Special Immigrant Juvenile
Certain aliens under the age of 21 who are declared to be court dependents may be eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile status (SIJS). Being declared to be a Special Immigrant Juvenile allows the alien to petition for permanent resident status as a special immigrant in the EB4 category.
In order to be accorded Special Immigrant Juvenile status, a juvenile court located in the United States must declare the alien a dependent of the court or legally place the child under the custody a state agency, department or individual appointed by the state or a juvenile court in the United States. The court must also find that the child cannot be reunited with one or both parents due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis found in state law. Furthermore, it must be determined in either administrative or judicial proceedings that it is not in the alien’s best interest to be returned to his or her previous country of nationality or last habitual residence. If the alien is in the legal custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the alien must request permission from HHS in order for a juvenile court to legally place him or her somewhere else.
A petition for LPR Special Immigrant Juvenile status is filed on the Form I-360 petition. The relevant court order must be in effect when the Form I-360 is filed in order for it to be approvable. The alien must be unmarried and under the age of 21 as of the filing date of the Form I-360 and must be present in the United States. The alien must be unmarried during the adjudication of the Form I-360 in order to be eligible to be afforded Special Immigrant Juvenile status. An alien may file for adjustment of status concurrently with filing for SIJS if an immigrant visa number in the EB4 category is immediately available at the time that the petition is filed. Although an alien must be admissible in order to gain status as a Special Immigrant Juvenile, many forms of inadmissibility may be waived if it is demonstrated that such a waiver is in warranted due to humanitarian concerns or that the waiver is in the public interest.
Special Immigrant Juvenile status is an extremely valuable form of immigration relief for alien children who are neglected or abused by their parents. The process for gaining status as a Special Immigrant Juvenile is often quite complicated. At The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, we have experience with applying our experience and expertise to assist in each step of a Special Immigrant Juvenile case.