Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)
Do you want to help unaccompanied immigrant child who fleed his home due to abandonment, neglect or abuse to obtain permanent residency?
Are you a guardian of neglected, abandoned or abused child and want to apply for their lawful permanent residency and eventually U.S. citizenship?
We’re Here to Help!
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is an immigration classification available to certain undocumented immigrants under the age of 21 who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by one or both parents. SIJS is a way for immigrants under twenty-one to apply for and obtain legal permanent residence in the United States.
There are very specific requirements for a child to qualify for SIJS, and the criteria are:
1. The applicant must be under 21 years old;
2. He/she must be unmarried;
3. He/she must be declared dependent in a juvenile court. This means that the Family Court must take jurisdiction over a petition addressing the needs of the applicant;
4. Reunification with one or both of the child’s parents must no longer be a viable option due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or a similar basis under state law; AND
5. It is not in the best interests of the minor to return to his/her country of nationality or last habitual residence.
There are two main stages in obtaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. First, the minor must engage in a proceeding in the Family or Surrogate’s Court in the county where he/she resides, (i.e., custody, adoption, or guardianship). As part of this proceeding, the minor must obtain a “special findings order” that declares the minor’s eligibility for SIJS. Although guardianship is the most common way for the Family Court to obtain jurisdiction over a minor, it is also possible to bring a motion requesting the order though a custody, neglect, adoption, permanency hearing for children in foster care, or PINS (Person in Need of Supervision) proceeding. However it is done, receipt of this order is a pre-requisite to applying for SIJS status.
SIJS waives several types of inadmissibility that would otherwise prevent an immigrant from becoming a lawful permanent resident. SIJS waives unlawful entry, working without authorization, status as a public charge, and certain immigration violations.
If you know of a child who may qualify for SIJS, contact our office today to evaluate a case of SIJS and experienced attorneys can assist you in evaluating a case for SIJS and help you get on the right track to obtaining this important form of relief for children.
About Our Firm
The Law Offices of David S. Santee is a Philadelphia-based law firm that represents individuals and businesses in a variety of immigration matters, including family-based applications for permanent residency and naturalization, employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant petitions, asylum petitions, and removal defense. We have extensive experience with the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, having worked on more than 175 projects seeking EB-5 financing. Our firm’s founder, David S. Santee, Esquire, has nearly two decades of experience practicing law. A seasoned courtroom advocate, Mr. Santee is the former Director of Trial Advocacy Programs at Villanova University School of Law, where he continues to teach a course in Trial Advocacy as an Adjunct Professor. In addition to representing clients in immigration matters, Mr. Santee has also tried hundreds of criminal cases. He often represents individuals who are at risk of being removed from the United States due to pending or past criminal charges.
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“I have had the privilege of working closely with Mr. Santee for over 5 years and have relied on his superb skills and excellent judgement to assist me in completing complex cases to successful outcomes. Our organization wouldn’t be where we are today without the strong relationship we have with Mr. Santee.”
“Mr. Santee represented me on my appeal. He got my conspiracy charge reduced and my sentence cut in half so that I ended up with time-served. He saved me four years of parole!”
"I thought I was going to die in prison. However, today I can see the light at the end of the tunnel because of the dedication and hard work of Attorney at Law David Santee. Anyone who is seeking true representation from an attorney who is not going to take your money and sell you out should consider David Santee because he will ensure your rights are protected."
More About Our Immigration Practice
We represent individuals who are seeking to immigrate to the United States through a family member who is a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. This includes spouses, finances, children, siblings, and other family members.
We represent individuals who are seeking to travel or immigrate to the United States based on their employment status. This includes priority workers, skilled workers, professionals with advanced degrees, and foreign investors.
We represent individuals in removal proceedings in Immigration Court. If you or a loved one has been served with a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court, contact us now to find out what defenses are available.
Based in Philadelphia
Serving all of Pennsylvania
Serving all of Pennsylvania