CEJ Immigration Law Center is a full-service immigration law firm specializing in developing custom case strategy and implementation. The three Founders and Partners, Ana Maria Candela, Atara Eig and Richard Jurgens are all former Federal Prosecutors for the Department of Homeland Security. They are known for their knowledge of the intricacies of immigration law, the Department of Homeland Security operations and solving complex immigration issues.  Ana, Atara and Richard help clients from the simplest of cases to the most complex of litigation matters.  Don’t let your life in the United States be ruined by people who do not know how the immigration system works.  Instead, explore all your immigration options and avenues with Ana, Atara and Richard.  Meet with their dedicated team to discover the opportunity and the freedom the United States offers you.  Put your future in CEJ’s experienced hands.


Once you come in for a consultation, CEJ will explain every aspect of your case and discuss all available options for you and your family. The firm prides itself on intimate knowledge of the complex immigration system cultivated by decades of service. Once your tailored case strategy is developed, CEJ is available to you from that day forward until you reach your immigration goal.  There are many lawyers and notaries who do not know what they are doing and many times can make a case worse just by their actions alone.  You should only consult with experienced and licensed attorneys, like Ana, Atara, and Richard, who can give you sound advice on your road to remaining lawfully in the United States.  As you see in the news every day, immigration is a very hot topic and you need to make sure you are in the right hands and get the best possible advice.  Your immigration status is too important to leave in the hands of an inexperienced or unqualified person.  Come meet with Ana, Atara and Richard and see what makes them different.


Though every person’s situation is different, Ana, Atara and Richard face each one the same way:  They strategize and develop all your options to help you make the best decisions.  Ana, Atara and Richard stand beside you and fight until you win.


An individual can obtain residency through a sponsorship or petition filed for them by someone else or, in certain specific cases such as a Cuban citizen, victim of abuse or a crime, an individual can file on their own for a green card. The most commonly used method is through the filing of an I-130 petition, which means a family member files a petition for you or through an I-140, which means an employer files a petition for you. Once the I-130 or I-140 is approved, you can file an I-485 for approval of your green card along with the affidavit of support. The spouses, parents and children under the age of 21 of U.S. citizens can adjust and obtain their green cards right away.  All other qualifying family members will need to wait for a visa number to become available.  Once the I-485 is filed with USCIS, you will be scheduled for a fingerprint appointment and most likely an interview. The attorneys at CEJ will prepare you for the interview and also attend with you.  While you wait for the interview, CEJ will obtain a work permit and travel document for you.  Once your I-485 is approved, you will be issued a green card.  If you are inside the United States you will obtain your green card through an adjustment of status with USCIS.  If you are outside of the United States, you will consular process into the United States through the Department of State.  Whether you are a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, CEJ can help you figure out which is the best option for you and your family in order to obtain residency status for all your family members.



A lawful permanent resident can apply for citizenship after 3 years, if married to a US citizen, and after 5 years if not pursuing citizenship based on marriage to a US citizen. If you have any criminal history, it is very important that you consult with an experienced lawyer to make sure you do not apply for citizenship and then realize that not only does your conviction make you ineligible to become a citizen, but you have now put yourself at risk of losing your residency.  It is also very important that you seek the advice of qualified attorneys if there is any question as to how you obtained your residency because that again can result in the denial of your citizenship and then placed in court proceedings to remove your lawful permanent resident status.  The attorneys at CEJ are happy to meet with you to discuss your case and will provide assistance and guidance to make sure you can become a U.S. citizen.



The attorneys at CEJ are experienced in obtaining visas on behalf of individuals who want to invest, work or travel to the United States on a temporary basis.  A temporary worker visa is for a person who wants to enter the United States for employment lasting a fixed period of time. Some examples of these visas are the H-1B, L, O and P. Each of these visas requires the prospective employer to first file a petition with USCIS and, once approved, the individual can then apply for a work visa.  CEJ also has experience with obtaining E-2 Investor Visas that allows an individual to enter and work inside of the United States based on an investment he or she will be controlling, while inside the United States.  This investment must be “substantial” and these investor visas are only available to citizens of certain countries.  Once you meet with the attorneys at CEJ, all the available visa options will be explored so you can choose the visa that best fits your needs and plans for the future.



If a family member has been picked up by ICE and taken into custody, it is very important that you hire an experienced firm like CEJ to get involved right away.  The attorneys at CEJ will immediately meet with your family and obtain the necessary documents and information that they will then forward to ICE to begin the negotiations for the release of your family member.  As you see in the news, individuals are being picked up every day and it is important that you have an attorney who is available to you and willing to go the extra mile to get your family member out and back home as soon as possible.  The attorneys at CEJ are experienced and knowledgeable in how to approach ICE in a way that leads to a successful outcome. CEJ will put all their years of experience and knowledge to work for your family member with just one phone call from you.

When a person is detained, it is very important to hire the right attorney to work on the case as soon as possible.  Many times CEJ can negotiate the release of a client by obtaining a bond directly with the immigration officer.  If the immigration officer refuses, then there is a second opportunity to present the case in front of an immigration judge by filing a motion for bond.  A bond motion allows the attorneys at CEJ to present evidence in front of a judge as to why the individual should be released and submit for the court’s review all of the person’s positive factors and contributions to the community.  CEJ will work closely with the client’s family members and friends to obtain as many positive records as possible so when the attorney appears before the immigration judge they can present the strongest case possible.

In the cases where a client has already been ordered deported, CEJ can file a stay along with a packet that contains all of the client’s positive factors and contributions to the community.  CEJ works very closely with the client’s family members and friends to gather as much evidence as possible before the final packet is presented to ICE.  Once CEJ submits the request for the stay, the attorneys will monitor the progress and speak to the officers as needed to assure a positive result.  Once the stay is granted, an individual can obtain work authorization and a driver’s license.  The request for a stay will have to be renewed every year.



If you have a criminal history, entered the United States illegally or used any type of fraud or misrepresentation in trying to enter or obtain status in the United States, then there may be waivers available to you that forgive these acts.  These examples are not exhaustive and there are many other reasons when you may need a waiver.  The attorneys at CEJ will review your case in detail to decide whether a waiver is needed and then discuss the various ways to get one.  CEJ will guide you in obtaining the documents needed to submit with the waiver along with a detailed legal brief in support of the waiver.  Once the waiver is granted, CEJ will continue to work with you to move on to the next step of obtaining your lawful status in the United States.



As an undocumented person, you may be scared and think you do not have any way to fight the system if you are picked up by ICE, are placed in removal proceedings or have to appear before USCIS.  This is simply not the case and CEJ is here to help you.  It is very important that you hire an experienced and qualified attorney to handle your immigration case from beginning to end.  The government has very experienced attorneys and officers representing it and you need to have the same on your side.  Every time you appear in court, the proceedings are recorded and your case will be affected by what your attorney says and does on your behalf.  An ineffective or inexperienced attorney can harm your case going forward and affect the available forms of relief you may have now or in the future. The attorneys at CEJ worked for the government for many years as prosecutors in immigration and have the legal skills to fight government attorneys in court or immigration officers at USCIS.  When you meet with the attorneys at CEJ, they will discuss all your alternatives and strategize to find the best option available for you and your family. The attorneys at CEJ will also accompany you to court or USCIS and fight for you until the case is done and won.



Asylum is available to you if you can prove you’ve been persecuted or have a “well-founded fear” of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. If proven, you’re considered a “refugee,” and must seek asylum within one year of arriving in the United States. Should it be granted, you may stay in the United States, and apply for lawful permanent residence once a year has passed since the date you were granted asylum. Family members may also obtain asylum with you as the main applicant.  The one-year application deadline applies whether asylum is being sought through the Asylum Office or Immigration Court, however there are exceptions to this 1-year filing deadline.  In addition to asylum, you may be eligible for relief through Withholding of Removal and the Convention Against Torture.  Because the law of asylum is constantly changing, the attorneys at CEJ will analyze the facts of your case and help you pursue the best option available to you.



If you are a battered spouse, child or parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you may apply for an immigrant visa petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  The law requires that you were subject to extreme cruelty or battery.  The filing is done in complete confidence with USCIS meaning that the abuser will not know you filed for permanent resident status based on abuse.  The abuse standard applies equally whether the victim is a man or a woman.  While the VAWA petition is pending, you can apply for work authorization and a travel document.  Once your VAWA is approved, you can proceed to obtain lawful permanent residence.  If you are in removal proceedings, you may also be eligible for relief if you have been the victim of abuse or extreme cruelty by applying for VAWA cancellation of removal.  If you are the victim of abuse, please seek help from CEJ so we can guide you through this difficult process.

A U visa allows a victim of a crime to come forward and help law enforcement or government officials without fear over their lack of lawful status in the United States.  The following conditions must be met in order to qualify for a U visa:  must be the victim of a qualifying criminal activity, have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result, have information about the criminal activity, were/are/or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement, crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws and you are admissible to the United States.  If you meet this criteria, CEJ can help you file the necessary paperwork that will eventually allow you to obtain lawful permanent resident status.  If the U visa is granted, you can obtain a work permit and also petition to include certain family members.  If you have been the victim of a crime and have provided assistance to law enforcement, CEJ will review your case to determine if you qualify for a U visa.


When the court or USCIS issues an unfavorable decision in your case, you have the right to appeal.  However, appeals require strict deadlines and they can be as short as thirty days from the date of denial and in some cases can be even shorter.  It is important that you speak with an attorney at CEJ as soon as possible so that the appeal in your case can be filed before the deadline has passed.  At CEJ, we prepare a legal brief for the appeal and argue all the legal points so that the negative decision is either reversed or your form of relief is granted on appeal.



If you live outside of the United States and are the beneficiary of an approved petition along with an available visa number, you can consular process into the United States and obtain lawful permanent resident status.  Moreover, if your I-601A waiver was approved, you will also need to consular process into the United States in order to obtain your residency status.  CEJ will prepare all your paperwork and submit it to the National Visa Center for processing.  Once your case is ready, you will be scheduled for an interview at the U.S. embassy in your country.  The attorneys at CEJ will prepare you for the interview and make sure you complete all the pre-interview requirements such as a medical exam and pictures.  Once you are approved at the interview and the visa is granted, you can travel to the United States and will be admitted as a lawful permanent resident.  The green card will be sent to you shortly after your arrival in the United States.



In some cases, the decision issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals can be challenged even further in Federal Court.  An individual can also file a mandamus case in Federal Court to compel USCIS to issue a decision when an individual has been waiting an unreasonably long period of time.  Although Federal Courts are limited as to the cases they can hear regarding immigration matters, the attorneys at CEJ have the expertise to file habeas corpus and other types of cases in Federal District Court to bring a resolution to a client’s case.