There is a classification known as the Special Immigrant Juvenile, which protects children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected. In order to be considered for the SIJ Classification, there are a number of eligibility requirements that a child would have to meet.
Some of the general requirements for eligibility include that the child is physically present within the United States, that there has been an eligible juvenile court order issued, that they are under the age of 21, and that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security approved of the measure. In certain situations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also needs to consent.
In an SIJ circumstance, the court must determine that if the child were reunited with their parents, they may be put in danger of further abuse, neglect, or abandonment. The juvenile court will determine what the next steps are to determine the best interest of the child. One question that is commonly asked in SIJ cases is whether family members of the SIJ petitioner can be included in the petition. However, these individuals can only petition for their family members to come to the United States once they have adjusted their status to become a lawful permanent resident.
If you have questions about petitioning as a Special Immigrant Juvenile, you should speak to an experienced immigration attorney who can assess your situation, determine your eligibility, and help you get started.
If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for matters regarding immigration, please contact the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta, LLC and we would be happy to provide you with assistance.