Special Immigrant Juvenile Status is for foster youth; it allows undocumented youth immigrant to stay in the country, work, and eventually get a green card.
A Special Immigrant Juvenile is an unmarried person under the age of twenty-one who is in the United States; who has been declared dependent on a juvenile court located in the United States or whom juvenile court has legally committed to, or placed in the custody of, an agency or department of a State or of any individual or entity appointed by a State or juvenile court;whose reunification with one or both parents is not viable due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or a similar basis found in state law; and in whose best interest it is not to return to her country of nationality or last habitual residence.
Before a child can apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) for SIJS, a juvenile or State court must first make several finding of fact. The Family Court in New York has jurisdiction to make SIJS findings in the context of guardianship proceedings. Thus you can make a request for SIJS factual findings in a petition for guardianship.
The factual findings are essential to a child’s eligibility for SIJS and lawful permanent residence in the United States. They alone, however, do not entitle the child to obtain these immigration benefits. Rather, these findings are a prerequisite to the e finding of SIJS Petition with USCIS. It is then up to USCIS to approve or deny the child’s SIJS Petition.
For information and assistance with your guardianship and SIJS Petition, please contact us at (212) 258-0713 to speak with our attorney.