Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status is a humanitarian path to Legal Permanent Resident Status (“LPR” Status), also known as a “green card” for certain undocumented children. To obtain this status, there is a multi-step process that requires the assistance of a state court to make the determination that the immigrant child is dependent on the state due to abuse, abandonment, neglect, or similar basis under state law and that reunification with one or both of the child’s parents is not viable due to the said abuse, abandonment, neglect, or similar basis under state law. Applicants for this status must obtain an order from the state court with jurisdiction to here matters relating to children before sending their application to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) for review. This application must be submitted while the child is still considered to be dependent on the state and before the child reaches the age of majority. The age of majority differs from state to state. For example, eighteen is considered the age of majority in Georgia while twenty-one may be considered the age of majority in other states. Children who are in removal proceedings while seeking this particular status must act as quickly as possible to begin this process. Processing cases in state court for these types of matters can be a long and tedious process that requires the help of an attorney.