Special Immigrant Juvenile Status is a status that is available for children or youths that have been abused, abandoned or neglected by a parent of theirs, and are already on United States soil. This status needs to be applied for, and once it is granted, the special immigrant juvenile might also be eligible to obtain a Green Card. Naturally, one needs to apply for both juvenile status and permanent residency if both are to be obtained, and in order to do so, various forms must be submitted.
In relation to SIJ status, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services need to be provided with the following documents:
- Form I-360;
- Evidence of the immigrant’s age (which might include one’s birth certificate, identity card document or passport); And
- A valid juvenile court order.
Furthermore, if the juvenile is in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USCIS) custody, then written consent must be obtained by the said Department. Moreover, if the juvenile has a representative or an attorney, then Form G-28 also needs to be filled.
Once these forms have been filled and submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, then the latter will send the applicant a Notice of Action, which shows the date when the application was received and its receipt number. It should also be noted that the USCIS might contact the applicant for further information if they feel they need this information to come to a decision about the applicant.
What if the applicant also has filled the Form I-485?
If the applicant has filled Form 9-485, then USCIS will send the applicant an appointment for their fingerprints and photographs to be taken. They will also be asked to submit Form I-693, which concerns a Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Records if this was not previously submitted. In this case, USCIS also might contact the applicant for further information to be provided, should they feel that it might be needed.
But how long will applicants have to wait till their petition is processed?
Most often, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services usually process applications and petitions within 180 days from the date from which it was filed. It should be noted that if not enough information is provided, then delays might be encountered until the required data is handed to USCIS. However, while Form I-360 takes 180 days to be processed, this is not the case with regard to Form I-485, which often takes longer to process.
Once the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status application is processed, Immigration Services will then send a notice of approval or else a written decision informing the applicant why their application was rejected and how an appeal can be launched. Likewise, when one’s Form I-485 is approved, then USCIS will send an approval notice. If, on the other hand, the application is denied, then the applicant might file a motion to renew, reopen, or else reconsider the application in court.