The Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification provides special children who have been subjected to state juvenile court proceedings in connection with abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis under state law to seek lawful permanent residence in the United States.
USCIS determines if a juvenile is eligible for SIJ classification by adjudicating a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. The USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 6, Part J – Special Immigrant Juveniles bears more useful information for this procedure.
For the eligibility of adjustment of status, one must file an application for the registration of Permanent Residence or Adjustment of status through Form I-485 and it is important to be physically present during the filing for it.
After the Inspection and Admission by the USCIS gaining approval of the Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, the petitioner will be regarded as an SIJ. There is no certain age limit to abide by in order to apply for a Green card as an SIJ.
If a situation so arises that one had filed their Form I-360 at an age lower than 21, their SJI-based Form I-485 will not be denied if their age by then is older than 21. One must be unmarried during the filing of the adjustment application and during the final adjudication of the form.
The only time when the adjustment of the status can be barred if there is any history of any act of violation. For the Green Card, one must be admissible to the nation; as a Special Immigrant Juvenile, one is exempted from the grounds of Inadmissibility as mentioned in INA 212(a).
In cases of Inadmissibility, a waiver will be provided by the law or some other form of relief to subjugate the inadmissibility. One can apply for a waiver of inadmissibility or other forms of relief through Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, and Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal.
Immigrant visas for Special Immigrant Juveniles stem from the visa category of EB-4 for special immigrants. The requisite documents are :
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
- Copy of the Form I-797, Approval or Receipt Notice, for the Form I-360 SIJ petition (unless the filing of the Form I-360 is done together with the Form I-485);
- Two passport-style photographs;
- Copy of a government-issued identity document with photograph (if available);
- Copy of the birth certificate;
- Copy of the passport page with the nonimmigrant visa (if applicable);
- Copy of the passport page with the admission or parole stamp (if applicable);
- Copy of the Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, or copy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) admission or parole stamp on the travel document (if applicable);
- Certified police and court records of any juvenile delinquency findings, criminal charges, arrests, or convictions (if applicable);
- Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (if applicable);
- Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal (if applicable); and
- Documentation of past or present J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status (if applicable), including proof of compliance with or waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement under INA 212(e) (for more information, see Form I-612, Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement).
For family members, one may file a petition for the qualifying family members through the process of Immigration based on Family after the person is granted the Green card. If one is granted a Green Card based on their SIJ classification and it is naturalized in the future, they can apply for their natural or prior adoptive parents to get a Green Card.
This is applicable even for a caring, custodial parent. Generally, if one has a pending Form I-485 and they leave the United States without an advance parole document, their application will be abandoned. In case of a pending Form I-485, one may apply for employment authorization by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.