Moving Forward Together

Higher Education Legal Services

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 Counties community and state colleges. Highly qualified legal practitioners provide culturally competent, trauma-informed, reliable expertise to the campus community. Virtual and in-person appointments are available, however, on-site appointments are currently only at the following campuses:

  • CSU San Marcos and San Diego State University*
  • MiraCosta College, Cuyamaca College and Southwestern College
  • Coming soon: Mesa 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

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 Higher Education Legal Services team discusses income-generating opportunities for students without work authorization. Guest speakers shared insights on how 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 >>

If you are interested to learn the process to petition for a family member to get a green card, check out this recorded webinar. Please note that the information provided is accurate as of July 21, 2022.

Watch Recording >>

Missed this presentation? No problem! Join our Higher Education Legal Services team as we dive in to DACA updates and discuss advance parole fundamentals: who qualifies, what is needed to apply, case processing, and more.

Watch Recording >>

Naturalization 101

March 7, 2022

Missed this presentation? No problem! Come learn about Naturalization, the application process, including information about the English and Civics test requirement. We will also share information on how JFS-HELS can assist you.

Watch Recording >>

Real ID and AB60

April 13, 2022

Missed this presentation? No problem! Learn about the AB60 California Driver’s License and how this law may interact with you.

Watch Recording >>

Immigration 101 and KYR

April 28, 2022

Missed this presentation? No problem! Learn about immigration topics including types of status, agencies involved, citizenship, immigration, and your rights as an immigrant in the USA.

Watch Recording >>


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