Q: Does a foreign child that came to the USA on a visiting visa need to be here less than a year, to apply for SIJ status?
A foreign child now 17 came here because his mother sent him away and I was wondering if he is still eligible.
Thank you for your question. Here is my response:
The foreign child needs to get an order from a state law Judge which contains specific findings of abandonment, neglect or abuse by the natural parents (either the biological father or biological mother or both). These findings must be completed before the child reaches the age of 21 (in California). These findings are also required before the child can submit an SIJS self-petition with USCIS. The fact that the child arrived on a tourist visa is immaterial to the SIJS process - but there may be other immigration options available.
Please call my office for more information - 619-356-1448. Thanks!
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