If you or someone you know who is living in Atlanta, GA are seeking protection from the juvenile court within your county because you have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, you may qualify for a Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Visa. A SIJ Visa, when granted to an individual, may qualify you to receive lawful permanent residency, or as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) refers to as, receiving your Green Card. If you are considering applying for a SIJ Visa, you are encouraged to review the eligibility requirements listed below as well as contact Kuck | Baxter Immigration Partners LLC to speak with a qualified immigration attorney in Atlanta, GA.
Statutory Requirements that Must be Met in Order for an Individual to be Eligible for SIJ Classification
If you are interested in applying for an SIJ Visa and you believe your circumstances qualify you for this visa type, take a moment to review the requirements listed below to be sure you meet all of them.
- You must be under the age of 21 only at the time you file your petition for an SIJ Visa.
- You must be living in the U.S. when you file your application and when USCIS makes its final decision regarding your petition.
- You cannot be married. If you were previously married but it ended in annulment, divorce, or death, you may still apply.
- You must have a valid juvenile court order issued by the state of GA, given that is where you are living, which recognizes that:
- “You are dependent on the court, or in the custody of a state agency or department or an individual or entity appointed by the court.”
- “You cannot be reunified with one or both of your parents because [one or more] of the following [circumstances exist]: abuse, abandonment, neglect, or a similar basis under state law” and “it is not in your best interest to return to the country of nationality or last habitual residence of you or your parents.”
- You must “be eligible for USCIS consent.” What this means is that you must have sought the juvenile court order to obtain relief from abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis under state law and not primarily to obtain an immigration benefit.”
- You received written consent from either the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to the court’s jurisdiction given that:
- You are “currently in the custody of HHS” and “the juvenile court order also changes your custody status or placement.”
Once it has been determined that you are eligible to apply for an SIJ Visa, you will then need to fill out and file Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow (er), or Special Immigrant. Now, because there are certain requirements that must be met before you can submit this petition, we do recommend you speak with one of our Atlanta, GA immigration and visa attorneys who can assist you with obtaining all the documentation you will need so that you stand a better chance at getting your petition approved by USCIS.
Kuck | Baxter Immigration Partners LLC can be reached at:
365 Northridge Road, Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30350