Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)

Human Rights First

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) offers a path to permanent residence for certain children.

SIJS is a complicated process, we strongly urge you to consult and work with an immigration attorney immigration attorney if you think you or a family member may be eligible.

Unmarried children under 21 (18 in some states) who have been neglected, abused, abandoned by a parent, or whose parent has died are eligible for SIJS.

To apply for SIJS, first obtain a special findings order from a state family court. This process is complex and different in each state, so we strongly recommend consulting an immigration attorney.

Generally, this special findings order must find:

you are a dependent of the court, or in the custody of a state agency or an entity appointed by the court;

you cannot be reunified with at least one of your parents because of abuse, abandonment by or death of a parent, neglect or a similar basis, and that it is not in your best interests to return to the country of nationality.

With a special findings order, you file Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant.

Decisions on SIJS petitions are usually made within 180 days.

Once approved, you will be eligible to apply for a permanent residence by filing Form I-485, Application for Permanent Residence and supporting documentation.

A manual for minors who are based in New York state.

USCIS – Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

Safe Passage – Manual on the SIJS Process

Kids in Need of Defense