Helping Those With Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJ Status) in New York
We have 20+ years of experience representing families in matters relating to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJ) for non-citizen children living in the United States who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. We can advise clients on the broad implications of the SJIS on the child’s immigration status as well as provide guidance throughout family and juvenile courts. Our clients have included parents, relatives, and family friends that have demonstrated the capacity to competently care for a child.
The eligibility requirements for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJ Status) are as follows:
- The child must be under 21 years old and physically present in the U.S.
- The child must not be married.
- A court must declare the child to be a dependent.
- A court must declare a child is unable to reunite with a parent in their home country due to abuse, neglect or abandonment.
The State Juvenile Court will need to determine the child’s eligibility for SIJ Classification, and make an official determination that legally permits the applicant to move forward. Determinations about child custody and dependency are also part of this necessary process. Following New York state law, the juvenile court will establish whether or not the child should be reunited with his or her parents or other custodian.
In order to petition for SIJ Classification, the child will need to submit the following to USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services):
- Form I-360, “Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant”
- Provide evidence of age with one of the following documents: a birth certificate, passport, official government identification document. The USCIS may accept other documents as well, if they sufficiently prove the applicant’s age.
- The applicant’s juvenile court orders that establish the court’s determination about the child’s custody and welfare.
- If the child is in the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the HHS will need to provide written consent for the child’s application to SIJ. This written document must be submitted to USCIS.
- Form G-28 from the applicant’s attorney or accredited representative, if he or she has one.
Our New York immigration lawyers combine proactive planning with efficient case management in order to streamline our services and to better respond to the challenges presented by today’s complex immigration landscape.