SIJS, or Special Immigrant Juvenile Visas, are available for those children and young adults that are abandoned, neglected, or abused by one or both of their parents in their home country.
Before a Judge can decide on their SIJS findings he must officially appoint a guardian to the child or young adult. It is usually a relative but does not have to be. We are able to represent children in the California Superior Court-Family Law division until their 18th birthday. Once the young adult has turned 18 years old he/she still has a chance to receive this benefit but we must now file the case in the Probate division of the California Superior court.
They are eligible until they turn 21 years old. The process in State Court can take from 3-12 months depending on how efficiently the client works with the attorney.
Although, the client will receive SIJS benefits in California State Court, we must still represent the child or young adult in front of an Immigration Judge. Under current law, once the State Judge has granted SIJS, we must continue to represent the child or young adult in Immigration Court until he has received his visa from USCIS. The wait time to receive a visa under SIJS is 3-4 years.
If the client does not have issues with the law, does not get married, or does not move away from his legal guardian, he/she will have no problem receiving the visa. Once a visa is available we are able to terminate the client’s case in Immigration Court.
The child or young adult is then able to adjust his/her status under the I-485 application to become a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR).
If you are considering applying for a juvenile visa, contact our immigration specialists today at (213) 309-9123.