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Guardianship attorney in San Francisco, California, will help your client obtain guardianship in the Bay Area probate courts. Our job is to obtain the predicate order from the probate court with findings for special immigrant juvenile status SIJS. As a rule, this is the first step for filing form I-360 for SIJS for unaccompanied minors. This route is particularly popular with arriving alien children fighting deportation and seeking to stay in the U.S. permanently.
Why hire a guardianship attorney in San Francisco?
Immigration attorneys practicing removal defense routinely hire guardianship attorney in San Francisco, California. Particularly, if immigration attorneys are licensed in another state, they need help of a California licensed guardianship attorney. As an immigration attorney himself, Andrei Romanenko knows the challenges of obtaining SIJS and green cards from USCIS for unaccompanied minors.
Where we provide assistance in California
We offer a flat fee service in guardianship cases for immigration attorneys. Guardianship attorney in San Francisco will prepare the forms, declarations and memorandum for filing with the probate court. We speak Spanish and have many clients from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico. We have successfully represented clients in guardianship cases in San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, San Mateo, Sacramento, Placer counties. Before the pandemic we met in person with minors and their proposed guardians in our office in San Francisco. During the pandemic we do most of the work remotely.
What is included in the services of guardianship attorney in San Francisco
Usually, we start with interviewing the clients, drafting their declarations and preparing the forms. For example, here is a sample of forms that we need to prepare:
- FW-001 Request to Waive Court Fees;
- GC-020 Notice of Hearing–Guardianship or Conservatorship;
- GC-120 Declaration under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act;
- GC-210 Petition for an Appointment of Guardian of Minor;
- GC-211 Consent of Proposed Guardian;
- GC-212 Confidential Guardian Screening Form;
- GC-220 Petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Findings;
- GC-224 Special Immigrant Juvenile Findings;
- GC-240 Order Appointing Guardian or Extending Guardianship of the Person;
- GC-248 Duties of Guardian;
- GC-250 Letters of Guardianship;
- Declarations of minor and proposed guardian, legal memorandum for SIJS eligibility.
Generally, probate courts require local forms or guardianship questionnaires. For example, Alameda probate court requires a Confidential Proposed Guardianship Questionnaire and Screening. San Mateo probate court requires form PR-18, Proposed Guardian(s) Information Form. Placer probate court requires form PL-PR001 Court Investigator Information Sheet.
Work with clients in their language
Once we have those ready, we ask the clients to review the information. Guardianship attorney in San Francisco then drafts the legal memorandum and e-files the case with the probate court. We get a hearing date for the guardianship case from the probate court. Then we instruct the process server on how to properly serve the family of the minor with process. We prepare proof of service, get it signed. Once the server returns a signed copy to us, we file it with the probate court.
Probate court guardianship hearing in California
Some courts during the pandemic reschedule the hearings. It may be an issue for a child turning 21 soon. If the child ages out, SIJS will not be granted. Guardianship attorney in San Francisco has successfully persuaded probate courts to conduct the hearings on emergency basis for aging out children.
Thereafter, we prepare the minor and proposed guardian for the court hearing. Guardianship attorney in San Francisco reviews the court investigator’s report and appears at the guardianship hearing. Afterwards, we obtain letters of guardianship and the court order with SIJS findings and forward them to the immigration attorney.
Once the probate court grants petition for guardianship
Usually, immigration attorneys will then file form I-360 with USCIS to put their clients in line. There is a backlog in priority dates for SIJS cases of minors from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The backlog is reflected in the visa bulletin published monthly by the U.S. Department of State. For example, see the yellow highlighting below in the relevant abstract from the visa bulletin for December 2020.
As evidenced by the green highlighting, our clients from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and other former Soviet countries don’t have to wait in line. Their priority dates are usually available (letter C for all chargeability areas). In such cases attorneys file form I-485 for adjustment of status concurrently with form I-360.
Court filing fees, electronic service and translations of documents are not included in our flat rate for guardianship cases. We will prepare and file a fee waiver of court fees if the client is eligible. Otherwise, guardianship attorney in San Francisco advances the filing fees and bills the immigration attorney or the client.
We work by appointment only. Please contact us by phone at (415) 997-8144 or by e-mail at [email protected].