Huntsville Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) Lawyer
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) offers a unique option for immigrant minors who are taken into the custody of the state’s juvenile system due to abuse or mistreatment from their parents. If USCIS determines that it would not be in a minor’s best interests to return to their country of origin, they might be eligible to apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), which, if granted, would allow them to remain in the United States lawfully. This versatile protection offers freedom from further mistreatment.
Compared to other forms of lawful permanent immigration status, SIJS has several unique prerequisites. Therefore, having help from a Huntsville Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) lawyer can be crucial. If you are interested in this program, a seasoned immigration attorney could protect your future prospects and help you seek shelter from additional abuse.
What Are USCIS’s Unique Criteria for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?
In order to become eligible for SIJS status, a foreign national must:
- Be more than 21 years of age at the time of filing
- Be unmarried when they submit their application
- Maintain physical residence in the United States both at the time of filing and when USCIS makes a final decision on the application
- Possess a valid Alabama state juvenile court order indicating that they cannot remain in the custody of their parent(s) due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or another similar form of mistreatment
- Seek the aforementioned court order primarily as relief from mistreatment, rather than for any immigration benefit
- Demonstrate that removal from the U.S. and return to the country they immigrated from would not be in their best interests
Individuals in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services at the time of filing may also need written consent from that agency if their valid court order also adjusts their placement or custody status.
Applicants who meet all these criteria must submit various forms of documentation proving their comprehensive eligibility, along with a completed Form I-360 and a copy of the appropriate court order. A detail-oriented attorney in Huntsville could help a foreign national determine that they definitely qualify for protection through the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status program.
Documents Needed to File for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Individuals who are granted SIJ classification through an approved Form I-360 are generally then eligible to apply for Green Cards through Form I-485. If an immigrant visa is available at the time of filing, applicants can even sometimes include Form I-485 in their initial petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, which could save a substantial amount of processing time.
It is worth noting, though, that SIJS individuals must apply for immigrant visas through the Fourth Preference (EB-4) category of employment-based permits. This authorization can be difficult to obtain, depending on the number of other applications USCIS receives that year. A resourceful lawyer in Huntsville could analyze the current immigration situation to conclude how difficult it will for a Special Immigrant Juvenile to apply for an employment based visa.
Retain a Huntsville Special Immigration Juvenile Status Attorney Today
Although Special Immigrant Juvenile Status can be a crucial source of protection for immigrant minors experiencing mistreatment at home, it is also difficult to obtain without substantial evidence and a flawless application. If you believe you qualify for the program, a Huntsville Special Immigrant Status Lawyer could help you navigate all the steps. Reach out to the office today to speak with a team member.