US Immigration Attorneys – Our Team
Shilpa Malik, Esq. – Managing Attorney
Prior to founding her own law firm, Shilpa Malik worked as a Senior Attorney at prominent New York City based law firms where she practiced Immigration Law exclusively. She has handled a myriad of Immigration cases and issues including Family-Based cases, Employment Based cases, Consular Processing, CSPA, Removal Representation and Defense. Attorney Malik has participated in several community outreach programs and was an Advocate with the Immigrants Rights Clinic at the New York University School of Law.
Attorney Malik has extensive experience in Immigration Court, Federal Immigration Court, and Federal Criminal Court Litigation proceedings in Miami, including court appearances for Master and Individual Hearings for cases involving Criminal and Overstay Waivers, CIMT Defense and petitions for review in the U.S. Courts of Appeals.
In addition to her experience in removal/deportation defense cases, she has prepared and filed non-immigrant and immigrant visa petitions including, but not limited to:
- H-1B, E, L, O, P, H-3, J, K and U Visas, as well as I-130 and I-140 Immigrant Petitions with Accompanying Adjustment of Status (I-485)
- EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Petition
- PERM Labor Certification with the Department of Labor
- EB-2 and EB-3 Employment based Green Cards
- Investment Based and Treaty Trader Visas and EB-5 Green Card
- Affirmative Political Asylum
- Marriage Cases
- Naturalization/Citizenship, 245(I), CSS/Lulac, LIFE Act, Removal of Conditions etc.
Attorney Malik has built a great reputation as one of the top attorneys in the South Florida area in deportation defense, employment immigration, PERM Labor Certification, investment based immigration, family and marriage based immigration cases. She works extremely hard to deliver the best outcome in immigration cases for every client of the firm.
Attorney Malik attended the New York University (NYU) School of Law where she distinguished herself by receiving the Deans Graduate Award. She is admitted to the New York State Bar and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), American Bar Association (ABA), New York State Bar Association and New York City Lawyers Association (NYCLA). Shilpa was born in India and is fluent in English, Hindi and Urdu.
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
Ashley Gruber – Senior Attorney
Attorney Ashley E. Gruber is originally from a small town west of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from Coastal Carolina University and her law degree from Florida International University College of Law in Miami, Florida.
Ms. Gruber is particularly adept at handling complicated matters. She has obtained approvals for many complex immigration cases, previously mishandled cases, and cases where it was evident that the reviewing USCIS officer had misunderstood or overlooked the facts or documents of the record. Ms. Gruber’s creative and detailed approach has also helped clients obtain approvals following intricate Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny.
Ms. Gruber has excelled in a variety of areas including but not limited to:
- H-1B Specialty Occupation & L-1 Intracompany Visa
- E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
- EB-1A, EB-1B, and EB-1C Green Card
- EB-2 and EB-2 NIW Green Card
- Non-immigrant visas: B-2, F, TN, K-1, O, P, H-3
- Other: I-130 Petitions, consular processing, adjustment of status, naturalization, removal of conditions on residency, affirmative asylum, work permits, advance parole, applications for temporary protected status
- Requests for Evidence, Motions to Reconsider, and Notices of Intent to Deny
Ms. Gruber’s passion for immigration law originally stems from her grandparents. Her maternal lineage is from Sparta and Crete, Greece. Her paternal lineage is from Innsbruck and Vienna, Austria. Her grandparents experienced the lasting effects of the immigration system and often shared their stories with her. Despite being homeless, misunderstood, and shunned by society, her grandparents worked tirelessly to ensure their children had a better life.
When Ms. Gruber lived in Costa Rica as an undergraduate student, she was able to speak with people firsthand about their immigration struggles and about how difficult it can be to start life in the United States. It was apparent to her that the same struggles her grandparents experienced because of the immigration system remained.
Prior to joining SGM Law Group, she practiced at immigration law firms in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and in Naples, Florida. She is conversant in Spanish and licensed to practice law in Florida.
Cecilia Rodriguez – Of Counsel
Attorney Cecilia Rodriguez is based out of our New York City office. Ms. Rodriguez is a graduate of Yeshiva University, Cardozo School of Law in New York. Additionally, she has a certification in Spanish received by the Spanish Ministry for Education and Science, granted in June 2006. She has been admitted to practice law in the state of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She has worked in both the non-profit and private sectors practicing immigration law for the past seven years as well as participating in her law school’s immigration law clinic. She is still active in the non-profit sector and works as of counsel for Centro Comunitario – CEUS in Union City, NJ. She has been a panel speaker for CLE trainings in the context of domestic violence and immigration law. She was also a panelist at an Immigration Law Symposium (2010) at Cardozo School of Law.
Ms. Rodriguez has also participated as a community outreach speaker at a forum titled, “Understanding the Laws that Protect Women & Children,” in April 2006 in Port Chester, NY and was a panelist for a CLE training seminar titled, “Immigration Remedies for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence,” in March 2007 in White Plains, NY. She is an active member of AILA (the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association). Cecilia was born in Colombia and is fluent in English and Spanish.
Ardian Gjoka – Of Counsel
Attorney Ardian Gjoka is based out of Jacksonville, FL. Mr. Gjoka received his J.D. from Tirana University School of Law, Albania, in 1995. He worked as an attorney in Albania until he immigrated to the United States in 1999. Upon arriving in Jacksonville, Florida, he volunteered at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, helping immigrants who had arrived in the US as refugees.
In 2003, Mr. Gjoka received the Degree of Master of Laws (LL.M.) in United States Legal Studies (with honors), from Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, California. He is now admitted to the New York State Bar Association. From 2002 until 2012, Mr. Gjoka worked for various law firms in Jacksonville, Florida.
Native of Albania, Mr.Gjoka has been a passionate and dedicated advocate of the Albanian community for many years by assisting members of this community to find the best legal representation for all of their legal issues. He is a member of San Jose Refugee Ministry which provides support to individuals who have had to flee their countries of origin due to the tragedies of persecution and war.
Stephen Valencia – Immigration Paralegal
Stephen Valencia is an enthusiastic, self-motivated, and dedicated professional with a track record of holding positions with increasing responsibility. He possesses proven organization, analytical, research and administrative management skills. Stephen is particularly known for his commitment to quality and passion for delivering results while exceeding expectations. Steve is naturally detail-oriented and known for being responsible, trustworthy, hard-working, and eager to learn and grow. He also possesses proven relationship-building talents and problem-solving abilities.
Samima Patel-Gonzalez – Senior Paralegal
Samima Patel-Gonzalez has 11 years of experience working as an immigration paralegal. She has prepared a wide range of business immigration forms and petitions including: H-1B, H-3, E-1/E-2, L-1A, L-1B, TN, I-140 petition etc. She also possesses extensive experience with PERM Labor Certification process, from beginning to end.
Samima has significant experience with researching immigration and government regulations, case law and procedures to support client cases. In her role as a Senior Paralegal with our firm, she communicates extensively with clients regarding case status, request for evidence and immigration procedures.
Samima’s responsibilities include case management, drafting forms, monitoring deadlines, preparing immigration packets by analyzing and coordinating the gathering of information from clients from beginning until final disposition.