Does my child qualify for special immigrant juvenile status or SIJS?


In order to qualify for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (also known as SIJS), the juvenile needs:

  • to be under the age of 21;
  • not be married;
  • have an order from a judge stating that he/she cannot live with either one of his/her parents, or both parents due to (1) abuse, (2) neglect or (3) abandonment; and
  • It is not in the best interests of the minor to return to his/her country of nationality or last habitual residence.

After a Judge order has been entered by the court with regards to the custody of the Juvenile, he/she can apply to USCIS requesting Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, USCIS will then make a decision with regards to the petition. If the petition is approved, the juvenile will have to wait until there is a visa available for him/her. This can be a long wait, depending on the country of origin.

The good news is that once a visa becomes available, the juvenile can file an I-485 application to adjust status in order to obtain a green card.

It is recommended that you speak with an Immigration Attorney. The Court Order must be properly written in order to meet USCIS’s SIJS Standards. If you are interested in learning more about this immigration option, please contact our office to schedule an appointment with our attorney. 



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