Some children present in the United States without legal immigration status may be in need of humanitarian protection because they have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent. Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status is an immigration classification that may allow for these vulnerable children to immediately apply for lawful permanent resident status (“LPR” status or a “Green Card”).
Juvenile courts issue orders that help determine a child’s eligibility for SIJ status. A child cannot apply to USCIS for SIJ status without an order from a juvenile court. However, juvenile judges should note that providing an order does not grant SIJ status or a “Green Card” – only USCIS can grant or deny these benefits. The role of the court is to make factual findings based on state law about the abuse, neglect, or abandonment; family reunification; and best interests of the child.
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USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli toured the Southwest border by helicopter, courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to learn more about their air and marine operations. Acting Director Cuccinelli has been meeting with Department of Homeland Security partners to discuss how we work together to address the border crisis.
Our FIRST system is part of our ongoing effort to move from paper-based to a digital environment. FOIA requestors can create a USCIS online account to submit requests and receive documents digitally. Sign up for a USCIS account today: