Representation of Special Immigrant Juveniles
Special Immigrant Juvenile visas may be available to qualifying minors residing in the United States. Before filing with immigration, an order making findings of eligibility must have been issued by the juvenile or family law court, this is known as a Predicate Order. Our firm has helped many youths obtain these orders and the subsequent immigration process.
This juvenile or family court Predicate Order must make factual findings that:
- The child has been abused, abandoned, or neglected by one or both parents;
- The child is a dependent of the State for their protection, or the court has legally committed the child to the custody of:
- An agency or department of the State,
- An individual or entity appointed by the State, or
- A juvenile court located in the United States;
- Reunification with one or both parents is not possible; and
- It is not in the minor child’s best interest to be returned to their home country.
- I read that I have until I am 21 years old to make an application for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, is this true?
In many jurisdictions, including Florida, the predicate order must be obtained in the state court before the child turns 18. Immigration law allows a special immigrant juvenile application to be made before the applicant’s 21st birthday. The applicant must also remain unmarried to qualify.
- I already have an immigration attorney, why do I need a family law attorney?
It is important to know that immigration law is based on federal laws and family law is based on the state laws where you reside. Most immigration attorneys focus entirely on immigration only, so your immigration lawyer may refer you to an experienced family law attorney to obtain the predicate order from the state’s juvenile/family court system.
- Do you take referrals from immigration lawyers?
Yes! We have an experienced immigration attorney in the office, however, if you already have an immigration attorney, we are happy to accept the case to obtain the predicate juvenile order in State court. We have several immigration attorneys that refer special immigrant juvenile cases to us, and in these cases, we will not offer immigration services or advice. Rather, we will work with your immigration attorney every step of the way, providing status updates and documents obtained to show the immigration judge that you are diligently working on your case. Once the predicate order is obtained, we provide the certified copies directly to your immigration attorney so that a special immigrant juvenile application can be made on your behalf.