The Process of Going to Family Court as a SIJ

Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status allows unmarried individuals under the age of 21 who faced abuse, neglect, or abandonment by one or both parents to seek lawful permanent residency in the United States without their parents’ involvement. The process of obtaining SIJ status involves going through the family court system, and it’s important to know what to expect at each stage.

Steps in Seeking SIJ Status

The journey to obtaining SIJ status begins with the family court process. This process involves seeking an order from a state juvenile court, which declares the individual a court dependent or legally commits them to the custody of a state agency or department. The court must also determine that returning to their home country is not in the individual’s best interest.

Individuals need to file a petition with the appropriate state court to initiate the family court process. This petition typically includes documentation and evidence supporting the claim of abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

Once an individual files their petition, the court will schedule a hearing. During this hearing, the judge will assess the evidence and testimony presented by both parties. It’s essential to be prepared and have a solid case to demonstrate the validity of the claims. A knowledgeable immigration attorney will work tirelessly to present a petitioner’s case effectively throughout the legal proceedings.

If the court rules in the juvenile’s favor, it will issue an order declaring them a dependent of the court or legally committing them to the custody of a state agency or department. This order is a critical component of the SIJ application process, as it serves as proof of eligibility for SIJ status.

With the court order, the next step is to file the SIJ application with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This application includes the court order, as well as other supporting documents such as birth certificates, medical records, and any additional evidence supporting the claim of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Presenting a comprehensive and well-documented application can increase the chances of receiving USCIS approval.

USCIS will review the application and supporting documentation to ensure it meets all requirements. If USCIS approves the application, the individual will receive SIJ status, enabling them to apply for lawful permanent residency (a green card) without their parents’ involvement. 

How a New York Immigration Attorney Can Help

It’s important to note that the family court process and SIJ application can be complex and time-consuming. Facing the legal system and immigration procedures can be daunting, especially for individuals who may be dealing with the emotional trauma of abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

This is where an experienced immigration attorney from The Rahimi Law Firm, P.C., becomes a valuable ally. Our attorneys will walk you through every step of the process, ensuring that all necessary documentation is prepared correctly and filed in a timely manner, and represent you in court and before immigration authorities.

We understand that each case is unique. That’s why we tailor our approach to meet the specific needs of our clients. Our team provides compassionate legal representation, recognizing the challenges and emotional toll this process can take.

Contact The Rahimi Law Firm, P.C., Today

At The Rahimi Law Firm, P.C., we dedicate ourselves to protecting the rights and interests of our clients. Our attorneys are passionate about their work and will fight to secure the best possible outcome for your case.

If you or someone you know is seeking SIJ status or navigating the family court process, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced immigration attorney. We’re here to provide the guidance and support you need throughout this challenging journey. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards securing your future.