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Special Immigrant Juveniles Attorney
in Phoenix, Arizona

If you are in the United States and need the protection of a juvenile court because you have been abused, abandoned or neglected by a parent, you may be eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification. If SIJ classification is granted, you may qualify for lawful permanent residency (also known as getting a Green Card).

Valid State Court Orders

For establishing eligibility for SIJ classification, a juvenile court is a court in the United States that has jurisdiction under state law to make judicial determinations about the dependency and/or custody and care of juveniles.

State juvenile courts issue orders and make decisions based on; state law about dependency or custody; whether a juvenile has been abused, neglected, abandoned, or subject to similar maltreatment and consequently cannot be reunified with his or her parent(s); and the best interests of the juvenile.

You must meet all of the statutory requirements outlined below to be eligible for SIJ classification.

You Must:

When?

Be under 21 years of age.

Only at the time you file the SIJ petition
(Form I-360).

Be currently living in the United States. You

cannot apply from outside the country to

come to the United States on SIJ classification.

Both at the time you file the SIJ petition and
at the time USCIS makes a decision on your petition.

Be unmarried. This means you either:

  • Have never been married; or

  • Were previously married, but the marriage ended in annulment, divorce, or death.

Both at the time you file the SIJ petition and
at the time USCIS makes a decision on your petition.

Have a valid juvenile court order issued by a

state court in the United States which finds that:

  • You are dependent on the court, or in the custody of a state agency or department or an individual or entity appointed by the court;

  • You cannot be reunified with one or both of your parents because of ANY of the following:

  • Abuse,

  • Abandonment,

  • Neglect or

  • A similar basis under state law;

AND

  • It is not in your best interests to return to the country of nationality or last habitual residence of you or your parents.

Note: Some juvenile courts may only be able

to issue a juvenile court order if you are

under 18 years of age.

Both at the time you file the SIJ petition and at the time USCIS makes a decision on your petition.

EXCEPTIONS: You do not need to currently be under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court that issued your order if the court’s jurisdiction ended solely because:

  • You were adopted or placed in a permanent guardianship; or

  • You aged out of the juvenile court’s jurisdiction.

Be eligible for USCIS consent. This means that you must have sought the juvenile court order to obtain relief from abuse, neglect, abandonment or a similar basis under state law and not primarily to obtain an immigration benefit.

At the time USCIS makes a decision on your petition.

Have written consent from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to the court’s jurisdiction if:

  • You are currently in the custody of HHS, AND

  • The juvenile court order also changes your custody status or placement.

At the time USCIS makes a decision on your petition. Please see the HHS website for instructions on obtaining HHS consent.

At Lelli Law Firm helping Juveniles is something that we pride ourselves in. Our attorneys will handle the entire process for you. From obtaining the juvenile court order to filing your special immigrant petition. If you are or know a juvenile who has been abused, abandoned or neglected by a parent we would love to help.