Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is for children in the United States who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by one or both of their parents. Children who are granted Special Immigrant Juvenile Status can apply for permanent residence in the United States. In order to qualify for this status, the child, through their attorney, must prove these facts:
- The child is under 21 years old;
- The child has never been married;
- The child was abused, abandoned, or neglected by one or both parents;
- Reunification with the abusive or missing parent is not possible; and
- It is not best for the child to go back to their country.
When a child applies for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, they must submit an order from a juvenile court that includes these five facts. The child can request this order in many types of cases, including custody, guardianship, adoption, and other family or juvenile court cases. If you know a child under 21, or if you are a child under 21, ask yourself these questions:
- Does the child live apart from their father or mother?
- If so, does the absent parent fail to provide financial or emotional support?
- Has the child’s father or mother ever intentionally hurt them?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then the child may qualify for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.