Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Attorney in St. Charles, MO
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJ) is a program that assists disadvantaged youngsters in obtaining lawful permanent residency in the United States. Immigration rules in the United States consider the conditions of different groups of individuals. Aliens who want to invest, students who wish to learn, and children neglected, abused, or abandoned are among them. If you believe you are eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, contact one of our Special Immigrant Juvenile attorneys right away.
At Gateway Immigration Law Firm, we’ve helped immigrant clients of different ages and origins get legal status in the US. When it comes to immigration, no two cases are alike. That’s why you need a good SIJ status attorney who can investigate your circumstances and give you the legal assistance you require. For a free consultation, be sure to get in touch with us immediately.
What is special immigrant juvenile status?
Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status is an immigration relief provided to undocumented children in the United States. They have been abandoned, mistreated, or neglected by at least one parent and fulfil several additional criteria. Special immigrant juvenile status offers a road to citizenship, but it is a multi-step procedure that includes family law and immigration law.
Each year, thousands of children and minors come to the United States without the presence of a parent or legal guardian. In recent years, the number has risen considerably due to gang violence, acute poverty, and national security issues in Central and South America.
If the kid is not in foster care when they arrive in the United States, someone must be willing and able to seek and secure guardianship or custody of the child. The kid is presumed to be dependent on a juvenile court because the juvenile court decided the guardianship or custody petition or because the child is in foster care. One parent may seek custody of the kid and subsequently petition for SIJ status due to the other parent’s abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
Who qualifies for special immigrant juvenile status?
Through SIJ status, non-citizen children and young adults who have been neglected, mistreated, or abandoned by a parent may be eligible to get a green card or legal permanent residency in the United States. This is a relatively short path to a green card for children who qualify. However, the procedure is extensive and should be carried out with an SIJ attorney.
Because the application process must begin while the child is still a juvenile or minor under state law (before the age of 18 in most states, though young people over 18 may be eligible for SIJ status depending on the legal definition of “child” in that state), it is critical to identify children and youth who may qualify for this status before they are too old to benefit. This is something that teachers, counsellors, social workers, and youth probation officers should be aware of.
How to Determine Eligiblity for SIJ Status
To qualify for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status:
- The kid must be found to have been mistreated, neglected, or abandoned by a juvenile court, family court, or comparable state court. The court must either designate the kid a “court dependent” or place them in the custody of a guardian, a state agency, or a family member.
- The same court must also determine that returning the child to his or her native country is not in the child’s best interests.
Immigration officers cannot make this decision; a judge must decide on it in the state where the kid resides.
The kind of courts that have the authority to make such a finding as well as the legal criteria for abuse, neglect, or abandonment is, are a matter of state law that varies from state to state. Such orders are commonly issued by juvenile courts, family courts, and probate courts. The names of such courts, as well as their authority, differ from state to state. This is one of the many reasons why hiring an SIJ attorney to assist you in this process is a good option.
Only after acquiring the documents mentioned above may one proceed to the immigration phase of the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status application procedure.
How to Apply for Special Immigration Juvenile Status
The Special Immigrant Juvenile Status application procedure is for children who need a green card because they have been subjected to abuse, neglect, or abandonment and cannot return to their native country. The SIJ status procedure is divided into three phases. A seasoned Special Immigrant Juvenile attorney can assist you with each step of the SIJ status immigration process.
Juvenile State Court Proceedings
To qualify for SIJ status, a state court must determine that the child has been abused, abandoned, or neglected by one or both parents. The state court must also determine that the child’s best interests are not served by returning to their native country.
A child might end up in court for various reasons, some of which are not their fault. Someone may report a family to the police, Child Protective Services, or a child welfare organisation, such as a neighbour or a witness. It is also conceivable for a non-abusive parent or family member to report abuse or battle for child custody. It is also possible for a family member or another adult to petition to be the child’s legal guardian. Special Immigrant Juvenile Status may be a possibility if the youngster does not have lawful permanent residency (LPR) in the United States.
Your SIJ status lawyer will present the case to the court that the kid has been subjected to neglect, abuse, and abandonment and should not be returned to their native country. Evidence of abuse must be given in this case, such as:
- Testimonies from family members
- Testimony from the child
- Witness affidavits
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Social worker’s reports
- Statements from teachers
- Any other evidence that shows the child has experienced abuse
Working with an experienced special immigrant juvenile attorney in St. Charles, MO can help you in navigating the process and presenting the essential facts in your case.
How to Petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Classification
You must fill out and submit Form I-360 to petition for a green card based on Special Immigrant Juvenile Classification. Even though this form is required, numerous more forms must be petitioned for and filed together with Form I-360. You must, for example, complete Form I-485, Application to Register for Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, correctly. The petition for SIJ status and permanent residency are both completed simultaneously.
You will need to supply supporting documents for the following in addition to Form I-360:
- Evidence of your age by birth certificate, passport, or other official identity document issued by a foreign government
- Juvenile court order
- Form I-485, Application to Register for Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
- Written consent from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Form G-28
Filling out these documents can rapidly become complicated. Using the services of an adjustment of status attorney will guarantee that all paperwork is accurately completed and filed to the USCIS on time. It’s also crucial to inform your attorney if you’ve had any run-ins with the law — communication with your lawyer is vital.
Petition for Permanent Residency for Special Immigrant Juvenile Green Card
As previously noted, you can file Form I-485, Application for Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status, together with your SIJ status application. However, a child’s admission or rejection of permanent residency cannot be determined until they are designated as a special immigrant juvenile. If you are granted SIJ immigrant status, you may be entitled to forego permanent residency costs by filing Form I-912.
You may be eligible for a Green Card by completing Form I-485 if your petition is approved and you are given SIJ classification. The USCIS will provide you with an informed notice of your formal receipt for filing once you have filed for a Green Card. The USCIS will notify you if any more proof is required. The USCIS typically takes six months to decide on your file.
What are the benefits of SIJ status?
The kid does not need to have entered the United States lawfully or have any means of financial support, both of which are hurdles to most other forms of green card applications since they make the applicant “inadmissible.” In reality, for Special Immigrant Juveniles, most other reasons of inadmissibility are irrelevant.
In addition, Special Immigrant Juveniles are immigrants who are qualified to have the application cost for a green card waived.
Consult a St. Charles Special Immigrant Juvenile Attorney Now!
Undocumented children can apply for SIJ status, which allows them to remain in the United States with legal status and eventually apply for a green card. However, the immigration procedure may be demanding and emotionally taxing.
Our St. Charles immigration team at Gateway Immigration Law Firm can help you understand and navigate immigration laws and. We use an excellent case-management system to guarantee that your case goes smoothly and on-time. Our dedicated and dependable special immigrant juvenile status attorney will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome in your immigration process!