Tuscaloosa Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) Lawyer
Individuals under 21 living in the United States who have been subject to harm or otherwise forsaken by their parent or legal guardian could qualify to remain in the country through the special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) program. One of the key benefits of obtaining special immigrant juvenile status is that it can provide a pathway towards a green card.
A Tuscaloosa special immigrant juvenile status lawyer could ensure you do not have to face or handle this complex process alone. A compassionate immigration attorney could evaluate your present situation to determine whether you are eligible for this status while helping you take swift action to safeguard your rights and future.
Eligibility Criteria for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
A detailed list of criteria must be met to apply for and secure special immigrant juvenile status. The first set of criteria to apply for SIJS is that the individual must reside in the U.S., be under 21, and not be married.
Second, the individual seeking SIJS must either be in the care or the custody of a state entity, the court, or a party designated by the court as determined in a juvenile court order. Then, a court order must demonstrate that the individual should not be subjected to the care of their parent, parents, or guardian because doing so would subject the young immigrant to harm, desertion, or similar conditions.
Moreover, the order must establish that being sent back to the individual’s country of origin or the residence of their parents or guardian would be directly opposed to their best interests. Finally, SIJS applicants must also show that they are seeking this status based on these abusive or otherwise hazardous conditions rather than solely to secure permanent residence. A Tuscaloosa attorney could help a young immigrant prove these qualifying factors and secure the special immigrant status they need.
The Application Process and Timeline for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
The timeline of applying for and receiving a determination about an SIJS application generally takes around six months, but this window can vary case by case. The early steps of the process will typically involve the individual or minor being placed in the care of the court, an entity or individual designated by the court, or a state agency, due to the harmful or abusive nature of their home environment.
To obtain the juvenile court order required to be eligible for SIJS, a young immigrant needs to implement a wide range of evidence, such as law enforcement reports, healthcare records, and witness statements confirming the living conditions in question. A dedicated attorney could help with compiling this evidence.
Then, the young immigrant needs to their initial petition as well as Form I-485, which is the application to seek permanent residence or an adjustment of status. Other supporting forms and paperwork will also be required, such as identification records, medical records, as well as written consent documentation if the applicant is in the custody of a government agency. A resourceful lawyer in Tuscaloosa could help with obtaining all this necessary paperwork and keeping an application for special immigrant juvenile status on track.
Contact a Tuscaloosa Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) Attorney
The special immigrant juvenile status process is designed to allow individuals in abusive and even dangerous situations to obtain lawful status and remain in the country. Even specific grounds that could bar you from securing legal permanent residence in the U.S., such as being undocumented, do not present a barrier to applying for SIJS.
If you have questions about pursuing SIJS, consult a Tuscaloosa special immigrant juvenile status lawyer immediately to discuss your legal options. Reach out today to get started.