Understanding Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJ)

Children of immigrants can be especially vulnerable. Too many are treated badly or abandoned. They may lack friends and family here in the U.S., yet it may also be dangerous to return to their home country.

Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status provides safety for noncitizen children under the age of 18 who are at risk of removal from the United States. At Taylor Lee & Associates LLC, our lawyers have successfully helped many neglected, abused and abandoned children file petitions for SIJ status.

Our immigration law practice serves immigrant children in Metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. Our goal is to allow those children to remain in the U.S. so they can eventually get a green card (permanent resident status).

Why Is SIJ Status So Important?

Children of undocumented immigrants are sometimes abandoned when their parents are deported, jailed or killed. Many times they are homeless. Living on the margins — away from school systems, law enforcement and social services — also makes them vulnerable to all kinds of harm. Such harm can include sexual abuse, physical violence, lack of food and every other form of abuse and neglect.

Our law firm understands these dangers, and we want to help. Contact us today to talk to a lawyer who can stand up for you. Call 770-441-4807 or 800-440-7601.

What Does It Take To Get A Juvenile Green Card?

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides relief under Special Immigrant Juvenile status to children who are escaping bad situations. Here are the steps:

  1. A Georgia court must decide that (a) the child has been neglected, abused or abandoned by one or both parents and (b) that returning to his or her home country would not be in the child's best interests.
  2. The next step is for the child (or an adult acting on behalf of a child) to petition the USCIS for a Special Immigrant Juvenile visa. Our attorneys work to show that the youth deserves the protection of the U.S. government.
  3. After SIJ status is granted, the youth can apply for a green card. We can argue for a waiver of certain issues (such as mental health disorders, addictions or engaging in prostitution) that would make the minor "inadmissible" as a permanent resident.

What Should I Do If I Know An Immigrant Child Who Needs Help?

Taylor Lee & Associates LLC is often contacted by family members who have stepped in to care for an abused or abandoned child. We are also contacted in other situations when children cannot be returned to their parents or their home country.

If you know a child in this situation, please call our Atlanta lawyers right away at 770-441-4807 or 800-440-7601 or contact us by email. The consultation is free. Hablamos español.