Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do I have to pay a consultation fee?

    The consultation fee is for the attorney’s time and expertise in listening to the facts of the case in a one on one setting, and creating a solution right for you. Not every case is alike, even though it may seem like it sometimes. During the consultation, the attorney will listen to you, analyze your case, propose any solutions, identify any risks, provide a pathway to solving your problem and determine what future fees are necessary to reach that solution.  If you would like an honest and expert opinion tailored to your issue correctly, contact me for a consultation.
  • I am a permanent resident, and I have a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence from 15 years ago, do I need an attorney to help me with my case?

    Yes. It is necessary you hire an experienced attorney who handles cases involving consequences of criminal convictions on one’s immigration status. Every non-US citizen, even lawful permanent residents, who have any criminal conviction should consult with an experienced immigration attorney with expertise in crimmmigration, like Attorney Andrea J. Garcia.

    In this, case a long ago misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence may carry significant immigration consequences. It could trigger deportation and the possibility of no relief available to a lawful permanent resident. Many people assume because it was not a felony, there is no risk, but immigration law is very strict when it comes to noncitizens and criminal arrests. Contact me if you would like to consult about this issue or any issue relating to your criminal history.

  • I am undocumented and so is my husband, and my oldest United States Citizen child just turned 21, can we apply for lawful permanent residency through our 21-year old child?

    Yes and No.  If you last entered with a visa or similar document then yes you can apply through your child using a 2-step process of (1) filing the family petition; and (2) filing for the residency.

    Yet, if you last entered with no documents (illegally) such as through the desert, hiding in a car or other manner where you did not present yourself to immigration authorities when entering then you cannot become a resident through your child. This is because if you have lived in the US more than six months after any entry into the US after April 1, 1997, then you have accrued a bar to adjusting that can only be waived through a US citizen spouse or parent. Unfortunately, children cannot be used in this type of waiver.

    In certain cases, there are exceptions to these two rules above. Contact me to consult regarding your specific situation for further information.

  • There is a notario down the street who fixed my cousin’s status, and she charges less for her services, can I see her for my immigration issue?

    No. Notaries or Notarios are not licensed to practice law or certified to perform any services in immigration. Unlike in Latin America Notaries in the US are only authorized to witness a signature, notarize documents and other like tasks. See They are not qualified nor experienced to provide accurate, up to date and professional advice regarding immigration matters. In fact, in doing so they are committing a crime in practicing the unauthorized practice of law. Many families are separated because of Notario’s mistakes and/or fraud committed by them due to a Notario’s actions that place a noncitizen at unnecessary risk for deportation.

    A notario does not have a law degree or any title of any significance, nor was a notario required to complete any meaningful education or training other than taking an exam that lasts a few hours and pay a fee. Nor does a notario have any professional expertise in immigration law or any matter outside of notarizing documents. Not even a high school degree is required. Whereas, a licensed attorney must complete a 4 year’s bachelor’s degree at the University level, 3 years of law school to obtain a degree to practice law and take a 3 day test in the State of California to obtain a license to practice law. Moreover, after 7 years of exclusive practice in immigration law I became certified by the State Bar of California, the licensing agency for attorneys in California, as a specialist in immigration and nationality law. If you would like a professional and expert opinion in your matter please contact me.

  • I am not a citizen of the US, I have pending criminal charges, and am represented by a criminal attorney - how can Attorney Andrea J. Garcia assist me?

    First, I will obtain information about the current charges, any offers with the DA, prior convictions, and sentences and determine how this will affect your status. I will give you and your criminal attorney information as to the risks of taking certain pleas, and offer safe alternatives to shield you from deportation that your criminal attorney can attempt to seek with the DA. I provide this analysis in a letter format.

    This analysis is vital to maintaining your status in the US or obtaining legal status in the future because after you are convicted or plea to any charge, it is tough to undo it, and you may face deportation for doing so. It is best to be advised as to the immigration consequences before you take any plea deals or offers. Please contact me for a consultation and provide the name and phone number of your criminal attorney so I can work directly with him or her.

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