We published a blog post giving an overview of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). There is a chance that SIJS could be a great option for you or your child under the age of 21 who has become undocumented through means outside of their control. To help you gain a deeper understanding of SIJS and whether you may qualify, here are five frequently asked questions about SIJS.
What is Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?
SIJS is a form of immigration relief that is designed to offer a reasonable path to citizenship for undocumented minors who have been neglected, abused, or abandoned by at least one parent.
Who Qualifies for SIJS?
In order to qualify for SIJS, one must meet the following criteria:
- Under the age of 21
- Present in the United States through the time of application until the case is ultimately settled
- Unmarried through the time of application until the case is ultimately settled
How Can I Apply for SIJS?
Do you meet each of the criteria above? If so, you are eligible to apply for SIJS. Before you can do so, you must first receive a predicate order from a Maryland court to establish the specifics of your living situation. The objective here is to establish that you cannot be reunified with at least one parent, and that your living situation in the United States offers you a better path forward in life.
After the predicate order is obtained, it is time to file for SIJS relief using the SIJS self-petition on Form I-360 with USCIS. Afterward, the application will be reviewed by a USCIS officer, and the applicant will be given a date in which they can apply for permanent residency upon approval.
Can My SIJS Application Be Denied?
Yes. Therefore, we recommend hiring an attorney experienced in SIJS applications. Not only can we assist in obtaining the predicate order, but we can also work to ensure your submission contains thorough evidence and is completely error free, reducing the chances of rejection or a request for further evidence.
How Long Does SIJS Application Review Take?
According to the USCIS website, SIJS applications are usually processed within 180 days (about six months) from your official filing date. If there is data missing from your application, the clock will be halted until your response is submitted.
Are You Stuck in the Middle of the Immigration Process? We Can Help.
If you or a loved one is applying for SIJS relief, you deserve a skilled attorney who will work tirelessly to help secure the future you and your child deserve. Consult with an experienced attorney like those of the Law Office of Elizabeth A. Lawrence today by clicking here or calling (410) 986-0088. Skype, Zoom and Facetime consultations are available as well.
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