Avantika Shastri has practiced immigration law and removal defense since 2004.  During that time, she has helped numerous individuals and families obtain family-based green cards, asylum, other forms of humanitarian relief, and citizenship in the United States.  She has successfully obtained waivers and long-term status for persons whose cases involve alleged fraud, past criminal convictions, and other complex factual or legal issues.  She has experience fighting cases in Immigration Court, as well as winning difficult appeals and motions before the Board of Immigration Appeals, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and other federal courts.  Ms. Shastri also specializes in advising on the immigration consequences of criminal charges and convictions, and post-conviction relief.  Ms. Shastri regularly provides trainings and publishes on immigration topics for local and national conferences.   

Ms. Shastri was previously an attorney at Van Der Hout, LLP from 2004 to 2015, and returned to the firm in 2022.   

From 2019 to 2021, Ms. Shastri was an immigration defense attorney with the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office, where she provided advice and training to the public defenders about the immigration consequences of adult and juvenile charges and convictions. She also advised on post-conviction relief, and engaged in advocacy on immigration enforcement issues. 

From 2015 to 2019, Ms. Shastri was the Legal Director for the San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense Collaborative (SFILDC). She oversaw the pro bono legal representation provided by 15 partner nonprofit organizations to hundreds of children, families, and adults in removal proceedings before the San Francisco Immigration Court.  She was also the Assistant Director and Supervising Attorney for the Immigrant Legal Defense Program at the Justice & Diversity Center of The Bar Association of San Francisco.  In 2018, the Mayor of San Francisco awarded her a Certificate of Honor for her work with the SFILDC. 

Ms. Shastri immigrated to the United States as a child.  She received her law degree and undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley.  She has also volunteered for many non-profits in the area over the years.  In 2008, the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California awarded her the Pro Bono Attorney of the Year. 

Pro Bono Activities

  • AILA Northern California Chapter, Advocacy Committee 

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) 

Honors & Awards

  • Certificate of Honor, Mayor of San Francisco, 2018 
  • Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, South Asian Bar Association of Northern California, 2008