Immigration Law Certificate for Paralegals and Legal Practitioners

Learn to help non-native residents in one of Georgia’s most under-served areas of law

This course helps fill the growing need for immigration law practitioners. Successful participants will:

  • assess the tools for an applicant, petitioner, or beneficiary to pursue certain immigration paths or resolve immigration questions
  • gain practical exposure to various important immigration forms
  • learn to develop a persuasive application for applicants
  • learn to conduct research of the various types of immigrant and non-immigrant visas
  • learn how to prepare clients for the interviews or court appearances


  • Format: Classroom

    Hours: 24 hours/2.4 CEUs 

    Where: UGA's Gwinnett campus 

    When: Feb. 9 - Mar. 29, 2016

    Cost: $525 including textbook

Georgia needs immigration law practitioners

The average salary for an immigration paralegal is $52,000 per year in Georgia, where there is high demand for immigration-related services.  Georgia has a large population of immigrants, nonimmigrants and undocumented aliens who may need guidance on matters affecting their permanent or temporary U.S. residency.  For example, since many international companies are establishing facilities in Georgia, there is an increased need for visas for their professionals. 

Only certain professionals can provide legal advice and legal services on immigration matters.  Mainly, they are either attorneys or a special category called “accredited representatives.”  These are people who work at a specific location for specific U.S. non-profit religious, charitable, or social organizations. 

These organizations are authorized by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to represent aliens in immigration proceedings.

What you will learn in this course

Immigration Law Certificate for Paralegals and Legal Practitioners is an intensive, hands-on course highlighting the most relevant matters of immigration, including: 

  • reasons for attorney/counselor involvement
  • preparing persuasive petitions
  • client interviews and strategies
  • researching statutory, regulatory and case law
  • properly completing forms and documents
  • nonimmigrant and immigrant visas
  • asylum, naturalization, and citizenship
  • relief before the courts
  • relief in removal proceedings

Who Should Attend?

  • Paralegals and others working under an attorney who can legally advise and represent clients
  • Those who want to become accredited immigration representatives working for BIA-accredited organizations
  • Law school students and graduates, legal advocates, management consultants, and attorneys in private practice that are unfamiliar with immigration procedures  

Course Information

Course Number: 


Course Date: 
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Course Date Info: 

Tuesdays, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Course Format: 
University of Georgia Gwinnett Campus
2530 Sever Rd NW, Lawrenceville, GA 30043
United States
Course Fee(s): 

$525 including textbook

Continuing Education Information: 

Students will be awarded a Certificate of Program Completion for 2.4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon completion of 24 hours of course work.

Attendance Policy and Other Important Requirements:
Timely and successful completion of written and oral assignments is required. To receive your Certificate of Completion, your attendance is also required for all eight sessions.

María Christina Cajiao
Lawyer and LL.M. is an Immigration Law instructor for the University Of Georgia Center for Continuing Education, Gwinnett Campus.

Instructor Cajiao is a lawyer from the Saint Bonaventure University in Colombia (1985), and is admitted to practice and in good standing. She also holds a Master of Law degree from Emory University (2003), and has been an Associate member of the American Bar Association since 2000.  She has also been admitted as an Affiliate Member of the State Bar of Georgia beginning in May of 2015.

She is co-founder and Managing Partner of Speak Legal, LLC in Lawrenceville, GA. Under the attorney’s supervision, she handles a wide range of legal matters for domestic and international clients.

Instructor Cajiao has represented US clients with interest in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Mexico and Latin America. Having successfully served international clients for decades, she is familiar with the nuances of doing business outside of the US, representing US companies doing business overseas and helping international companies doing business in the US. In addition, she has lectured, or handled immigration corporate matters in Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, Israel, Japan, Mexico, and US.

In her early career, she began working in the insurance industry in 1986, and specializes in all lines of property work including personal and commercial lines, property damage, liability analysis, and subrogation claims. She is also a licensed Georgia Insurance Adjuster.

Instructor Cajiao is experienced in all aspects of immigration law such us helping business and individuals on petitions for work visas, green cards, family based petitions, asylum, T and U visas (for victims of crimes), and more.

She has been invited to speak on a regular basis to Hispanic local communities in Georgia and Alabama, and offers pro-bono legal assistance to disadvantaged immigrants in local churches.