Being allowed to live and work in the U.S. with ease is very important. For children and young adults, getting a green card could change their life for the better. Some of them may qualify for a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status if they meet certain conditions.
Want to learn more about SIJS? Here’s the crucial information you need.
What Is SIJS?
SIJS is an immigration classification. Essentially, it’s given to select undocumented immigrants who:
- Are under the age of 21
- Have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by their parents
- Are not married
- Have been declared dependent in a juvenile court
- Cannot return to their prior residence or home country
SIJS makes it easier for these immigrants to become lawful permanent residents, which means they have green cards. They can then live and work anywhere in the U.S. and eventually apply for citizenship if they want. Once issued, a green card is valid for up to 10 years. A lawful permanent resident cannot remain outside of the U.S. for more than a year – otherwise, their green card status could be revoked.
Obtaining SIJS Through the Immigration Authorities
Whether you live in Charlotte or somewhere else in the U.S., you need to go through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to get that classification as an SIJS. You’ll need to:
- Have a custody order from the proper court finding that the applicant is a dependent of the State (in North Carolina this is the Superior Court)
- Fill out Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant
- Show evidence of your age, which means a form with your date of birth on it (like a passport, birth certificate, or other official government document)
- A valid juvenile court order to show that you qualify for SIJS
- Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, if an attorney or accredited representative is helping you
- Written consent from the U.S. Department of Health as well as Human Services (HHS) if you are in HHS custody and the juvenile court order changes your custody placement or status
How Long Does it Take to Get SIJS?
It takes about six months, or 180 days, to be given SIJS status. It’s important to start the process as soon as possible, especially if you are not in a good situation at home.
Working With an Immigration Lawyer
It is a very good idea to call an immigration lawyer to represent you and help you get SIJS. They can ensure that you fill out all the forms properly and send in the requested information. Also, if you need help collecting any documents to prove your date birth, for instance, your lawyer can assist you with locating them.
Plus, it’s helpful to have someone on your side during this time, especially if you’re facing issues with your family and now you’re all alone in the U.S. Once your lawyer helps you get your green card, you can then ask them to assist you with getting citizenship one day as well, which could change the entire trajectory of your future for the better.
Find an experienced immigration attorney to learn more and get started with the process.
Contact The Fogle Law Firm, LLC
Need help with an SIJS in Charlotte? Contact immigration lawyer The Fogle Law Firm, LLC today at (704) 405-9060 to learn more, or visit our website. We are happy to assist you with all your legal immigration needs.