removal defense

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)

Undocumented children within the state juvenile system can be put on the path to become lawful permanent residents through the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). Learn more about how this might apply to your case. 

What is Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)? 

The Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is granted to juveniles in the state system or who need protection from juvenile court because they have been abandoned, neglected, or abused by a parent. The SIJS allows them to be put on the path to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR) and receive a green card. This is often applied to undocumented children in the state system up for adoption or foster care.


SIJ eligibility? 

To be eligible for SIJ, you must:

  • Be under 21 years of age at the time of filing
  • Live in the United States
  • Be unmarried
  • Be able to prove that you are a dependent of the court or state agency and that you cannot be reunited with your parents due to abuse, abandonment, or neglect
  • Be eligible for USCIS consent at the time of filing
  • Have written consent from the Department of Health and Human Services or Office of Refugee Resettlement


How to apply for SIJS? 

To apply for an SIJS, you must fill out a form I-360 visa petition. In doing so, you may find that you are exempt from certain rules due to your special immigrant juvenile status. When the application is submitted, the USCIS can determine whether you qualify for SIJS and, therefore, a visa or green card. During the time that your application is pending, you may apply for employment authorization documentation.


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