USCIS issued three Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) adopted decisions to clarify its view on the requirements for the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification. The SIJ classification first requires evidence of a court’s intervention to “provide relief from abuse, neglect or abandonment” and not just a statement that the “juvenile is dependent on the court.” USCIS explained that this requirement will be used as a measure to ensure SIJ status is being used to provide relief rather than an immigrant benefit. The second requirement is that the petitioner must have been a juvenile under the applicable state law when the aforementioned order declaring relief from abuse was issued. The third AAO decision clarified that USCIS is no longer requiring evidence that a state court had authority to place the petitioner in the custody of the unfit parent. Previously, this was used to make a determination with regards to parental reunification for the purposes of SIJ classification. The three decisions went into effect on October 15.

– Weekly Immigration Briefing by Olivia Hester, Immigration Law Analyst at Docketwise

Posted in: Immigration