Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668
Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668

Ryan Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC
401 Union Street, Suite 1500
Seattle, WA 98101-2668

Janet H. Cheetham

Janet H. Cheetham


Practice Areas:

Passionate about immigration law and helping clients navigate the maze of immigration-related agencies, laws, and processes to achieve their goals.

Janet is an experienced Seattle immigration attorney who has practiced exclusively in the area of immigration and nationality law since 1981. She is the former Chair of the Seattle Immigration Group and represents businesses and individual clients on all aspects of immigration matters.

Janet has extensive experience in processing E-1 treaty trader visas, E-2 treaty investor visas, H-1B professional visas, H-2B temporary worker visas, J-1 exchange visitors, K-1 fiancé petitions, K-3 visas based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, I-751 petitions O-1 and L-1A managers and L-1B intra-company transferee nonimmigrant visas. She processes immigrant petitions involving marriage and adoption petitions, citizenship and naturalization petitions. Janet processes many labor certifications under the PERM regulations, employment based petitions, EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, outstanding researchers and faculty members, professors and persons of extraordinary ability. Janet is able to file relative cases under the new DOMA decision for LGBT couples. She also has the experience to assist individuals who are seeking information for DACA (“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”). However, she does not handle cases involving deportation and removal, asylum, refugees, or immigration-related criminal issues.

Janet represents clients in a broad range of industries including fisheries, maritime, freight forwarding, computer technology, software development, banking, real estate, import-export, and forestry. She also advises corporate clients on employer sanctions, I-9 and E-verify issues. Her practice requires her to deal on a regular basis with USCIS, Department of Labor, Department of State and consulates around the world. Janet was selected to be Special Assistant for the State of Washington’s immigration matters.

She claims one of the most rewarding aspects of her practice is what she calls “the returning client”, where a former client from 10 or more years ago returns seeking immigration advice for a family, friend, or even their own citizenship. “It makes me feel wonderful to know they trust me and have continued confidence in my abilities to navigate the maze of ever-changing immigration laws,” Janet says.

Honors & Awards
  • Rated 10/10 on Avvo.com
  • Awarded “Top Rated Lawyer” by Avvo (2022)
  • Washington Super Lawyers® (2003-present)
  • Best Lawyers in America® (2003-present)
  • American Registry Martindale-Hubbell Awards:
    • Highest Possible Rating in Both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards (2024)
    • Top Women Attorneys in Washington (2023)
    • AV Preeminent Attorney – Judicial Edition (2022)
    • Top Women Attorneys in Washington (2020)
  • Chambers USA, ranked in top tier for Immigration Lawyers (2008-present)
  • International Who’s Who-Corporate Immigration Lawyers® (2008-present)
  • Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 in Legal Ability and Ethical Standards (2003-present)
  • Listed in the following award publications:
    • Seattle Met Magazine, Top Women Attorneys in Washington
    • Seattle Business Magazine, Seattle’s Best Lawyers 
    • Who’s Who of Business Lawyers®
    • Washington Law & Politics, Top 50 Women Lawyers in Washington State (2008, 2010)
    • Two Thousand Notable American Women
Professional & Community Activities
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • King County Bar Association
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), frequent speaker and committee member
  • Certified by Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Immigration and Nationality Law, (1986-present)
Publications & Speaking Engagements


  • South Texas College of Law
    (J.D., magna cum laude, 1980)
  • University of Texas
    (B.S., with honors, 1975)
Admitted to Practice
  • Washington (1989)
  • Texas (1981)

Hobbies & Interests

Having practiced immigration law for over 30 years, Janet finds immigra­tion law to be one of the most chal­lenging and rewarding areas of law. Her goal is to seek out the best solution to clients’ requests in the most timely and efficient manner. She strives to ensure clients obtain the immi­gration benefits to which they are en­titled.

Outside of work, Janet enjoys being in La Conner and exploring the San Juan Islands with her husband on their 34-foot trawler “Good Times”. Janet loves traveling to visit her son and his new wife in Scottsdale, Arizona as well as her daughter and her family in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She also enjoys aerobics and spending time with her Boston Terrier, Radar.