Green card process for juveniles who enter the U.S.
The classification as a Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJ) is granted to certain minors who enter
the United States because they have been abused, abandoned, or neglected. This special
designation allows the child to apply for adjustment of status to that of lawful permanent
To qualify for adjustment of status, the applicant needs to undergo the following steps:
Step 1: File a petition with the state court. A state court must declare that the individual is a
dependent of the court or must legally place the individual with a state agency, private agency, or
a private person; and it is not in the best interest of the individual to return to the home country
due to abuse, abandonment, neglect, or similar reason under state law.
Step 2: Apply for SIJ Status with USCIS. To be eligible, the individual must be under 21 years of
age when filing the SIJ petition; the individual must not be married; and the individual must be
inside the United States.
Step 3: Apply for Adjustment of Status with USCIS. When the SIJ petition is approved, the
minor may file for adjustment of status (or may file concurrently if the priority date is current).
The priority dates are subject to change! For applicants from Honduras, El Salvador, or
Guatemala, it is especially critical to check priority dates, as there has been a halt in these dates
as of recently. For priority dates, check: travel.state.gov. For the month of November, those
with approved SIJ petitions may file for adjustment of status.
For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please contact our office at: 801.374.5336.