Special immigrant juvenile status (SIJ status) is a term used in the United States to refer to a specific category of non-citizen children. Children who qualify for SIJ status have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by one or both parents. A child who is granted SIJ status can go on to receive permanent resident status (a green card) in the United States.
To be eligible for SIJ status, a child must meet three requirements:
- Be under the age of 21.
- The child must have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by one or both parents.
- The child must have an immigration status that makes them ineligible for reunification with their parents.
What is the USCIS Process to Receiving Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?
The application process can be complex, and it’s often best to seek assistance from an attorney who specializes in immigration law.
To apply for SIJ status, you must first file a Form I-360 Petition with the USCIS. This form can be filed by either yourself or someone on your behalf. The petition must include evidence that supports your claim that you meet the requirements for SIJ classification. Once the petition has been filed, USCIS officers will review it. If they determine that you meet the requirements for SIJ classification, they will approve your petition and notify you accordingly.
Once this petition has been granted, you will need to file another application with USCIS, called an Application for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485). If approved, this application will allow you to permanently stay in the United States and receive certain benefits such as work authorization and protection from deportation.
Benefits to Receiving Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Some of the key benefits to receiving special immigrant juvenile status include:
- A Green Card. One of the essential benefits of SIJ status is that it allows children to get a green card and become lawful permanent U.S. residents. This will enable children to live, go to school, and work in the United States legally and provide them with many other opportunities.
- Better Protection from Abuse & Neglect. By granting lawful permanent resident status to abused, neglected, or abandoned children, SIJ status provides these children with greater protection from further abuse or neglect. This can help them recover from past traumas and build new and healthier lives for themselves.
Contact Tourzani & Long, LLC For More Information About Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Do not hesitate to contact the accomplished immigration attorneys at Tourzani & Long, LLC for guidance and help if you plan to apply for SIJ status. We are committed to helping individuals and families. It would be our privilege to guide you through the SIJ Status application. Please contact us at (201) 987-0036 for a consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to assist you.
Tourzani & Long, LLC – we proudly service New Jersey and New York.