Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) refers to a classification or protection that our federal government gives to some immigrant youth under age 21 who have left their native countries because they suffered abuse, neglect or abandonment by their parents or caretakers. Once classified as an SIJ, you would be eligible to apply for a green card and obtain permanent legal resident status. In order to be classified as SIJ you need to complete the following steps:
STEP ONE: Your lawyer asks the Juvenile Court or a Probate and Family Court Judge to issue an order that states all the following:
- You are not married,
- You are under the age of 21,
- You cannot return to live with at least one of your parents because he/she abused, abandoned or neglected you,
- You would be better off (it would be in your “best interests”) staying in the United States rather than being sent back to your home country.
STEP TWO: An immigration lawyer takes the order from the Juvenile or Probate and Family Court and asks the U.S. Government (United States Citizenship & Immigration Service or USCIS) to classify you as a “Special Immigrant Juvenile.” This step must be completed before you turn 21.
STEP THREE: If that request is approved you can apply to become a Legal Permanent Resident of the United States, and, if approved, you will obtain your green card.
Ask your lawyer to determine if you meet the requirements to apply for a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and to make sure your judge knows you need an order with SIJ findings so you can apply to become a resident.
If you are facing deportation or removal from the United States, and you are able to obtain classification as a Special Immigrant Juvenile from the USCIS, the Special Immigrant Juvenile classification may prevent your deportation.
Should you need assistance in obtaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE case evaluation.
We offer reasonable fees and a payment plan option so that you can become a legal permanent resident of the United States.