NEW JERSEY SPECIAL IMMIGRANT JUVENILE PROGRAM (SJI) LAWYER
Helping Abused, Neglected and Abandoned Foreign Children in the United States
The Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) program is one designed to offer aid for foreign children in the United States who have been abused, neglected or abandoned by their parents or primary caretakers abroad. The program allows children victims under the age of 21 to obtain a green card under this status that could lead to full citizenship and all of the rights that pertain to it.
Am I Eligible For The SJI Program?
This program is only available to those who qualify, and the Department of Homeland Security has put limitations in place so that the program is not used by their parents as a means of obtaining a green card for themselves.
To be eligible for the SJI program, the following must be true:
- Your under 21 years old when you file
- You are not married
- You are in the United States when you file
- You have been abused, neglected, or abandoned
- This history makes it impossible for you to be reunited with your parents
- There is an individual in the US who is willing to act as your guardian
- A Family Court Judge must issue a special Order granting your guardian custody.
Exceptions and Rules with an SJI Green Card
This status is very generous, as it ignores a lot of the other conditions that stop most people from getting a green card, such as an inability to provide for yourself, not having passport, and the manner in which you entered the country, all for a humanitarian cause. The SIJ program does have certain limitations.
You will not be able to:
- Petition for a green card for your parents
- Petition for a green card for siblings until you are a full U.S. citizen
If these conditions are met, our New Jersey SJI attorneys can help you file and afford you the ability to live and work in the United States independently.
Can Special Immigration Juvenile Status Be Revoked?
USCIS may revoke an approved SIJ petition if there is evidence or information that conflicts with the petitioner’s eligibility. There are also circumstances that may result in an automatic revocation.
Reasons for automatic revocation of an approved SIJ petition:
- Petitioner gets married before he gets SIJ benefits
- Petitioner is reunited with parents (and parents are not viable of abuse)
- Juvenile court reverses a decision that originally granted SIJ status
If your petition has been revoked, you may appeal it within 15 calendar days of the decision or 18 days if the denial was sent by mail. There are no exceptions for this unless the petition has proof that the delay was reasonable and was due to something that was beyond their control.