Moving Forward Together

Higher Education Legal Services

For an update on the most recent DACA decision, click here. If you need a DACA renewal, we recommend that you make your appointment 6 months before your DACA expires and we advise all DACA recipients, those with pending DACA applications or those who are DACA eligible to make an appointment with a trusted legal services provider.

Free legal services for college communities.

Higher Education Legal Services (HELS) provides FREE immigration legal services to students, staff, and faculty at San Diego and Imperial County community and state colleges. Highly qualified legal practitioners provide culturally competent, trauma-informed, legal expertise to the campus community. Virtual and in-person appointments are available. In-person appointments currently take place at the following college campuses and are available to students of any campus:

  • CSU San Marcos*
  • San Diego State University*
  • Cuyamaca College
  • Grossmont College
  • Imperial Valley College
  • MiraCosta College
  • Mesa College
  • Palomar College
  • Southwestern College

*CSU San Marcos and San Diego State students, staff, and faculty: your immediate family members are also eligible for our services!
*CSU students can continue to receive free immigration legal services for TWO YEARS after graduation!

Services include:

  • Consultations (ask us anything!)
  • DACA applications
  • Citizenship
  • Family-based immigration
  • Know Your Rights
  • Emergency Planning & Safety Preparedness
  • Advance Parole
  • Removal defense (going to court)
  • And more!

Find out what to expect at your first intake appointment »
Que Esperar de la primera reunion »
HELS Frequently Asked Questions »

Take the Next Step

For more information about the HELS program, call (858) 637-3345 or email [email protected].

For general information about JFS Immigration Services, call (858) 637-3365.

Follow us on Instagram @hels_sd

Watch Our Past Workshops

What Immigrants need to know about earning income in the US.

Watch Recording >>

DACA Update 2023

October 5, 2023

Learn about the DACA Decision released on September 13, 2023 and what it means for our community.

Watch Recording >>

This overview focuses on humanitarian immigration relief that may be available to survivors of crimes, and those who have experienced abuse or trafficking. Included is a discussion of asylum and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) as well as Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).

Watch Recording >>

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is a form of immigration relief for certain children who need the protection of juvenile court because of abuse, abandonment, or neglect. This presentation will review who is eligible and the steps in the process.

Watch Recording >>

Learn about what happens if you are detained by ICE. Topics such as bond hearings, notice to appear, and general information about how Immigration Court operates will be covered.

Watch Recording >>

Conozca sus Derechos

January 19, 2023

El Programa de HELS explique sus derechos básicos en caso de que usted o sus ser queridos estén expuestos a una situación con un oficial de inmigration.

Ver Grabación >>

The HELS team discusses income-generating opportunities for students without work authorization. Guest speakers shared insights on independent contracting, small businesses, and other creative options.

Watch Recording >>

DACA Updates

October 13, 2022

There is a lot in the news about DACA and it’s important to stay up to date. Watch this webinar for information about the DACA rule going into effect on October 31, 2022 and the court decision announced on October 5, 2022. Please note the webinar is up to date as of October 13, 2022.

Watch Recording >>

Everyone should know their rights! Check out this webinar that explains the rights that we all have when in the presence of law enforcement and how to exercise them. Please note the information is accurate as of September 29, 2022.

Watch Recording >>


All information submitted is confidential and will not be shared with government or other agencies.