The Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) program was created to help foreign children in the United States who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, whose best interests will not be served by returning to their home country. Your eligibility for this program is not affected by your current immigration status. We may be able to help you apply for this designation if:
- You are under the age of 21
- You are not married
- You are in the United States
- You are separated from one or both of your parents
- You are currently enrolled in school and you depend on one of your parents or sponsor;
If your Special Immigrant Juvenile application is granted, you will be eligible to apply for employment authorization, and eventually apply for a Green Card in the United States. However, it is important to note that if you become a legal permanent resident through the SIJ program, you cannot later sponsor either of your parents for a green card.
There are several parts to the process of obtaining legal permanent residence through SIJ status:
- Obtain an order from the Family Court stating that it is not in your best interests to return to your home country and that you cannot be reunited with a parent because of abuse, abandonment, neglect, or any similar basis under state law.
- File a petition with USCIS (Form I-360) to receive the designation of Special Immigrant Juvenile, which makes you eligible for a visa. After that, you must apply for an Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) which will allow you to obtain a green card. You may also file an application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765). Del Olmo Law will help you with this process and work with you throughout the preparation for your interview and the interview itself.