- Be unmarried;
- Be under 21 years of age and under the jurisdiction of a juvenile court at the time of filing the SIJ petition;
- Be physically present in the U.S.; and
- Have an order from a juvenile court that makes the following three findings, explained below:
- Family Reunification;
- Dependency/Custody; and
- Best Interests.
Family Reunification- A juvenile court judge must find that a child cannot reunite with one or both of his/her parents because of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis, depending on state law. The abuse may have occurred in the U.S. or prior to the child’s arrival in the U.S.
Dependency/Custody- Next, the judge must declare the juvenile dependent on the court or legally commit the child under the custody of either an agency, department of a state, or an individual or entity appointed by a state or juvenile court. This is typically done through guardianship proceedings through a state court.
Best Interests- Lastly, the judge must also find that it would not be in the child’s best interest to be returned to his or her country of origin.
A SIJS applicant must file at least two USCIS forms in order to get an SIJ-based green card:
- [Form I-360], Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or
- Special Immigrant [Form I-485], Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
If you would like to apply for SIJS or have further inquiries, please feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation with our highly experienced immigration attorney.For more information,
please visit the USCIS website at: http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/special-immigrant-juveniles/special-immigrant-juveniles-sij-status.