Face it, the United States immigration system confuses people. With ever-changing laws, regulations, case law, memoranda and executive orders, you should not try to do this yourself. You need the most experienced immigration lawyer and staff in California to guide you through the entire process. Welcome to Familia America.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Gloria Cardenas, and I am a family immigration attorney with a stress free approach to the American Dream. I have 30 years of experience as an attorney having graduated from UCLA and Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. I’ve helped people from all walks of life achieve the American dream. I am a member of AILA, a group of elite immigration attorneys in the U.S. My company started in Park City, Utah where I moved to raise my children who loved to ski, motocross and rock climb, but I’m expanding my services back to my native California, San Jose to be exact. I am available in person, by telephone and on ZOOM video. Since immigration laws are the same across all 50 states, you can be certain that wherever you are in California or outside California, we can handle your case, professionally and make it as stress free as possible.
The team here at Familia America will help you receive the immigration benefits you deserve. We use a comprehensive and personable approach when dealing with every case, and we always stay on top of the latest immigration changes. What sets us apart from many law firms is that we communicate, often with our clients so that they know what is going on with their case and can plan their lives. We understand how important that is. In turn, our clients are only highly motivated people who put this process first as a top priority. Together, as a team we achieve positive results in almost all of our cases. Our approval rating is at 98% over all of the applications and processes.
The Best Immigration Lawyer in California
Acquiring lawful status in San Jose (and the rest of California) isn’t as easy as it used to be. Over the last three decades, I’ve seen immigration rules become stricter, leaving many families divided. My team at Familia America understands the complexities of the American immigration system and provides you with the guidance and resources you need. We stay closely by your side.
Here at Familia America, our scope of representation includes:
- Freedom of Information Requests (FOIAS) to all agencies to obtain an individual’s immigration record.
- Parole in Place for Military Families (either active duty or retired).
- Employment Authorizations and renewals.
- Fiance visas/marriage visas.
- Naturalization. A Lawful Permanent Resident (a “green card holder”) may apply to naturalize after five (5) years, or, if they are married to a United States Citizen, three (3) years. Some individuals consult with me and we determine they are already a United States citizen through acquisition or derivation or rights.
- Family-Based immigration includes mothers and fathers, brothers or sisters, children, and spouses. Step-parents and Step-children also qualify. Marriage must take place before the child turns 18 years old.
- Lawful Permanent Residency, either by adjusting status (staying in the United States and applying though the USCIS) and interview is in the United States with counsel (me) attending the interview or via consular processing at a consulate or embassy abroad. No counsel can be present.
- Waivers: 90% of my clients who consular process must apply for a waiver for unlawful presence in the United States. We demonstrate extreme hardship to a qualifying relative if he/she does not obtain residency. The form is called a 601A Waiver. Often referred to as a pardon.
- 601A waivers, and all other waivers. Aside from the 601A waiver for unlawful presence, we handle all waivers for fraud and misrepresentation, alien smuggling, criminal convictions, etc. There are many grounds of inadmissibility that can be waived.
- 212 Permission to Reenter the U.S. (required if an individual seeks to reenter the U.S. after he/she has been ordered removed)
- Tourist Visas
- Extension of Status or Change of Status, i.e. work visa to a tourist visa (We don’t handle student visas because the schools handle those directly).
- H1B Visa/H2B (worker visa) extensions.
- Lawful Permanent Residency following several years of H1B Visa status
- U Non-Immigrant Visas. These visas are for victims of serious crimes in the United States that are reported to the police and the individual is helpful in the investigation. Spouses and parents and siblings of the victim qualify in some cases. They are called derivative beneficiaries. Interestingly, an undocumented individual can apply for a U Visa as an indirect victim of a crime (ie. US citizen child is raped and parents are undocumented). If parents are helpful in the investigation, then parents qualify. Since our firms are not connected and thus a firewall is established, you may come across clients who have family members who may want to consult with me. VAWA applications are similar but no crime has to be reported if they are related to a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.
- Post Conviction Relief in San Jose, California and surrounding areas.
- Opinion letter covering Padilla v. Kentucky issues/ immigration consequences of convictions.
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewals and, if some are up for it initial DACA applications with the hopes of being part of a punitive class who sue the government for violation of the APA following the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the administration’s arbitrary and capricious termination of the DACA program.
- Advance Parole based upon DACA or TPS.
Why You Need an Immigration Attorney in San Jose
I recognize the challenges of the immigration system. Time and time again, I’ve seen people like you make simple mistakes that delay immigration benefits or result in outright rejection. These include:
- Filling out the wrong forms (or outdated forms)
- Applying for the wrong visa type
- Providing the wrong/not enough evidence
- Not responding to requests from immigration authorities
- Not understanding the immigration process
- Struggling in immigration interviews
Why You Should Choose Familia America for California Immigration
Representing immigrants and bringing families together is our passion. I have first-hand experience of immigration in the U.S. having applied for my foreign national husband’s green card. My mother, orphaned in World War II, migrated from England to the U.S. for a better life. Born in Los Angeles to the Honorable Raymond Cardenas, my father was one of the first Mexican-American judges in California and founding member of the Mexican American Bar Association, I earned my B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1986 and J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1990. I have been an active good-standing member of the California State Bar since 1991.
I love my job and my work shows.
Schedule an initial consultation in-person or via ZOOM. The cost of this consultation depends on the specifics of your case, but it typically costs $100. During the pandemic, it costs $50.
Complex cases and second opinion consultations often are $350.00. All fees paid if retained will be applied to the retainer agreement.