Immigration Resouces


Below is a brief list of resources that may be especially helpful. This collection is only a small representation of transgender-welcoming services in California and the United States. Searching online for additional resources may yield more specific information or assistance. Resources are divided by California-specific organizations, national organizations, and general resources, which includes legal documents, publications, research tools, and “know your rights” resources. For ease of use, we have specified whether organizations provide direct or support services, and to what extent they serve the LGBT communities, and specifically, to what extent they serve transgender communities. National Lawyers Guild Interns spoke with representatives of almost all of these organizations to ensure that our description of their services is correct and up-to-date, and that they are explicitly welcoming of transgender community members.

Contact a Legal Service Provider or Immigration Attorney

The U.S. Department of Justice maintains a handy list of pro-bono immigration services by state that can be accessed here:

California Resources

AIDS Legal Referral Panel,
1663 Mission Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 701-1100

The ALRP Immigrant HIV Assistance Project (IHAP) provides free immigration legal services to HIV positive immigrants living in San Francisco. IHAP services include assistance with obtaining legal permanent residence (green cards), HIV waivers, political asylum, suspension of deportation, and naturalization.

Asian Law Caucus,
55 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 896-1701

Legal and civil rights organization serving the low-income Asian Pacific American communities in San Francisco & Bay Area region.

Asylum Access,
39 Drumm Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 399-1700

Asylum Access moves beyond band-aid humanitarian assistance to address the root cause of refugees' needs: denial of rights.

Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights' Asylum Program,
131 Steaurt Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 543-9444

The Asylum Program may be able to find a lawyer to represent the applicant for free, otherwise, they can provide a list of attorneys who charge lower than average fees. All information shared with them is confidential and cannot be shared with the U.S. government or anyone else without your permission.

National Lawyers Guild,
San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
558 Capp Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: (415) 285-5067

Search for an attorney using the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Referral Directory, by clicking here.

Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration,
39 Drumm Street, 4th floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: (415) 373-5299

ORAM provides LGBT clients and refugees with free legal services to break free of sexual and gender-based discrimination and persecution.

San Francisco Immigrant Legal and Education Network,
938 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: (415) 282-6209, ext. 115

SFILEN works to achieve immigrants’ rights through building grassroots leadership, providing free immigration legal services and comprehensive legal assistance, promoting community education, and organizing to empower the immigrant community.

Survivors International,
2727 Mariposa Street, Suite 100
San Francisco, CA 94110
Phone: (415) 546-2080

Survivors International is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing essential psychological and medical services to survivors of torture who have fled from around the world to the San Francisco Bay Area. Helps survivors put the pieces back together by providing the support they need to re-establish healthy and productive lives after their experiences of torture.

Transgender Law Center,
870 Market Street, Room 400
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 865-0176

The Transgender Law Center (TLC) is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. TLC provides direct legal services, engages in public policy advocacy and education and works to change laws and systems that fail to incorporate the needs and experiences of transgender people.

Nationwide Resources

Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties,
Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Review and Compliance
245 Murray Lane, SW
Building 410, Mail Stop #0190
Washington, DC 20528
Phone: (866) 644-8360

The office is led by the Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties who provides advice to the Secretary and the senior officers of the Department on a full range of civil rights and civil liberties issues. Contact this office to file complaints.

Immigrant Legal Resource Center,
1663 Mission Street, Suite 602
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 255-9499

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national non-profit resource center that provides legal trainings, educational materials, and advocacy to advance immigrant rights. The mission of the ILRC is to work with and educate immigrants, community organizations, and the legal sector to continue to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people.

Immigration Equality,
National Headquarters
40 Exchange Place, Suite 1705
New York, NY 10005
Phone: (212) 714-2904

A national organization that advocates for the equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and HIV-positive immigrants. They run a pro-bono asylum project, provide trainings to LGBT immigrants about immigration law, and match up people needing legal services with volunteer attorneys. Immigration Equality specifically provide support and resources to transgender and HIV positive individuals, and their website features written resources in English and Spanish about immigration law for transgender and HIV positive people.

Heartland Alliance’s National Immigration Justice Center,
208 S. La Salle Street, Suite 1818
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: (312) 660-1370

The Immigrant Legal Defense Project serves immigrants applying for permanent residence through a family-based application; permanent residents applying for citizenship ; immigrants who are victims of domestic violence or violent crime and seek protection in the United States; and victims of international human trafficking.

National Center for Lesbian Rights,
870 Market Street, Suite 370
San Francisco, CA 94102
Legal Helpline: (415) 392-6257 (9 am to 5 pm PST)
Toll free: (800) 528-6257 (9 am to 5 pm PST)

NCLR provides free legal assistance to LGBT immigrants nationwide. They help individuals understand various aspects of immigration law and provide direct representation to LGBT immigrants in impact cases and individual asylum claims.

National Lawyers Guild’s National Immigration Project,
14 Beacon Street, Suite 602
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 227-9727

The National Immigration Project is a national non-profit organization that provides legal and technical support to immigrant communities, legal practitioners, and all advocates seeking to advance the rights of noncitizens. The Project is especially committed to working together with people who are marginalized to protect rights and to promote fairness, including battered women, people with HIV/AIDS, children, and noncitizen criminal offenders. Members of the Project include attorneys, law students, judges, jailhouse lawyers, advocates, community organizations, and other individuals seeking to defend and expand the rights of immigrants in the United States.

Sylvia Rivera Law Project,
147 W 24th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011
Phone: (212) 337-8550

SRLP provides free legal services to transgender, intersex and gender nonconforming low-income people and people of color in the New York area. SRLP provides advice and referral for a wide variety of legal issues. Sometimes, they can also provide more help, such as advocacy, help with a case you are bringing on your own, or, more rarely, representation in a legal action.