How a Tampa, FL Attorney Can Help You File a Petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
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How a Tampa, FL Attorney Can Help You File a Petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status


When applying for a visa to legally enter the United States, it is important to know and understand the different types of visa that are available through the US Department of Citizenship and Immigration and to see which ones you may qualify for based upon your unique circumstances. One type of special visa classification called Special Immigrant Juvenile, or SIJ, allows young people who have been involved in specific types of court proceedings to seek legal permanent residence in the United States. Your immigration attorney can help you determine whether you qualify for SIJ status based on the following requirements:

  • The child has been abused, neglected or abandoned by a parent- A child who is here in the United States with a parent who is facing criminal charges for abuse, neglect or abandonment, and who does not currently have permanent legal residency, may be eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile status. The court must determine that it is not in the child’s best interest to return to his or her country of origin in order for SIJ status to be granted.

  • The child is in the United States court system- In order to be eligible for SIJ status, a child must be in the court system as a result of abuse, negligence or abandonment by one or both parents. This may be reported by the police or a child welfare agency, a family friend, neighbor or relative.


Once a court finds for the child in an abuse, neglect or abandonment case, he or she either becomes a ward of the state and enters the foster care system, or an interested party such as a close family friend or relative applies for guardianship. In either case, if the child is currently not a legal U.S. resident, his or her legal guardian should petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile status as soon as possible.


In Tampa, FL, an immigration attorney can help you navigate the process of petitioning for a Special Immigrant Juvenile status for a child, as well as advise you on other matters pertaining to his or her visa and what to do when he or she ages out of the special classification. Finding a reputable, experienced Tampa, FL immigration law firm to help you through the process can help you know for sure that you are filing the right forms at the right time, so you can have peace of mind that the child is safe and legally allowed to remain in the country.


Diaz Shafer and the rest of the staff at Sunstate Immigration want to help Tampa, FL residents and their families stay in the United States free from any worry, concern or confusion regarding their immigrant status. Whether you are petitioning for Special Immigrant Juvenile status for a child in your life or require any other immigration law services, Diaz Shafer and the Sunstate Immigration team can walk you through the process, give you expert advice and legal counsel, and provide you with the information you need to thoroughly understand your immigrant status and how to retain it.


For a Tampa, FL immigration law firm you can trust, Sunstate Immigration is here for you! Call us today at 1-855-VISA-SUN (1-855-847-2786) to ask about Special Immigrant Juvenile status or any other questions you may have about immigration and citizenship