Special Immigration Cases for Immigrant Children
Immigration law is a complex web of precedent and statutes that are often difficult to interpret. As such, immigration issues in America can be incredibly emotional, confusing, and frustrating. Those involving children can be even more gut-wrenching. At the Law Offices of Tina Sharma, we represent many types of immigration clients and are honored to represent cases involving children. If you or a loved one are facing child immigration issues, look no further than our firm. We will welcome you with open arms and do everything we can to make the situation right and protect the children involved.
What is Special Immigration Juvenile Status (SIJS)?
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status is a special legal status that protects immigrant children permanently separated from their parents or legal guardians. The Immigration and Nationality Act Section 101 explains that the designation of SIJS refers to immigrants in the U.S. who:
- Are juveniles under the custody or agency of a department of the U.S.
- Had the courts determine it wouldn't be in their best interest to return them to their previous country of residence
- Lack a juvenile court with authority to determine custody or placement states
SIJS provides alien children who don't have a parental guardian a way to obtain a green card. The SIJS designation gives non-citizen children a means to receive federal and state benefits if they need them. The SIJS rule protects children and provides them with some stability.
It's crucial to note that under the SIJS program, children can't petition for a green card for their parents. However, they can apply for siblings after they reach 21 years of age. After five years, minors in the SIJS program will have a chance to become naturalized citizens.
The Requirements for Obtaining SIJS
To receive SIJS, a court order must determine that you:
- Are currently in the custody of the court, or are a court dependent
- Can't be reunited with your parents because of concerns over physical safety
- Aren't married
- Haven't yet reached 18 years of age
- Currently live in the U.S.
Juveniles accepted for the status must also be in the U.S. and complete Form I-360 with the USCIS. Because of this, any alien seeking SIJS has to go through state law and the juvenile court system, making it imperative to have an experienced family law immigration attorney. Our team of Maryland immigration attorneys provides comprehensive legal services with a deep and continued commitment to public service.
How an Immigration Attorney Can Help with an SIJS Petition
Unfortunately, those who seek a SIJC petition should anticipate a lengthy and complex process. Candidates are required to provide extensive documentation and follow the exact steps to petition their case in court. They might not realize that the SIJS process crosses two court systems: immigration court and juvenile court. A seasoned immigration lawyer can help you apply for SIJS and navigate the complexities of each court. An SIJS attorney can do many things to help your case, including:
- Collect the pertinent documentation
- Verify information on those documents
- Represent your case in the correct immigration and juvenile courts
- Help you initiate the green card process
- Seek avenues of naturalization after
It's essential to have a knowledgeable lawyer to facilitate the often-complex process. Find out more about how we can help by calling us today at 202-875-7462 or getting in touch online.