Immigrant children under 21 who have either been abused, neglected or abandoned by a parent may be qualified to apply for permanent residency in the United States as a Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ).
In addition to meeting the aforementioned criteria, the applicant must already be living in the United States and be unmarried at the time of the application. If you’ve been married before, then you must have either gotten divorced, had the marriage annulled or have become widowed before filing the application.
Only those who are in possession of a standing state court order can qualify for this visa. You may qualify for the SIJ classification if you’ve been remanded to a state agency’s custody or you’re reliant on the court for making determinations as to your care.
If you don’t qualify for this reason, then you must be able to demonstrate that you are unable to be returned to the care of your parents, because you were either neglected, abused or abandoned by them.
In addition to the aforementioned conditions, you must demonstrate that being left in your parent’s home or being forced to go back to your original country would put your life in danger. You may have to show proof that you’ve sought out Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement permission as well.
In many cases, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will give you one shot to submit your application for approval. If you feel as if you qualify for the SIJ classification based on the aforementioned criteria, then a Baltimore special immigrant juvenile visas attorney can advise you of the next steps to take in your case.