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A Lawyer Explains: The U.S. Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)

Legal Disclosure: The content on this website is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Reading the content on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Crescent Law, PLLC. Please be aware that every case is unique, and the information on this website may not apply to your situation. Thank you for visiting our website, and please feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation so we can review your case.


Welcome back to my blog series, "A Lawyer Explains," where I'll explain the different Immigration services we help our clients navigate. In this blog, we'll explore the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status process and the requirements to help you make an informed decision.

What is Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status is a process designed for children under the age of 21 that allows them to apply for lawful permanent resident status in the United States.

Eligibility Checkpoint: Validating the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Requirements

The first step on this journey involves verifying whether the child meets the prerequisites for SIJS. The criteria include the following:

  • The child must be under the age of 21,
  • The child must not be married,
  • The child must be currently living in the United States,
  • The child must have a valid juvenile court order issued by a state court with a finding that they are dependent on the court, the custody of a state agency or department, or an individual appointed by the court.

Your Step-by-Step Guide Through the Typical Application Process

The application path is a carefully structured process to facilitate the acquisition of the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

Step 1: Crescent Law initiates the process in a juvenile court by filing a petition for guardianship and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. 

Step 2: Upon approval of the guardianship and SIJS, the attorney will file Form I-360 to USCIS with the court order, proof of age, and official identity document.

Step 3: If USCIS grants SIJS, Crescent Law will file the I-765 application for employment authorization that will permit the youth to obtain an employment authorization document and social security card. This grant of deferred action is for non-citizens who cannot apply for adjustment of status solely because an immigrant visa number is not immediately available. 

Step 4: If an immigrant visa is immediately available, Crescent Law can proceed with filing the I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, providing the juvenile with a green card. 

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

Securing Special Immigrant Juvenile Status opens the beginning of an exciting new chapter of opportunities for a child, including:

Pathway to Lawful Status

Upon the approval of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, the minor will have a clear path to obtaining lawful status in the United States.

Pathway to Citizenship 

Obtaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status paves the path for U.S. citizenship. After fulfilling the necessary 5-year residency requirement, the youth may apply for citizenship.

Professional Insights for a Seamless Transition

To secure the success of your child's immigration journey, I'd like to share the following recommendations to help facilitate the qualifications for the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status:

Professional Consultation

Engaging the expertise of Myrna Luna at Crescent Law can be invaluable in navigating the complexities and ensuring all documentation is comprehensive and accurate. Crescent Law will help you craft a tailored plan for every step of the process, from the preparation of forms and the submission of documents to the interview.  


Special Immigrant Juvenile Status is the key to unlocking a world of exceptional opportunities and a path to U.S. citizenship for minors. As your trusted immigration attorney, I'm committed to guiding you every step of the way on this exciting journey.