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Knowing how the SIJS processing time and therefore when you will be granted the juvenile visa after being approved can help you know when you could legally settle in the United States.


This is because the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status offers you an access route to obtain the Green Card. In addition, it allows you to become independent from those adults who did not take proper care of you when they should have done so.

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SIJS processing time In 2024

It typically takes USCIS about 180 days (about 6 months) to process a juvenile visa application. 

However, wait times depend on the particular case, lack of evidence, forms submitted, and other factors. 

Sometimes the process can take longer than expected due to administrative obstacles at the immigration offices or an unreasonable delay. 

Note: If you would like to find out more information about how long it takes for SIJS to be granted, you can check the status of your case with the USCIS online tool.

How Long Does The Entire Process Take To Get A Juvenile visa Approved?

SIJS classification usually involves a somewhat extensive process, since this process must first be completed with the state juvenile court and then with immigration. Therefore, we could be talking about approximately 2 years to be fully completed.

approved sijs classification

Either way, you can find out the processing times of the forms with the USCIS online tool.

Currently, the average processing time for Form I-360 with a California Field Office is 16 months.

General Requirements To Apply For Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

In addition to explaining SIJS processing time, we remind you of the criteria that must be met to apply for this visa. This will help reduce any chance of delays in your application:

  • Be under 21 years of age at the time of application;
  • Live in the United States;
  • To be single;
  • Have a court order from a state juvenile court;
  • Have no intention of returning to your country of origin.

The juvenile visa has more requirements that you must meet, so we recommend you contact us. Our professionals will help you determine if you qualify for this immigration relief.

How Do You Obtain SIJS classification In The United States?

Before beginning the process to obtain Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), it is key to consider several factors. 

These include prerequisites, required documentation, next steps, and other important details. Therefore, it is really important to make sure you are well informed before starting the application.

Now that we have shown you the SIJS processing times, we recommend having the following documents on hand. Doing this will allow you to expedite the juvenile visa process in advance.

Required Documentation

  • Form I-360,
  • Age certification, such as a passport or identification document. 
  • Written consent from HHS or ORR.
  • SIJ application through USCIS.
  • Valid juvenile court order certifying that you have been neglected or abused by your parents or legal guardians.

How Do I Know If My Juvenile Visa Was Approved?

If USCIS has approved your SIJS classification, it will send you a Form I-797, Notice of Action, after the interview with an immigration officer.

However, if you do not receive a written decision, you can check the status of your case on the USCIS website using the Form I-360 receipt number.

If USCIS denies your juvenile visa, it will also notify you in writing of the reason for the denial and tell you if you can appeal the decision.

What Happens After The Juvenile Visa Is Approved?

With an approved SIJS, the next step is to apply for lawful permanent residence by submitting Form I-485. Of course, you must meet all eligibility criteria to adjust your status. 

Although an approved Form I-360 authorizes you to enter the United States legally, you must have all the necessary documents and follow the required guidelines.

Since this process can be complex, it is advisable to have the assistance of our immigration lawyers in Los Angeles . 

What Are The Benefits Of SIJS?

sijs approval time

The juvenile visa provides a series of significant benefits to young immigrants who apply for it. These are:

  • It is a direct path to lawful permanent residence.
  • It allows you to work legally in the United States through employment authorization.
  • Offers protection against deportation.
  • It gives access to certain public subsidies, such as discounts on student tuition.

Once the visa is obtained, what happens after my case is approved? Upon approval, you will receive all the benefits mentioned. This is intended to give you the opportunity for a better future in the United States.

Can I Leave The United States After My Juvenile Visa Is Approved?

You cannot leave the country with the juvenile visa until you have the Green Card. Therefore, upon obtaining lawful permanent residence, you will be allowed entry and exit from the United States without restrictions. 

However, although it is legal, it is not advisable to return and live permanently in the country of origin. 

Is It Mandatory To Hire An Immigration Lawyer To Process SIJS?

It is not mandatory to hire an immigration lawyer to process a juvenile visa. However, like most immigration procedures, managing SIJS is a complex process, full of obstacles, fine print, and numerous requirements. 

Therefore, it is advisable to have an immigration lawyer by your side specialized in these cases to ensure adequate and efficient management of the process.


The Lluis Law law firm has extensive experience in juvenile immigration matters. Thanks to the immigration relief that this visa represents, minors have the opportunity to become lawful permanent residents. 

At our office, we offer consultations and personalized legal assistance for those seeking to take advantage of this benefit. Call us today. 

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