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Can Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Protect Against Deportation?

 Posted on April 25, 2023 in Immigration

Dallas Special Immigrant Juvenile Application Lawyers
Immigration to the United States can be a complex journey, especially for children who make the journey alone and those who have experienced abuse or been abandoned by their parent(s). Fortunately, minors who have been affected by these issues may receive protections, and they may be able to apply for humanitarian relief. Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status can provide children with Green Cards, and it may also protect them against deportation.

What Is Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Status?

SIJ status provides a pathway to permanent residency for some children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by their parents or guardians. If a court determines that a child cannot be safely reunited with their parents and that it is not in the child's best interest to return to their country of origin, the child may apply for SIJ status by filing Form I-360 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If their application is accepted, they will be able to apply for a Green Card once an immigrant visa becomes available.

Who Qualifies for SIJ Status?

A child who applies for SIJ status must be under the age of 21 at the time they file their application. If the immigrant turns 21 while their application is pending, they may still be eligible for SIJ status. A person must also be unmarried when filing for SIJ status and when USCIS makes a decision in their case. The child must also be in the physical and legal custody of a state agency or a court-ordered guardian such as a foster parent. Children who apply for SIJ status must be living in the United States when they file their application and at the time that USCIS issues a decision on whether to grant SIJ status.

Does SIJ Status Protect Against Deportation?

Once a child is approved for SIJ status and receives a Green Card, they will be a lawful permanent resident of the United States, and they will be able to continue living in the country indefinitely as long as they do not commit any deportable offenses. However, immigrants who apply for SIJ status may be concerned about the possibility of deportation during the time between when they apply for SIJ status and when they are able to apply for a Green Card. In situations where a person's SIJ application has been approved, but they are waiting for a visa to become available, they may be able to receive deferred action. If deferred action is granted by USCIS, any deportation proceedings will be paused for four years, and the immigrant may also apply for authorization to work in the United States.

Contact Our Dallas Special Immigrant Juvenile Application Lawyers

Special Immigrant Juvenile status can provide minors with protection against deportation and a pathway to lawful permanent residency and citizenship, while also ensuring that children can live in a safe environment in the United States and be protected against abuse. By working with an experienced Euless immigration attorney, minors in these situations can ensure all forms and documents are filed correctly and that they meet all legal requirements to be approved for SIJ status. At John W. Lawit, LLC, we can assist with these matters, ensuring that children can be protected from harm and pursue education, employment, and other opportunities while living in the United States. Contact us at 214-609-2242 to set up a consultation and learn more about how we can assist with immigration concerns.


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