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USCIS issues policy guidance on Special Immigrant Juvenile classification

  1. Date Announced

    Nov. 19, 2019

    USCIS issues policy guidance for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification based on newly adopted AAO decisions. Among other changes, the updated policy states that:1) the petitioner must have been a juvenile under state law when the juvenile court order was issued; 2) USCIS requires evidence of a court’s intervention to provide relief from abuse, neglect, or abandonment beyond a statement that the juvenile is dependent on the court; and 3) USCIS will no longer require evidence that a state court had authority to place a petitioner in the custody of an unfit parent in order to make a determination regarding parental reunification. [ID #656]

    See Biden administration action below.

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Nov. 19, 2019
  3. Subsequent Action

    December 10, 2019 USCIS Question & Answer Session: Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Policy Clarifications Engagement
  4. Biden Administration Action

    March 18, 2021

    This Biden administration policy modifies the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On March 18, 2021, USCIS issued a policy alert (PA-2021-03) updating policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual regarding the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification to incorporate changes agreed to in the settlement agreement resulting from Saravia v. Barr class action lawsuit.

    Special Immigrant Juvenile Classification and Saravia v. Barr Settlement

  1. Associated or Derivative Policies

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