Special Immigrant Juveniles

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status is a way that certain minors are able to become permanent residents and get a green card.

What are the Requirements for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?

Requesting Special Immigrant Juvenile Status is a complex process that typically involves both state family-court proceedings followed by multiple immigration processes. The complexity of the process has increased in recent years as the category became more widely used, owing in part to increased numbers of minor children arriving in the United States without at least one of their parents. This in turn has increased the scrutiny of these kinds of applications and resulted in new requirements. Working with an attorney is extremely important on these matters.

The general requirements for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status applicants are:

  • Be under 21 years of age (family-court proceedings often must be completed before this however)
  • Be currently living in the United States
  • Be unmarried
  • Have a valid juvenile-court order that USCIS considers to meet numerous requirements
  • Be eligible for what USCIS calls its "consent"

The eligibility requirements are different for individuals who are in HHS or ORR custody. Additionally, because the SIJ process frequently follows a state-court process, that legal proceeding depends on each state's law. There are frequently age-related issues for each part of this process and so beginning early is an important advantage in these matters.

What Resources Exist for Special Immigrant Juveniles?

There are a number of helpful resources available for people interested in Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, both in terms of direct legal advice and representation, as well as online guides and legal resources.

Legal Advice and Direct Legal Representation

Many local immigration service providers offer direct legal services to unaccompanied minors and individuals seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. Private attorneys are also often available to assist with family-court proceedings as well as Special Immigrant Juvenile Petitions.

Online Legal Resources and Guides for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

The following resources may be useful for locating information on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status issues:

Recent News

Recent USCIS Changes to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status