If you are present in the United States and require the protection of a juvenile court due to abuse, abandonment, or neglect by a parent, you may be entitled to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). The award of SIJS can lead to eligibility for lawful permanent residency, commonly known as obtaining a Green Card.
The process for acquiring Special Immigrant Juvenile Status entails two significant steps:
- Initial Appearance Before the Family or Surrogate’s Court: The minor involved must make an appearance before the Family or Surrogate’s Court in the county of residence. During the proceedings for guardianship or custody, the court also issues a “special findings order.” This order establishes the minor’s eligibility for SIJS.
- Application to USCIS: After procuring the “special findings order” from the Family or Surrogate’s Court, the next step is to apply for SIJS with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
In order to be considered for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, the applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Age: The applicant should be under 21 years of age.
- Residence: The applicant must be currently living in the United States.
- Marital Status: The applicant must be unmarried, which includes individuals who have never been married or those who were previously married but are now divorced, or their spouse is deceased.
- Juvenile Court Order: The applicant must possess a valid juvenile court order issued by a state court in the United States, determining that:
- The applicant is dependent on the court, or in the custody of a state agency, department, an individual, or an entity appointed by the court.
- The applicant cannot be reunified with one or both parents due to abuse, abandonment, neglect, or a similar basis under state law.
- It is not in the applicant’s best interest to return to their home country or last habitual residence, as decided by a family court.
Navigating the intricacies of immigration law can be challenging. If you or a loved one could potentially benefit from Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, reach out to us today. The dedicated team at our law firm can provide a detailed consultation to assess your eligibility for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. We are committed to offering expert legal advice and assistance to guide you through this process effectively. Contact us today to start your journey towards a safer and more secure future.
Contact our team today for a consultation to evaluate your chances of applying for a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.