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When Can a Person Petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?

Posted on in Immigration

ivirng immigration lawyerImmigrants in the United States who are undocumented or who need to defend against deportation may have a variety of options. For those who have experienced abuse, been the victims of crime, or are at risk of harm in other countries, humanitarian relief may be available. Minors who have experienced abuse or neglect may qualify for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status, which will allow them to remain in the United States and apply for green cards. When petitioning for this form of relief, a person will need to understand the eligibility requirements and the steps they will need to take to maintain a lawful status in the U.S.

Eligibility for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

If a person receives Special Immigrant Juvenile status, they will be able to apply to become a lawful permanent resident. SIJ status will provide exemptions to certain issues that may cause a person to be ineligible for adjustment of status, including unlawful entry and employment without authorization. If necessary, a person may also apply for a waiver of inadmissibility for any other issues that would be barriers to adjustment. After receiving SIJ status, a person will be able to apply for work authorization that will allow them to obtain employment while they are applying for a green card.

To qualify for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, a person must be under the age of 21 at the time they file their petition, and they must currently be living in the U.S. They must also be unmarried, and if they were previously married, the marriage must have ended through divorce, annulment, or the death of the other spouse. However, the most important requirement involves showing that the person has been the victim of abuse or neglect by a parent that has required them to receive protection from a juvenile court in the state where they live.

A person will need to submit a court order from a juvenile court showing that they are dependent on the court or a state agency. These orders will typically be issued if a child was removed from their parents’ home and placed in the custody of child protective services or other similar agencies. A court order will need to show that the child cannot be reunited with one or both parents because they have experienced abuse, neglect, abandonment, or similar issues that would affect their safety. A person will also need to show that returning them to their home country or the country where their parents previously resided would not be in their best interests.

Contact Our Irving SIJ Petition Attorneys

Immigrants who have been placed under the supervision of a juvenile court may be in a difficult position, especially if they are at risk of harm due to abuse or neglect and would suffer hardship if they were required to leave the country. John W. Lawit, LLC can help immigrants and their family members determine their options for avoiding deportation and receiving authorization to remain in the United States permanently. To learn more about petitioning for Special Immigrant Juvenile status or other forms of humanitarian relief, contact our Dallas County deportation defense lawyers at 214-609-2242.


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