Samantha Topper Berns

Attorney · University of Miami School of Law

Samantha Topper Berns has served as an Associate Attorney at Papagikos Law since 2023, providing counsel and representation on employment and family-based immigrant visa petitions, applications for U.S. lawful permanent residence, and all categories of nonimmigrant visa petitions.

Education. Ms. Berns graduated cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 2022. While attending law school, Ms. Berns served on the school’s International & Comparative Law Review, which published her student note on the regulatory framework enabling the fast-tracking of COVID-19 vaccines in its spring 2022 issue. Additionally, she won the Litigation Skills Adjunct Faculty Scholarship Award in 2021 for demonstrating excellence in advocacy, professionalism, and civility during her Litigation Skills course, a practical course culminating in a mock trial. In 2020, she had the distinction of interning for the Honorable Judge Robin Rosenbaum of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Legal philosophy. Ms. Berns dedicates herself to pursuits that provide help to those in need, whether offering pro bono services to indigent clients or going above and beyond to ensure her clients’ petitions are approved. She knows that each and every one of her immigration clients is simply hoping to lead a better life in the United States, full of opportunities for themselves and their families. Navigating the complicated and constantly changing landscape of immigration law is no simple feat, and it fills her with joy to spend her days assisting clients in successfully petitioning to live in the United States so they can fulfill their dreams. Papagikos Law helps clients achieve business success, find opportunities, escape hardship, and reunite with their families. Ms. Berns is proud to have begun her career in immigration law at such an upstanding firm.

Nonprofit experience. Although she always sought to find fulfillment in helping others, Ms. Berns was not always intent on pursuing a career in law—despite the insistence of her family and friends (or perhaps in spite of it). After graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in 2016, Ms. Berns ventured into the nonprofit world before eventually giving in to her natural argumentative side. She spent three years working for JAFCO (Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options), where her role in event planning and fundraising allowed her to help support abused and neglected children as well as children with developmental disabilities and their families. She continues to support JAFCO to this day, as well as other local Jewish nonprofits and charitable children’s organizations.

Bar Admission

Florida (2022)

Professional Affiliations

Florida Bar
American Immigration Lawyers Association


Juris Doctor, cum laude, University of Miami School of Law
Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, Brandeis University

Articles By Samantha Topper Berns

I Missed My USCIS Biometrics Appointment at ASC. What Do I Do?
If you fail to attend your biometrics appointment, it could result in significant delays in your application. USCIS could even deem your application abandoned and reject it. You might still have options to get your application back on track, however.
EB-4 Visa: Who Qualifies?
You certainly can’t tell who a “special immigrant” visa is meant to cover by its name.
EB-2 Visa for Persons of Exceptional Ability: Who Qualifies?
Learn about how to qualify for the EB-2 visa for workers with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business and what it means to apply for a National Interest Waiver.
Qualify for Either an H-1B or O-1 Visa? How to Choose
Getting an H-1B visa or an O-1 visa each presents unique challenges and offers unique benefits. Which is right for you?
Who Is Eligible to Apply for Humanitarian Parole for U.S. Entry
A grant of humanitarian parole allows foreign nationals to travel to the U.S. in the case of an emergency or based on public interest reasons.
Can Green Card Holders Use Medical Marijuana in States Where It's Legal?
If you live in a state that has legalized the medical use of marijuana, there is no requirement under any of the state laws that you be a U.S. citizen to use medical marijuana.
Crimes That Will Prevent You From Receiving U.S. Citizenship
If you are a green card holder applying for U.S. citizenship through the process known as naturalization, one important question will be whether you have ever been prosecuted for a crime or committed some other unlawful act.
Will a Green Card Holder With a DUI Be Allowed to Reenter the U.S.?
After foreign travel, U.S. lawful permanent residents can become subject to certain grounds of inadmissibility, potentially triggered by a DUI.
Will Legal Use of Marijuana Make Applicant for Immigration Benefits Inadmissible?
If you know anything at all about U.S. law, you probably know it comes down hard on any sort of drug use. What does that mean for a visa applicant who’s coming from a country with more permissive laws?
Timeline for Sponsoring an Immigrant Worker for a Green Card
If you are a U.S. employer wishing to hire foreign workers and sponsor them for U.S. permanent residence (in which case they can work for you over the long term), you are no doubt interested in how long this might take.