Special Immigrant Juveniles Visa SIJS

Special Immigrant Juveniles Visa SIJS

The Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJ)

In response to the harsh realities faced by thousands of children in the United States, Congress enacted a crucial humanitarian measure: The Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJ). This status serves as a lifeline for minors who have endured parental violence, abandonment, and homelessness without adequate support. SIJ provides essential protection and a pathway to permanent residency for youths living without parental care in the U.S., offering a more favorable alternative to asylum or adoption.

Accessing SIJ involves navigating the juvenile or family court system, where decisions are made regarding the custody of the minor. Factors such as dependency, visa eligibility, and the potential harm of returning to their home country are carefully evaluated. Legal support plays a essential role in securing the well-being and safety of these vulnerable children, ensuring they receive the protection and opportunities they deserve.

At Progresso Legal Group, our attorneys have been unwavering advocates serving families for over 25 years in Los Angeles city and county. We deeply understand the intricate challenges faced by those who have endured abuse, neglect, and abandonment, often at the hands of parents, organized crime, or gangs.For immigrant youth, Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status offers a crucial pathway to legal stability, particularly for those unable to reunify with their parents due to unsafe conditions. Despite significant visa limitations and backlogs, especially affecting youth from countries like Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, South America including Colombia and Venezuela, as well as the Caribbean, we remain steadfastly committed to guiding our clients through the SIJ process with expertise and compassion.

If you have a family member and or love one who may qualify for SIJ, it's imperative to grasp the criteria and procedures thoroughly. Whether it's ensuring eligibility or navigating visa availability, our experienced team is here to provide unwavering support at every step of the journey.

Together, let's break down legal barriers and secure a brighter future for these deserving youths. Contact Progresso Legal Group today to learn how we can make a difference in the lives of vulnerable immigrant youth.

To ensure the best protection for our SIJS clients during visa backlogs, we take proactive measures:

  • A. We Promptly seek a state court order with SIJS findings to kickstart the process.
  • B. File the I-360 swiftly, ideally on the same day as the state court findings, as the filing date impacts their place in the visa queue.
  • C. Keep in mind that there's no limit on the number of I-360s that can be filed, maximizing every opportunity available.
  • D. We regularly monitor the Visa Bulletin, typically posted around the 15th of each month, to predict visa availability and prepare the I-485 application accordingly.
  • E. Before filing the I-485, we double-check the current month's Visa Bulletin to prevent rejection.
  • F. If our client's visa isn't current under Chart A but permitted under Chart B, expedite the filing of the I-485 to obtain work authorization promptly.
  • G. We advise our clients to maintain state court jurisdiction until the I-485 is adjudicated, unless they age out.
  • H. Caution against marriage until the I-485 is adjudicated to avoid revocation of the I-360 approval.
  • I. We educate our clients about the risks of inadmissibility, particularly regarding interactions with the criminal or juvenile system.
  • J. We explore alternative forms of relief if the client's visa is backlogged, such as U visas, VAWA, or T visas, to alleviate delays and offer alternative pathways to legal status.

Where and How Can You Apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

The initial step involves presenting the child's circumstances to a juvenile court, demonstrating abandonment, lack of care, and homelessness. This presentation is crucial for the child to qualify for this immigration status. Once the court establishes the facts, the child can proceed with the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status application process.

The application entails submitting supporting documents that substantiate the child's abandonment, loss of parents or one parent, dependency status, and the child's best interest not to return to their native country. This classification was first established by Congress in 1990, offering benefits to children declared dependent by the state and deemed unfit for return to their home country.

Benefits of Special Immigrant Juveniles Visa SIJS

  • Legal residence in the United States for the child.
  • Work permit eligibility for the child.
  • Eligibility for permanent residency or Green Card for the child.
  • Eligibility for SIJ

How can a young person become eligible for The Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) visa application?

  • Being under 21 years of age.
  • Not being married.
  • Residing within the United States.
  • A court must have established that the child cannot live with their parents due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

Important Note:

If the child is 17 years old, seeking assistance from an experienced attorney is crucial, as many California state courts cannot issue orders once the child turns 18. Additionally, obtaining SIJ status does not extend immigration benefits to the child's parents.

Important Note:

  • To apply for this immigration status, the child must submit certain supporting documents to USCIS, including:
    • Form I-130, used for widows, Amerasians, or special immigrant petitions.
    • Proof of age, such as a birth certificate, passport, or official identity document from their country of origin.
    • Valid court orders from a juvenile court.
    • If the child is under custody, written consent from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
    • Form G-28, notifying representation by an accredited attorney or representative.

Most Common Questions and Answers about Juvenile Visas

Who Qualifies for the Juvenile Visa?
Any undocumented minor under the age of 21 may apply, along with documents proving they have never been married, evidence of current age, and court orders showing abandonment or harm by one or both parents, along with dependency on the state to prevent return to their country of origin.

How can someone apply for the SIJS visa?
If the minor fulfills all the requirements outlined by the court system, they should seek legal assistance from an attorney experienced in family and immigration law or from a SIJS service provider. These professionals will assist in gathering all required documentation, obtaining court orders, completing necessary forms, and accompanying the minor to immigration appointments throughout the process.

How long does it take to obtain Permanent Resident once the Special Immigrant Juvenile visa is granted?

The process generally takes three to four weeks after submitting the dependency petition, but it can extend to three to four years due to USCIS visa backlog coordination with the Department of State (State).

What are the benefits of the Special Juvenile Visa?

This special status allows immigrant youth to become legal permanent residents, obtain a Green Card, and thus live permanently, work legally, and travel outside the United States. It also provides financial aid for college and access to public health, housing, and assistance programs.

Are there any risks in applying for this special immigrant youth status?

There is a possibility of needing to appear before a family court to obtain a supportive court order for the application. Additionally, if the SIJS visa application is rejected, the individual may face deportation proceedings. It's crucial to consult with a SIJS legal service provider before submitting the application.

If I don't meet all the requirements for the special immigrant youth status, can I still obtain a Green Card and become a resident of the country?

If you don't meet all the requirements for this legal status, you may still obtain a Green Card through other methods such as sponsorship by another family member, adoptive parents, asylum, marriage, or by applying for a U visa if you are a victim of abuse or domestic violence. It's advisable to speak with a SIJS legal service provider to explore potential options.

If you or a loved one have a minor in your home without legal status who meets the above requirements, that minor may qualify for a juvenile visa. Seek legal assistance; our immigration lawyers can help. Call us for a free evaluation or consultation!

Progresso Legal Group Attorneys, serving the city and county of Los Angeles for over 25 years, understand the challenges you are facing. We know firsthand how difficult it can be to find reliable answers and support during such uncertain times.

Unlike many other immigration law firms, we prioritize your needs and concerns. We recognize that affordability and accessibility are paramount, which is why we offer compassionate and expert legal assistance without exorbitant fees. Our team is dedicated to providing clear communication and guidance, ensuring that you never feel misunderstood or alone during your immigration journey.

Whether you're struggling with language barriers or feeling overwhelmed by the complexities of your case, Progresso Legal Group Attorneys is here to help. Don't let anxiety and uncertainty hold you back. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards resolving your immigration challenges.

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