Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)

SIJS – Family Court Judge’s Role

  • Federal immigration law empowers family court judges to issue the special findings necessary for a juvenile to apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).
  • While a family court judge’s special finding allows a juvenile to take a first step toward applying for SIJS, immigration officials are SOLELY responsible for deciding whether a juvenile is eligible for SIJS.

SIJS in NY Courts

Special Findings must be made by a state court judge.

  • Some of the proceedings where special findings are available include:
    • Article 10 Proceedings (Abuse & Neglect)
    • Voluntary Placement/Destitute Child Cases
    • Adoptions
    • Guardianship Proceedings
    • Custody/Support Proceedings (varies by judicial department)
    • PINS Proceedings
    • Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings
    • Family Offense Proceedings