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Special Immigrant Juvenile to Secure a Green Card – NYC Immigration Lawyer

A unique way to legalize children is by use of Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. This is often used for a child who is under twenty-one years old, unmarried and has been abused, neglected or abandoned.

Illegal, undocumented, children who overstayed their visa or those who came to the US against their will or knowledge, become highly vulnerable. Special Immigrant Juvenile is an immigration relief designed specifically for undocumented children in the United States who are considered to have been abused, neglected, abandoned or similarly mistreated.

Yet, as Immigration Lawyers in NYC we notice that there are many children who are unaware that they qualify for the Special Immigrant Juvenile form of relief. The Special Immigrant Juvenile is also available when the child is in removal proceedings.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a) (27) (J) of the INA a Special Immigrant Juvenile include:

a. non-citizen children who are present in the United States,

b. who have been declared dependent by a US juvenile court or legally committed by the US court to be placed under the custody of an agency or individual,

c. for whom the court has determined either one or both of the child’s parents are not viable due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis found under state law, and

d. for whom it has been determined in the judicial proceedings that it would not be in the child’s best interest to be returned to their home country.

These individuals need the guidance and knowledge of the best immigration lawyer who knows how to guide them through the system. In NYC, family courts routinely issue special finding orders for undocumented eligible children specifically so that they can apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.
In addition, children in New York may be eligible to receive a special finding of Special Immigrant Juvenile up until the age of 21 years.

It is vital to know the difference of the status and how they are applied.

The difference between Special Immigrant Juvenile and Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrival (DACA):

As a highly respected NYC Immigration lawyers, we are frequently asked by our clients whether they should apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status OR Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrival.

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrival are different from each other as follows:

  1. 1. Special Immigrant Juvenile Status leads to green card i.e. permanent residency in the United States, which may not be cancelled by the U.S. government if it was legally obtained (i.e. absent fraud or other criminal activity). Green card provide the right to permanently live and work in the US and may also be used to reenter the US.
  1. 2. Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrival is only temporary authorization to live and work in the US and is issued in two or three year increments. It is NOT considered a legal status. It is a discretionary form of relief and is granted on a case by case basis. Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrival does not provide legal status in the US and doesn’t grant the right to reenter the US. Furthermore, the U.S. government has the right to cancel and/or not renew it.

Our advice, as specialized NYC Immigration lawyers, is to recommend that eligible children should apply for both – Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrival. There is no conflict between the two. The USCIS will normally grant Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrival or DACA status within 90 days. Once approved you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) which will allow you to apply for a social security number and work legally in the US. At any time, before or after you applied for a DACA application, you may apply for a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

What Feiner & Lavy, P.C. Immigration Lawyers can do for you?

Our NYC Immigration lawyers work aggressively to defend your rights and know how to make sure you are able to remain in the United States legally. We have the skills to ensure that your Special Immigrant Juvenile application is approved by both the Family Court and the USCIS. We feel that you deserve the best chance to achieve a good life in this country and you can be assured that we will do all in our power to help you achieve your immigration goals.

Feiner & Lavy, P.C. Immigration Lawyers are experienced NYC immigration lawyers and offer representation in US immigration matters and criminal immigration matters. Our proven success in dealing with these issues enables you to trust that we will apply the highest level of skill to assure the best outcome for you. For assistance in filing Special Immigrant Juvenile applications with the USCIS, contact us at (212) 571-9200.

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