All About Special Immigrant Juvenile Status in Maryland

Dad and daughter holding American passports with pride. Immigration citizenship

If you are a parent or guardian of an undocumented minor, there is a chance the child will qualify for a specific type of immigration status by the name of “Special Immigrant Juvenile Status” (SIJS). In the state of Maryland, SIJS is a great option for individuals under the age of 21 who have become undocumented through means outside of their control. So, what exactly is SIJS and how does one file?

What is Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?

SIJS is a form of immigration relief that is designed to offer a path to citizenship for undocumented minors who have been neglected or abused by at least one parent. Provided that the child is under the age of 21, unmarried, and unable to be reunified with the parent due to the nature of the split, they are free to apply to SIJS.

Filing for SIJS Relief

Before one can file for SIJS relief for a child under their supervision, they must first receive a predicate order from a Maryland court to determine the general state of custody of the child. With help from an attorney, the objective here is to establish the child is in your custody, the child cannot be reunified with at least one parent, and the child is better off living in the United States as opposed to returning to their home country.

After the predicate order is obtained, it is time to file for SIJS relief using the SIJS self-petition on Form I-360 with USCIS. Afterward, the application will be reviewed by a USCIS officer, and the child will be given a date in which they can apply for permanent residency upon approval.

Approval isn’t guaranteed, however, and that’s where an experienced immigration attorney can make the difference. At The Law Office of Elizabeth Lawrence, we are more than happy to assist in gathering key evidence for SIJS approval, starting with the initial predicate order. From there, we will serve as an ally for both you and your child to ensure they maximize their chances of securing citizenship in the United States. 

Are You Stuck in the Middle of the Immigration Process? We Can Help.

If you or a loved one is applying for SIJS relief, you deserve a skilled attorney who will work tirelessly to help secure the future you and your child deserve. Consult with an experienced attorney like those of the Law Office of Elizabeth A. Lawrence today by clicking here or calling (410) 986-0088. Skype, Zoom and Facetime consultations are available as well.

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    Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence, LLC.
  • Address: 90 Painters Mill Road Suite 201 Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
  • Phone: (443) 352-3201

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