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Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Petition

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What is a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) Petition?

A special immigrant juvenile status petition allows the most vulnerable of immigrant children to obtain permanent resident status in the United States.
These findings must be made initially be a state court judge and included in a custody petition and order, after which that order from the state family court is used to petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services, where the child must again produce evidence to prove the elements for SIJS.It is a multi step process beginning in a state level family court, followed by a petition before US Citizenship and Immigration Service and an interview with an immigration officer. In order to successfully petition for SIJS, the child must be abandoned, abused or neglected by one or both parents, have no suitable custodian in their home country, be unmarried and, if petitioning in Virginia, under 18 years old. 

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Petition Attorney

Immigration law forms a complex web of precedent and statutes that many find difficult to interpret. Immigration cases prove even more problematic when immigrant children do not have the protection of a parent or guardian. Special Immigrant Juvenile Status refers to a special legal status meant to protect immigrant children permanently separated from their parents or guardians.

At Pachuta, and Kammerman, PLLC, we strive to help immigrants of all ages achieve security and stability. Our team of special immigrant juvenile status petition attorneys in Fairfax, VA, can represent your SIJS case to ensure that immigrant children receive the protection they require. We have a reputation for compassionate case management and will work tirelessly to defend immigrants’ unalienable rights in court.

What Is Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)?

According to the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 101, the designation of special immigrant juvenile status refers to immigrants in the U.S. who:

  • Are juveniles under the custody or agency of a department of the United States
  • The courts have decided it would not be in the minor’s best interest to return them to their previous country of residence
  • No juvenile court has the authority to determine custody or placement states for the juvenile

The special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) provides alien children without a parental guardian a pathway to acquire a green card. The SIJS designation allows non-citizen children a means to receive federal and state benefits, if necessary. The SIJS rule serves to protect children and provide them stability. However, any child under the SIJS program cannot petition for a green card for their parents. However, they can apply for siblings once they reach 21 years old. Minors in the SIJS program will have a chance to become naturalized citizens after five years.


What Are the Requirements for Obtaining SIJS?

In order to grant special immigrant juvenile status, there must be a court order determining that you:

  • Currently are in the custody of or are a dependent of the court
  • Cannot be reunited with your parents due to concerns over physical safety
  • Are not married
  • Are under 18 years old
  • Currently live in the United States

Juveniles accepted for the status must also be under 21 years old, and they cannot be married. They must also be in the United States and fill out Form I-360 with the USCIS. As such, any alien seeking SIJS must go through state law and the juvenile court system. That is why it is imperative to have an attorney experienced with family law and immigration court. Our team of Fairfax immigration attorneys provides award-winning legal services and has a deep commitment to public service.


What Happens After I Get SIJS?

It is important to note that obtaining SIJS does not grant one citizenship. Instead, gaining special immigrant juvenile status accords access to a path to receiving a green card and, later, residency or citizenship. Immigrant minors who receive SIJS can change their residency status to permanent and apply for work in the U.S. After five years of being a lawful permanent resident, the individual can apply for U.S. citizenship. An experienced immigration attorney can also help you take the next steps after receiving SIJS.


How Can a Special Immigration Juvenile Status Petition Attorney Help My Case?

Expect a long and complex process to receive special immigration juvenile status. You must provide extensive documentation and follow the exact steps to petition your case to the court. Overall, the SIJS process spans two court systems: the juvenile court and the immigration court. An experienced immigration attorney can help you apply for SIJS and navigate the complexities of the court. Among other things, an SIJS attorney can:

  • Gather the relevant documentation
  • Verify information on documents
  • Represent your case in immigration/juvenile court
  • Help you begin the green card process
  • Pursue avenues of naturalization afterward
  • And more

Claims of asylum can also complicate SIJS claims. You need to have a qualified SIJS attorney to facilitate the process. At Pachuta, and Kammerman, our goal aims to help immigrants explore all possible options for the immigration and SIJS process.


Special Immigrant Juvenile Status in Fairfax, VA

Immigration court can be complicated and requires documentation, paperwork, and court appearances. Our team of attorneys at Pachuta, and Kammerman have helped immigrant families petition their case to the court. So if you need a special immigrant juvenile status petition attorney in Fairfax, VA, contact us or call us today at (703) 822-4701 to receive a case evaluation.

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