Immigration Blog

August 1, 2019

Special Immigration Juvenile Status

Are you undocumented under the age of 18 and in the United States without your biological parents or with one of your biological parents?

If you answered yes, you may be eligible for SIJS.

In some states, like Washington, you may be eligible if you are under 21 and in the United States with neither of your biological parents or one biological parent (though this is currently under litigation).

If you are a minor, under the age of 18 in Oregon or under the age of 21 in Washington State (the age limit in WA is currently under litigation), and you are not here in the United States with both of your biological parents, special immigration juvenile status may be an option for you to eventually obtain your legal permanent residency in the United States.

In order to qualify for special immigrant juvenile status one or both of your parents must have abandoned, abused, or neglected you, you need an adult sponsor here in the United States that is willing to take guardianship or legal custody over you (unless you are in delinquency proceedings), and it must be determined that it is not in your best interest to be returned to your home country.

If this sounds like your situation, you need to go to state court and get an order from a state court judge with the special immigration juvenile status findings (called a predicate order). This is not something an immigration judge can do for you, it must be done through the state courts. Family law attorneys can often help with this, or your immigration attorney should be able to refer you to an attorney who can help. This order must be obtained before you are 18 years old in Oregon and before you are 21 in Washington.

The order can be obtained in Custody Proceedings, Dependency Proceedings, Delinquency Proceedings or Guardianship Proceedings.

Once you have this order your immigration attorney can help you fill out the immigration forms and send in the application. There is no immigration fee for this application. Once your application is approved, you will be eligible to apply for your Legal Permanent Residency in the United States. Depending on what country you are from, you may have to wait for the priority date to become current to file your application for your Legal Permanent Residency which could take several years. While you wait for the priority date to become current, you cannot get married, as if you get married you will lose your eligibility to adjust status through special immigrant juvenile status.

If this sounds like something you may be eligible for, please call our office for a free consultation as we have helped numerous clients obtain special immigrant juvenile status. (503)224-0950