Erika Gonçalves Photo
  • Bio

Erika Gonçalves

Attorney at Law, Partner

Erika immigrated from Sāo Paulo, Brazil, to the United States as a young child and began navigating the immigration system for herself and her family at an early age. Like many of the clients she represents today, she grew up working in her family’s restaurant in San Francisco. In 2003, Erika became a naturalized United States citizen, and after her direct experience confronting the U.S. immigration system’s challenges, felt drawn to a life of advocacy for immigrants’ rights. This yearning led Erika to be the first in her family to graduate from college and earn a post-graduate degree. As an immigration attorney, Erika has successfully represented countless clients seeking legal status.

Erika’s fluency in English, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish uniquely position her to connect with and advocate for immigrants from throughout Latin America. She prides herself on providing individualized attention to her clients and their priorities as she works on their legal matters. She has helped hundreds of clients obtain lawful immigration status with U Visa and VAWA applications, which protect victims of crimes and domestic violence. She also represents clients in asylum, deportation defense, adjustment of status, family petitions, fiancé petitions, DACA, and naturalization.

Prior to completing her law degree, she graduated cum laude from the University of San Francisco where she studied Politics and Latin American Studies with a minor in Public Law, and completed the “USF in Washington, DC” fellowship program. She also participated in educational programs in El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, and India. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. There, she participated in the Wage and Hour Clinic where she successfully advocated and reached a settlement for her client, an employee whose wages had been unjustly withheld by her employer. Prior to founding Fuerza Immigration Lawyers, Erika worked pro bono for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and Centro Legal de La Raza’s immigration clinic.

She is a member of the State Bar of California and is licensed to practice before the US District Court for the Northern District of California and the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
    • Juris Doctor, 2009
      • Admissions Committee Member for the 2009 incoming class
      • 2009 CALI award for excellent achievement in the study of Legal Ethics & Practice of Law
      • UC Hastings Moot Court, Best Oral Argument, Honorable Mention, 2008
      • UC Hastings Individual Representation Clinic, Wage & Hour Section, 2008
      • UC Hastings Civil Justice Clinic, ACCESS/CHRO Project, 2007
      • La Raza Student’s Association, President, 2006-2007
  • University of San Francisco
    • Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, Politics and Latin American Studies, with a minor in Public Law, 2006
      • Cesar Chavez Award, Multicultural Student Services, University of San Francisco, 2006
      • USF in Washington, DC, Program, Fellow, 2005

Bar Admission

  • Admitted in California
  • Licensed to practice before:
    • All Immigration Courts
    • Board of Immigration Appeals
    • Supreme Court of California
    • U.S. District Court for Northern District of California
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Practice Areas

  • Immigration Law

Professional Associations

  • State Bar of California, Active Member, 2010-present
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association
  • East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association

Pro Bono

  • Gateway High School Board of Trustees, 2009-2013


  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • English
  • Spanish