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“I was recently granted SIJS in the US, but I don’t know if I can travel outside the country…”

This is a common concern among many young immigrants who have obtained this special protection. Although the SIJ classification offers a direct path to the Green Card, it has certain limitations. 


From Lluis Law we will explain the restrictions and procedures for traveling outside the United States with the juvenile visa. You also have all the legal support of a firm with more than 40 years of existence.

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Can I travel outside the US if I have been granted SIJS in 2024?

With a juvenile visa, you are not allowed to travel outside the United States until you are approved for lawful permanent residence.

Once your residency is approved, you will be able to travel abroad without restrictions when entering or leaving the US. However, you should not be absent for an extended period of time, as immigration could assume that you are no longer residing in the country and would jeopardize your residency. status. 

Note: Only in certain cases can you resort to using Form I-131, application for a travel document. In such circumstances, it is essential to speak with our attorneys. If you leave without this permission, you may not be able to return.

can an illegal immigrant fly within the US

In our blog “Can an illegal immigrant fly within the USA” we give you all the keys about immigrant travel through the country.

Why Is The Special immigrant Juvenile Status Important In The US?

Juvenile status is key because it provides a direct path to lawful permanent residence for immigrant minors who have suffered:

  • Abuses; 
  • Negligence; or 
  • Abandonment by their parents.

This classification, known as Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), opens the door to a better and safer future.

The process of applying for a juvenile visa can be complex and overwhelming. Therefore, having the guidance of an immigration lawyer is highly recommended. 

At Lluis Law, our Latino team with more than 3 decades of experience is trained to support young aliens in obtaining this status.

What Can You Do With A Juvenile Visa?

Through the SIJ classification, immigrants may be eligible to obtain a work permit and remain in the United States while their application is in process. 

Eventually, they will be able to obtain lawful permanent residence once their petition is approved. 

Benefits Of Obtaining Special Immigrant Juvenile status

Obtaining SIJS in the United States is a valuable opportunity that can provide numerous benefits, such as:

  • Direct route to the Green Card: As a result, it grants beneficiaries the ability to work, study and live legally in the US.
  • Legal status and employment authorization: Provides young aliens with economic independence and the ability to plan their future without fear of deportation.
  • Availability for undocumented minors: A crucial benefit for those who have entered the country without proper documentation.
  • Demonstration of financial support is not required: Undocumented minors do not need to have financial help from a sponsor or family member.
  • Green Card application fee waiver: This alleviates some of the financial burden of the process.
  • Educational and cultural opportunities: Offers the possibility of learning about new cultures and improving linguistic knowledge, helping to build a better life.

What Happens After SIJS Is Approved?

Upon approval of your SIJS in the United States, you will be able to apply for lawful permanent residence.

The time required to apply for a Green Card may vary depending on various factors, such as USCIS workload, processing times, and the specific circumstances of your case. Therefore, this can take anywhere from several months to a year or more.

who qualifies for a juvenile visa

How Long Does It Take To Approve The Juvenile Visa?

SIJS processing time may vary, as waiting times are subject to change. 

Generally, USCIS usually takes about 180 days to process the application. However, this period may be prolonged.

Who Qualifies For A Juvenile Visa?

Not everyone qualifies for the SIJ, since to do so, minors must meet certain SIJS requirements. 

For example, be under 21 years old, unmarried, and have a valid juvenile court order. We provide you with all the information in the linked blog about the requirements.

What Are The Disadvantages Of The Special Immigrant Juvenile status?

Now that I know that I cannot travel outside the US with SIJS, what other disadvantages do I have? This is another concern of immigrants who, among others, encounter the following disadvantages:

  • High cost: Obtaining youth status can be expensive, often including legal fees and the cost of living in a new country. This can represent a significant financial burden.
  • Limitations on immigration benefits for parents: Young aliens under SIJS will not be able to request immigration relief for their parents.
  • Travel restrictions: You cannot travel with a juvenile visa. Juvenile immigrant must remain in the country until they receive their Green Card.
  • Adaptation difficulties: Minors may face challenges when adapting to a new environment. This includes cultural differences, making new friends, and navigating unfamiliar systems, such as educational ones.

As we saw, obtaining SIJS the US can provide many benefits, but it also has some disadvantages.

As if that were not enough, it can be a complex and confusing process, so it is important to have legal advice and assistance. Call us, our attorneys at Lluis Law can help you navigate this process.

How Does Juvenile Status Work?

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is a pathway for young immigrants to obtain legal status in the United States.

To request it, Form I-360 must be presented to USCIS and the corresponding evidence that proves the situation of the minor. 

USCIS then evaluates the application and if approved, will grant the SIJS, allowing the juvenile aliens to remain legally in the US.

Is The Juvenile visa In The USA A Permanent Immigration Relief?

Being granted SIJS does not ensure permanent status. This means that at some point, you will have to apply for lawful permanent residence.

departure from the usa under sijs

What Can I Do If SIJS Is denied?

In the event that USCIS denies your application for juvenile status, you have the option of filing Form I-290B to request a motion to reopen or reconsider your case.

Now that you are informed about whether you can travel outside the US under SIJS, we invite you to browse our blog. Here you will find extensive information on how to legally enter the US and explore your options. 

Is SIJS In The United States Suitable For Me?

The juvenile visa in the US can be an option for immigrant minors in difficult situations. However, it is important to consider both the benefits and the limitations and impossibility of traveling with this visa. 

It is essential that you consult with our immigration attorneys in Los Angeles, California so that they can help you understand your options and the legal process in detail. 


We hope that this publication on whether you can leave the country with the juvenile visa has been useful to you.

Of course, this blog is informative, so to evaluate your case in a personalized way, do not hesitate to call us. At Lluis Law, we are committed to providing effective guidance to alien minors seeking immigration help.

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Tell Us Your Case