Sylvia G. Cano Fortes has practiced U.S. Immigration Law since 2013. Prior to co-founding CANO RIVERA LAW, she worked as an associate attorney in private immigration law firms. Her practice initially focused in employment-based immigration, receiving recognition from U.S. consulates abroad for her work. She has successfully obtained work and investor visas for nationals from Argentina, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Greece, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. She then became involved with humanitarian visas, including U-Visa petitions, working mostly with nationals from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. Her experience also includes family-based petitions, student and trainee visas, and naturalization.
Ms. Cano Fortes’ passion for helping immigrants stems from her own experience. She was born in Lima, Peru and moved to the United States with her family when she was 11 years old. A first-generation immigrant, Ms. Cano experienced the difficulties of moving to a new country as well as the struggle to become a U.S. Citizen. It would take her 10 years after moving to the U.S. to finally obtain her green card. Her personal experience with the immigration process in the U.S. inspired her desire to become an immigration attorney.
Ms. Cano graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida Atlantic University in 2010, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with minors in Philosophy and Spanish for Native Speakers. She continued her education at the Shepard Broad Law Center in Nova Southeastern University, receiving her Juris Doctor degree in 2013.
During law school, Ms. Cano Fortes was awarded the Florida Bar Foundation Fellowship to help low income immigrants obtain immigration relief through VAWA Self Petitions and U-Visas at LegalAid Service of Broward County. She was awarded the fellowship a second time to conduct mediation for juvenile offenders in restitution cases. She also co-founded the Immigration Law Organization at NSU Law wherein she helped organize volunteer programs such as the Citizenship Day Clinic and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Clinic.
In addition to her pro bono work, Ms. Cano Fortes also served as the Bilingual Editor for the ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law, in which she coordinated the publishing of two editions which included articles about the political situation in Latin America and immigration struggles in the U.S. Ms. Cano Fortes is currently involved with various organizations in Charlotte, North Carolina to help the local Latin American and immigrant community.
Mrs. Rivera Cruz, a natural from Bayamón, Puerto Rico, has dedicated the last eight years of her life to serving the community and helping foreigners with their immigration needs. Her passion for interacting with people from other countries and cultures started when she was accepted at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Modern Languages, with a minor in Political Science, and graduated top of her class in 2009.
Mrs. Rivera Cruz obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law, where she actively participated in several extracurricular activities and groups, such as, the Immigration Law Pro Bono and the National Association of Law Students of Puerto Rico. She completed a one-year Legal Assistance Clinic in Immigration Law and worked as an Immigration Law Clerk for a large Immigration Law Office in San Juan.
In February of 2013, she became a licensed Attorney in Puerto Rico and established her own office in Hato Rey, representing clients in removal proceedings before the Immigration Court, handling family based petitions and naturalization application. She started calling Charlotte, North Carolina home in early 2016, when she moved with her family to work as an Immigration Attorney for a large Law Firm, handling mostly removal proceedings, asylum and provisional waiver cases.
In mid-2017 she co-founded Cano Rivera Law, as part of her yearn to further help the Latin American community in the Carolinas. Since moving to Charlotte, Mrs. Rivera Cruz has volunteered for several local organizations. She currently volunteers with the Immigrant Justice Program, advising respondents in the Immigration Court regarding possible relief. She also volunteers with the Berks Immigrant Family Detention Center, assisting asylum seekers during their Credible Fear Interviews. Mrs. Rivera Cruz also conducts free immigration consultations and educational workshops once a month at several local churches and conducts an Immigration related radio show on Mondays at 10AM via 1220 AM, Radio Nueva Vida. She is a member of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce in Charlotte and the Immigration Section of the Mecklenburg Bar, as an out of state member.
Preparation of business plans for immigration purposes
Guidance on Tourist Visa Applications/B-2 visa
Translations for immigration
(Spanish, French and Portuguese)
Notary Services in North Carolina
Classes for Naturalization Exam
Jail Visits (Visits to Detainees in Detention Centers)