Immigration Attorney McCathern Painter discusses Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, who is eligible, and the process to get it.

  • What is Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status or SIJS provides a path to residency for children living in the United States who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by one or both of their biological parents.

  • How do you get it?

The process has three steps. 1) You must go to a family court and have a judge issue a custody order stating the minor child has been abused, abandoned, or neglected by one or both of their parents, that reunification is not possible, that the child has been declared a dependant upon the juvenile court, and that it would not be in their best interest to return to their home country. 2) After the order has been issued, the child can apply for SIJS. This is a fairly simple application and generally takes between 6 months and 2 years for a decision. 3) After the SIJS visa has been approved, the child must wait for a permanent visa or green card to become available before they can apply for residency. This generally takes between 2 and 4 years.

  • Who can begin this process on the child’s behalf?

You can begin the SIJS process for any child living in your care, it does not have to be your biological child.

So if you have or know a child living in the United States without legal status and you think they may qualify for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, call one of our experienced Immigration Attorneys today. Let them start going over the case.