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Biographical Information

Representing clients in all 50 states and worldwide.  Kristy Figueroa-Contreras, Esq. is the founder of Figueroa-Contreras, PLLC, an immigration and criminal defense law firm with offices in Miami (Coral Gables), and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and affiliate attorneys in Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela and Spain.

In addition to being named the “Nation’s Top One Percent” for 2015, 2016 and 2017 by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, Ms. Figueroa-Contreras was also awarded “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” for Criminal Law by the National Trial Lawyers in 2015, 2016 and 2017.  In both 2014 and 2015, she was named “Immigration Lawyer of the Year” for Florida by Acquisition International’s Global Mobility, Immigration and Logistics. In addition, her firm was awarded the 2015 Corporate Live Wire 2015 Global Award for Immigration Law.

Attorney Figueroa-Contreras’ practice focuses on all aspects of immigration, nationality and consular law, as well as criminal defense of persons accused of a wide range of Florida and federal felony and misdemeanor offenses. Her criminal defense experience makes her particularly well-versed in the complex and ever-changing interplay between criminal and immigration laws and procedures. Much of her practice is devoted to representing non-citizens facing criminal charges in both state and federal criminal courts, as well as those with criminal convictions in their immigration and consular proceedings.

This attorney’s firm also handles diverse matters including:

  • Federal criminal investigations, prosecutions, detention, sentencing, post-conviction and appellate matters
  • International criminal matters, including international extradition and INTERPOL Red Notice Removal and Defense
  • Legal opinion letters, upon request of criminal counsel, regarding the potential immigration consequences of criminal arrests, pleas and convictions
  • Immigration holds, I-247 ICE Detainers and CBP Detainers
  • CBP Deferred Inspection matters
  • Bond hearings, probable cause hearings, Nebbia proffers and immigration bond redermination requests
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Privacy Act Requests and FOIA Litigation
  • I-247 Applications for Stay of Removal
  • ICE Orders of Supervision (OSUP)
  • Petitons for Review in federal court of ICE determinations and BIA decisions
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) requests
  • Cancellation of Removal under INA 240A(a) (LPR) and 240A(b) (Non-LPR)
  • Federal immigration litigation, including Writs of Mandamus and lawsuits under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA)
  • Form I-192 Nonimmigrant Waivers (Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant)
  • I-601 Waivers, including the I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver (“Stateside Waiver”)
  • Prosecutorial Discretion Requests
  • Waiver of Inadmissibility under INA 212(c); 212(d)(3); 212(h); 212(i) (Waiver for Material Misrepresentation or Fraud) ; and 212(k) Waiver of Inadmissibility
  • Motions to Reopen, Motions to Reconsider and immigration appeals
  • I-589 Applications for Asylum and Refugee status, relief under the Convention Against Torture, Withholding of Removal and Deferral of Removal
  • Advanced Parole (Form I-131); Re-entry Permits (Form I-131); and Refugee Travel Documents (Form I-131)
  • Employment-based (H-1B, H-2B, H-3, L-1A and L-1B) visas
  • Recruitment, requests for Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWD) and DOL Labor Condition Applications (LCA)
  • Employment-based (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3) green cards and DOL PERM Labor Certification
  • Cross-chargeability adjustment of status cases
  • Investment-based (E-1, E-2, L-1A, L-1B) visas
  • EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa cases
  • F-1, J-1 and M-1 Student Visas and Exchange Visitor Visas and Waiver of 212(e) Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement (J-1 Waivers)
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) cases
  • T Visas (Victims of Trafficking)
  • U Visas (Victims of Crime), including coordination with prosecutors and law enforcement to obtain requisite USCIS Form I-918B (“Supplement B”) Law Enforcement Certifications as well as U visa applications for derivative U Visa recipients
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJS) matters, including proceedings in state dependency court
  • Family-based immigrant visa petitions and Family-based adjustment of status
  • Fiancé Visas (K-1) and Spousal (K-3) Visas
  • Immigration through Adoption
  • SB-1 Returning Resident Visas
  • Naturalization; Derivative U.S. Citizenship; Adult Acquisitions of U.S. Citizenship and Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
  • Denaturalization proceedings in federal court
  • International service of process, document procurement, certified translations, apostilles and legalizations.

Attorney Figueroa-Contreras received her Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia.  She completed a judicial clerkship with federal criminal trial judge Jorge L. Ballestero, Juzgado de Instrucción No. 24 en lo Criminal y Correccional in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  While in Buenos Aires, she also completed graduate-level coursework in Latin American Legal Systems and Comparative Criminal Law at the Universidad del Salvador, Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas.

In addition to her law degree, Ms. Figueroa-Contreras holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English (1997) as well as a Bachelor of Arts Degree in French (Modern Languages) (1998) from Florida International University in Miami, Florida.

Attorney Figueroa-Contreras admitted to practice in every immigration court in the United States, as well as before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) and the Board of Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA).  She is also admitted to practice in all Florida state courts and in federal court in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Her other professional memberships include the Federal Bar Association (FBA), the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) (South Florida Chapter and Laton America and Caribbean Chapter), the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL).

Ms. Figueroa-Contreras is currently serving as Vice-Chair of the American Immigration Council (AIC) Committee as well as the UAC (Unaccompanied Minor Child) Pro Bono Committee for AILA´s South Florida Chapter, AILA South Florida’s Congressional Committee.  She is also a member of AILA´s Federal Court Litigation Section.

Attorney Figueroa-Contreras is a native speaker of English and Spanish and is also fluent in French and Portuguese.

Ms. Figueroa-Contreras offers case evaluation consultations in person at the Miami office, telephonically, via Skype, or via e-mail.  She is also available for consultation in Spanish, Portuguese or French.

 

Admission Dates & Jurisdictions

Florida Supreme Court

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida

U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida

U.S. District Court, North District of Florida

U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

All U.S. Immigration Courts

EOIR Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)

USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO)

DOL Board of Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA)

EOIR Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO)

 

Education

Attorney Figueroa-Contreras received her Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia in 2002.

During her last year of law school and the summer thereafter, she completed a judicial clerkship with a trial judge (juez de instrucción) on the federal criminal court in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she also took graduate-level courses in Latin American Legal Systems and Comparative Criminal Law at the Universidad del Salvador, Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas .

In addition to her law degree, Ms. Figueroa-Contreras holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature (1997) and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Modern Languages and Linguistics (French) (1998), both from Florida International University in Miami, Florida.

Honors & Awards

Professional Associations

Federal Bar Association (FBA)

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), South Florida Chapter

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Latin America and Caribbean Chapter

AILA Federal Court Litigation Section

National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG)

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL)

Ms. Figueroa-Contreras is currently serving on the American Immigration Council (AIC) Committee for AILA´s South Florida Chapter.