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Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Special Immigrant Juvenile Attorneys in North Carolina
The Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJ) helps vulnerable children obtain lawful permanent residence within the United States. US immigration laws take into account the circumstances of various groups of people. These include alien investors, students wishing to study, and children who are victims of neglect, abuse, and abandonment. If you think you’re qualified for a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, consult our sepcial immigrant juvenile attorneys today.
At Diener Law, we have provided legal representation to immigrant clients of all ages and backgrounds. No two immigration issues are the same. Our competent and compassionate North Carolina special immigrant juvenile status attorneys will look into your specific situation and provide the legal help you need. Contact us today at 888-361-3349 for a free consultation.
Do you need an SIJ attorney?
Numerous immigration forms are processed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For some people, these would likely be related to family-based immigration, such as getting a fiance visa or getting a green card through marriage. Others would associate USCIS with work visas or an application for naturalization. There is, however, a lot more to the immigration service than this.
In some instances, immigration policy becomes intertwined with other areas of law, such as family law practice. In almost any legal proceeding, the best interests of a child are put at the forefront. This is true even for immigration matters, as seen in the SIJS.
Essentially, the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status enables immigrants younger than age twenty-one to apply for a green card and obtain legal permanent residence in the United States. This immigration classification is generally available to undocumented immigrants who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by one or both of their parents.
A dedicated immigration and special immigrant juvenile attorney in North Carolina can explain this in more detail and assist you with relevant paperwork.
What is the Special Immigrant Juvenile status?
The Special Immigrant Juvenile status covers children who have been subject to state juvenile court proceedings. These, specifically, are related to abuse, neglect, abandonment or one or both parents, or similar circumstances under relevant state law.
An SIJ status is distinct from other legal proceedings because it requires supporting documents from a state juvenile court. Beyond USCIS forms, the SIJS is grounded on declared juvenile dependency. In essence, there must be enough evidence for the juvenile court to declare the juvenile applicant as a dependent.
Juvenile courts are the only entities with sufficient knowledge and authority to decide on the applicant’s family status. The actual legal process, however, can be pretty complex. If you are looking into the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and want to know if you qualify, contact our office for a free, confidential consultation.
Call us at Diener Law by dialing 888-361-3349 and consult with our special immigrant juvenile attorneys in North Carolina today.
What are the benefits of the SIJ status?
Several benefits come with obtaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. One of these is the opportunity to apply for lawful permanent residence in the United States. In general, the SIJS waives several types of inadmissibility that would otherwise prevent an immigrant from getting a green card and becoming a legal permanent resident.
Under immigration rules, for example, unlawful entry, status as a public charge, working without authorization, and certain immigration violations may be waived given a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. More importantly, minors granted SIJS will have the chance to adjust their immigration status, obtain work authorization, and eventually apply for citizenship in the United States.
A knowledgeable North Carolina special immigrant juvenile attorney can provide the legal assistance that you need. Consult our immigration attorneys in Greenville, NC so we can help you with your immigration concerns.
Who is eligible to apply for the SIJ status?
The SIJS was established during the Immigration Act of 1990. It was meant to provide undocumented minors a path towards legality in the US and focus on needs that the government had not addressed through existing statutes back then.
According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, undocumented foreign nationals who cannot be with their parents due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment can apply for SIJS as long as they meet certain qualifications.
Call us at Diener Law by dialing 888-361-3349 and consult with our special immigrant juvenile attorneys today.
A foreigner applying for SIJS must be under 21 years old when the immigration petition (Form I-360) is filed.
An applicant for SIJS must be unmarried both when filing and when the USCIS decides on your petition. Those who have never been married or were previously married but whose marriage ended in death, divorce, or annulment meet this qualification.
Court order from a Juvenile Court
A foreign national seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status must first be declared dependent in a juvenile court. This would mean that the Family Court takes jurisdiction over a petition addressing the needs of the applicant.
It is essential to keep in mind that for the juvenile court order to be valid, it should be issued by a state court in the US and indicates that the applicant:
- is dependent on the court, in the custody of a state department, agency, or individual appointed by the court
- cannot be reunited with one or both of their parents due to abuse, abandonment, neglect, or similar bases sanctioned by relevant state laws
It is essential to remember that certain juvenile courts can only issue a juvenile court order for those below 18 years old, both when filing and when a decision is made.
However, this court order could be unnecessary if the court’s jurisdiction ended because:
- You aged out of the juvenile court’s jurisdiction
- You were adopted or placed in a permanent guardianship
- You are eligible for USCIS consent when the decision on your petition is made.
An SJIS applicant must be in the US during filing and when the USCIS decides on the petition. One cannot come to the United States under the Special Juvenile Immigrant Status by applying from their home country.
You must establish that it is not in the minor’s best interests to return to their country of nationality or the last habitual residence of their parents.
To know more about the juvenile immigrant status, you may contact a reliable special immigrant juvenile attorney from Diener Law. Dial 888-361-3349 or send us a message today.
Knowing About Relevant Immigration Rules
If you are in the United States and need the protection of a juvenile court because you have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by one or both of your parents, you may be eligible for SIJ status. If a Special Immigrant Juvenile status is granted, you may obtain lawful permanent residence and become a green card holder.
Most of the time, a family court receives jurisdiction over the case of a minor through guardianship. This can make its way to court given various scenarios, such as the following:
- If a welfare agency receives reports on alleged abuse, abandonment, or neglect or abuse, and it is the juvenile court that decides on whether the minor involved is placed with a private guardian or gains status as a ward of the state
- If the other parent approaches the court and petitions for custody as part of a divorce case involving alleged abuse, abandonment, or neglect
- If a family member or friend, who tended to the needs of the child after being left behind by their parents, files a court petition for legal guardianship
If you wish to learn more about these things, give Diener Law a call. Our North carolina immigration lawyers and special immigrant juvenile attorneys can help you resolve your immigration questions and concerns.
How to Apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
There are two main phases that one must go through when applying for Special Immigrant Juvenile status.
Apply for SIJ status in family court.
First, the applicant must engage in a proceeding in the family court in the county they reside in to acquire a special findings order declaring their eligibility for SIJ status. This could be through guardianship, permanency hearing for children in foster care, or a person needing supervision proceeding.
Submit the SIJ requirements to USCIS.
The second phase involves submitting the required paperwork to the USCIS and waiting for a decision. In both these phases, reliable legal assistance can make or break your petition.
When seeking legal counsel, it is crucial to look for someone who has extensive experience handling cases similar to yours. They should take time to listen to every single detail about the case and respond to clarifications once all relevant information has been gathered. Such is crucial in determining the possible options and deciding on the best course of action. Call us at 888-361-3349 to know how we can help.
Consult A Special Juvenile Immigration Attorney in North Carolina!
The SIJ status is an excellent opportunity for undocumented minors to remain in the United States with legal status and ultimately have a shot at becoming green card holders. The immigration process involved, however, can be stressful and emotionally draining.
Our legal team at Diener Law can comprehensively explain relevant immigration laws. We will employ an effective case-management system to ensure that your case moves smoothly. Our diligent and trusted North Carolina SIJS lawyers will work hard to make sure that you get the best possible results.
Consult with our North Carolina special immigrant juvenile attorneys. We can help you with your immigration concerns, personal injury case, or workers’ compensation claims in North Carolina. We are here 24/7 to help. Call our immigration law firm at 888-361-3349 today.