You are currently viewing SIJS requirements

Obtaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) requires meeting certain specific requirements. By doing so, you could obtain a Green Card.

SIJS allows certain young immigrants who have gone through a judicial process the opportunity to apply for US residency. 


Tell Us Your Case

Requirements To Obtain Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) In 2024

The requirements for the juvenile visa nowadays may be numerous, but essential to obtain this visa. To do this, you must meet the following criteria:

documents to obtain sijs
  • Be under 21 years of age at the time of filing (Form I-360).
  • Be single, so if you have been married, the marriage must have been legally annulled or terminated.
  • Live in the United States. This is because the application cannot be submitted from abroad.
  • Obtain written permission from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to meet certain criteria.
  • Have USCIS consent. 
  • Have a court order from the state juvenile court indicating that the applicant has suffered neglect, abuse or abandonment by his or her parents.

Note: Many of the approved cases are of immigrants under 18 years of age, with approval being less common for those between 18 and 21 years of age. 

We invite you to learn more in our article “SIJS processing time”.

What Is the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status also known as the Juvenile Visa?

The SIJ classification is an immigration program specially created for individuals under 21 years of age who: 

  • Have experienced difficult situations where one or both parents have abused or neglected them; and 
  • Don’t have the possibility of returning safely to their countries of origin.

This program gives them the opportunity to obtain lawful permanent legal status in the United States.

What Are The Benefits Of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status In The US?

The juvenile visa offers a number of significant advantages:

  • After obtaining a work permit, you have the possibility to work legally.
  • After receiving lawful permanent residence, you can travel outside the United States. Of course, before receiving it you will not be able to leave the country with SIJS.
  • You can begin the application process to obtain US citizenship once you turn 18 and have completed 5 years of residency.

Note: We remind you that if lawful permanent residence is obtained through the SIJS, you will not be able to submit an immigration application to petition to bring your parents.

What Else Is Needed To Apply For The Juvenile Visa?

As we saw, for you to qualify for SIJS, you must meet the requirements mentioned previously. For example, being under 21 years old and single.

If you meet these requirements, you must submit Form I-360 to USCIS in the US. Although it is not mandatory, we recommend that you hire the services of our immigration lawyers in Los Angeles.

Hiring an immigration attorney can provide you with peace of mind, protect your rights, and increase your chances of obtaining a juvenile visa.  

What Documents Do I Need To Apply For Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?

To obtain the juvenile visa, the following documentation must be submitted:

  • Form I-360 , petition for Amerasian, widow(er), or special immigrant.
  • Proof of age: Birth certificate, passport or other official document proving age.
  • Valid juvenile court orders: These must demonstrate factual dependency or custody and judicial protection from abuse, neglect, or other similar circumstances.
  • Written consent: Will be from HSS or ORR.
  • Form G-28 , notification of appearance as an attorney or accredited representative, if legal representation is available.

It is important to note that some cases may require additional documentation, which is why it is essential to have an immigration attorney by your side. At Lluis Law we can help you with these immigration procedures. 

What Are The Requirements To Apply For Adjustment Of Status Based On SIJS?

The requirements to request adjustment of status based on the juvenile visa are the following:

meeting sijs requirements in the us
  • Correctly file Form I-485 to adjust your status.
  • Have been inspected and admitted or have received a temporary stay permit in the United States (We invite you to learn what is advance parole).
  • Be physically present in the US at the time of filing Form I-485.
  • Be eligible to receive an immigrant visa at the time USCIS or the immigration court makes a final decision on your application.
  • Not be subject to any adjustment of status vetoes.
  • Be admissible to the United States to obtain lawful permanent residence or be eligible for a type of immigration waiver of inadmissibility or other immigration relief.
  • Deserve a favorable exercise of discretion by USCIS.

If your juvenile visa petition is approved, you may be considered for adjustment of status, regardless of how you arrived in the United States. 

For more details on eligibility to receive an immigrant visa, please do not hesitate to contact us. At Lluis Law we will help you with everything related to this topic.

Can I Appeal If My Application For Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Was Denied?

Yes, it is possible to appeal the denial of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. However, you must file a motion to reopen or reconsider your case and do so within a specific time frame. 

Also, be sure to include relevant evidence or new arguments to support your new request.

How Long Does The Juvenile Visa Process Take?

Generally speaking, USCIS makes a decision on youth visa applications within 180 days (approximately 6 months) after filing Form I-360.

Importantly, this deadline may be extended if USCIS believes that the evidence provided is not sufficient. In that case, they will stop processing your case and send you a Request for Evidence (RFE). 

Once they receive your response and the additional required documentation, they will resume the evaluation process.

what's next after my sijs approved

¿What’s next after my SIJS is approved? Find out the answer in our blog.

Is Hiring A Lawyer Part Of The SIJS Requirements?

It is not a mandatory requirement to hire the services of an immigration lawyer to obtain the juvenile visa. However, you are strongly advised to look for one. 

An experienced immigration attorney can help you evaluate your eligibility, guide you through the application process, represent you before the relevant authorities, and provide you with peace of mind throughout the process.

The immigration attorneys at Lluis Law have more than 50 years of combined experience in juvenile immigration. 

Contact us today, as it does not commit you to anything, through a personalized consultation we will evaluate your particular case.


Tell Us Your Case