Chelsea Firm Helps Clients Apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)

Massachusetts legal team answers questions for youths facing deportation

Young people who face abuse or neglect at home should not be prevented from seeking safety simply because they lack legal immigration status. Accordingly, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) was created so that victims aged 21 and under can stay in the United States and obtain green cards. Located in Chelsea, Georges Cote LLP assists Massachusetts clients who believe they might qualify for SIJS. There are several strict requirements that must be met. We will take the time to explain these standards, and if this type of relief is available, our attorneys will work hard to achieve a successful result.

Lawyers assist undocumented victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment

Our firm provides comprehensive legal support for clients who are attempting to remain in America by claiming Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. When you come to us for help, we’ll explain the following eligibility requirements:

  • Age — This is reserved for young people who are 21 years of age or younger when they file for SIJS. Also, the applicant must not be married.
  • Residence within the United States — You cannot seek SIJS relief unless you are currently in this country. A young person who is being mistreated by their parents in their home country cannot use SIJS as a means of entering the United States.
  • Juvenile court order — An application for SIJS must be preceded by a juvenile court order declaring that the youth is dependent on the juvenile court or in the custody of a state agency, such as the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. If you have not yet received this type of order, our attorney can advise you of the steps necessary to pursue one.
  • Parental abuse, abandonment or neglect — Typically, minor children remain with their parents if they are removed from the country for lack of proper documentation. However, if it is not in the best interests of the child to go with their parents due to a finding of abuse, abandonment or negligence, granting SIJS is warranted.

Someone who is approved for SIJS can remain in the United States and get a green card even if they might have otherwise faced deportation under other U.S. immigration rules. For example, applicants for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status cannot be ruled inadmissible because they might become a public charge.

Attorneys help SIJS clients complete Form I-360 and Form I-485

Our firm knows how difficult immigration-related paperwork can be, and we help our clients complete vital forms accurately. To petition for SIJS, a young person must file Form I-360 along with supporting documentation that includes their birth certificate and the court order citing the abuse, neglect or abandonment they experienced. Applicants for SIJS might also wish to file Form I-485, which is the general document used to request an adjustment of immigration status. However, the process of obtaining a green card would not begin until a favorable decision on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status is made. Timelines can vary, but the USCIS usually takes at least six months to review SIJS matters. 

Contact a Massachusetts lawyer to discuss Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

Georges Cote LLP in Chelsea works on behalf of clients seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. To make an appointment to learn about your options, please call 617-884-1000 or contact us online