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Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is a designation under United States immigration law that allows certain undocumented immigrant children in the country to apply for lawful permanent residency (a green card). To qualify for SIJS, the child must meet several criteria:


1. **Age Requirement**: The child must be under the age of 21 at the time of filing the petition.


2. **Dependency on the Court**: The child must be declared dependent on a juvenile court located in the United States or placed under the custody of a state agency or individual appointed by the state.


3. **Best Interest Findings**: The juvenile court must find that it is not in the child's best interest to return to their home country due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment by one or both parents.


4. **Eligibility under State Law**: The child must meet the eligibility requirements for SIJS under the laws of the state where the court order was issued.


Once these criteria are met, the child can apply for SIJS with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If approved, the child can then apply for a green card, which grants them lawful permanent residency in the United States.


SIJS is particularly important for undocumented immigrant children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by their parents and cannot safely return to their home countries. It provides them with a pathway to legal status and protection in the United States.

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