Juveniles who have been placed in custody by a state or juvenile court are eligible for special immigrant juvenile status. There is no longer any requirement that a juvenile court must find the child eligible for long-term foster care due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment; the court need only find that reunification with one or both parents is not viable due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment.


Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) protection for children exists so long as they are under 21 at the time the SIJ petition was filed. There is a specific consent requirement, which is transferred from DHS to the Secretary of HHS, and such consent is only required when the child is in the physical custody of HHS (not constructive custody) and the court order makes a finding regarding the change of the juvenile’s custody status or placement. It is not necessary for the Department of Homeland Security to give express consent to the juvenile court proceeding. Special immigrant juvenile petitions must be adjudicated within 180 days of filing.

Hart Immigration provides immigration services in Los Angeles, Orange County, and surrounding areas.

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