Mesa Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) Lawyer
Children who are not United States citizens usually obtain green cards by being sponsored by one of their family members. However, in some situations, non-citizen children who have suffered abuse, abandonment, or neglect can obtain legal residency without sponsorship from a family member.
A dedicated Mesa Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) lawyer has helped many mistreated non-citizens obtain permanent residency. If you are or know of a child who might be eligible for SIJS status, a seasoned immigration attorney could help you follow the correct procedures.
Who Is Eligible to Apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?
Federal immigration laws have created the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) to help certain undocumented minors obtain lawful immigration status. To become a permanent resident, a minor must meet the requirements of SIJS and also apply for a green card.
The following are the initial eligibility requirements to apply for SIJS:
- The applicant must be under 21
- The applicant must be currently living in the United States when they file the petition and when the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services makes its final decision
- The applicant must be unmarried
In addition to meeting those initial requirements, a successful applicant must also obtain a valid juvenile court order from a state court. The court order must state that the child is eligible for long-term foster care due to abandonment, abuse, or neglect. The juvenile court order must also state that it would not be in the minor’s best interests to go back to their home country.
An experienced Mesa SIJS attorney understands both the state probate process and the federal immigration process. They could search for evidence proving that it would be against the child’s interests to return to their home country, such as by providing proof that the child has no family members who could care for them.
Pros and Cons of Filing for SIJS Status in Mesa
When a minor applies for SIJS status, they can skip over many of the procedural requirements that other applicants have to meet in order to obtain legal residency. For instance, an SIJS applicant does not need to prove that they have a means of financial support. Many people who enter into this country must prove they have a way of supporting themselves financially, either by themselves or through a family member’s support. Minors filing through SIJS might also be eligible to apply without paying the standard green card application fee.
The major disadvantage of the SIJS program is that the program does not unite families. If only one of the minor’s parents was abusive or neglectful, the minor still would be unable to help the other parent obtain a green card. A compassionate lawyer could explain how Special Immigrant Juvenile Status works and help a minor in Mesa determine if this program is appropriate for them.
Contact a Mesa Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) Attorney
If you are a non-citizen minor who has experienced neglect or abuse from your parents, you might be able to obtain a green card without your parents’ help. Because obtaining a green card through SIJS requires a thorough understanding of both Arizona juvenile court law and federal immigration law, working with a knowledgeable attorney is critical. Legal professionals can also assist guardians or foster parents with helping children get through the SIJS process. Contact a Mesa Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) lawyer today for advice.