply for a U.S. green card.
Winning a Green Card Through the Diversity Visa Lottery
A green card lottery was created by the Immigration Act of 1990 to benefit people from countries that in recent years have sent the fewest numbers of immigrants to the United States. You can enter the lottery if you are a native of one of those countries and meet certain other requirements.