Helping Innocent Children Seek SIJV Visas
The federal regulations were recently modified for Special Immigration Juvenile Status eligibility. This resulted in more children who may be eligible to receive a Special Immigrant Juvenile Visa (“SIJV”), and inevitably U.S. permanent resident status.
Contact Scott CC Immigration Law to talk with our special immigrant juvenile visas attorneys in a free limited telephone consultation.
Special Immigrant Juvenile Visa Requirements
Once a minor child can be classified as “under the custody” of the juvenile court, he or she may be eligible for a visa grant. No longer does a child have to only be in foster care to be eligible for a SIJV. The Federal Regulations lay out the requirements as follows:
Any person, including the alien, may file this petition for a foreign national who:
- Is present in the United States;
- Is unmarried and less than 21 years of age;
- Has been declared dependent by a juvenile court in the United States, or who such a court has legally committed to or placed under the custody of an agency or department of state, or an individual or entity appointed by a state or juvenile court;
- Has been the subject of a determination by a juvenile court in the United States that reunification with one or both of the juvenile’s parents is not viable due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis under state law; and
- Has been the subject of administrative or judicial proceedings that determined that it would not be in the juvenile’s best interest to be returned to the juvenile’s or his or her parent’s country of nationality or last habitual residence.
There are many common mistakes that our law firm sees which causes an otherwise eligible child to entirely miss his or her chance of becoming a permanent resident through the SIJV process. These mistakes include: Adoption occurring BEFORE the minor becomes a U.S. permanent resident, believing that the child has to be in foster care, state court special findings not being made before a minor turns 18 years old.
Our law firm has seen and witnessed the hardship of foreign children who are innocently brought to the U.S. and now suffer an “invisible existence.” Specifically, if the minor does not have citizenship and he or she is unable to get a driver’s license, go to college, or get a job legally.
The Advantage of Location in Processing Special Immigration Juvenile Visa – Adjustment of Status to U.S. Permanent Resident
The state in which a minor resides can make the difference between the success or failure of a Special Immigration Juvenile Visa (“SIJV”). The State of Maryland has passed state laws making the challenges of getting a SIJV more inclusive of all minors. For instance, a minor who “ages out” is no longer eligible for a SIJV and cannot adjust status to a U.S. Permanent Resident ( i.e. get his or her “Green Card”). However, Maryland created a law to allow minors who have aged out to still qualify for a SIJV. The age out is “18” for Juvenile court, but in Maryland they extended the age to 21.
In Washington D.C., the Superior Court has placed a top priority on processing SIJV on behalf of minors in the shortest time possible. Comparatively, in the tri-state area of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., it is D.C. that has the fastest processing times for SIJV, which offers several advantages to families living in limbo with their undocumented minors.
Contact a SIJV Status Lawyer
Scott CC Immigration Law meets with all parties including the minor child to help everyone understand the process. We do not bring up the past with the minor child as this is very damaging and causes undue stress. Instead we focus on the goals of the SIJV process and give them a clear understanding of the process once successful. We have witnessed the delight in a young teenager’s eyes when he or she realizes there is hope!
We represent government and private individuals to help minor children become U.S. green card holders through the SIJV process. For a consultation please contact us by email or phone for an appointment. We have offices in Fairfax, Virginia; Rockville, Maryland; and Washington, D.C.