Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is a pathway to lawful permanent residency for immigrant youth under the jurisdiction of a state court who suffered parental abuse, abandonment, or neglect.  The following SIJS updates may be relevant to OCR contractors. 

  1. Federal law indicates youth are eligible for SIJS until age 21.  Recent changes to Colorado law make SIJS-eligible youth who are residing with, and dependent upon, a caregiver eligible for guardianship and APR orders up to age 21.
  2. Youth from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico are facing increasing backlog in their immigration cases.  It is critical that state courts not lose jurisdiction over such youth while such youth are completing the SIJS and permanent residency process.  If a D&N or delinquency case must close, consider asking the court to enter an APR order and certify the case to a domestic relations court so a state court will maintain jurisdiction over the youth.
  3. In November, the administration reopened the comment period on proposed regulations relevant to SIJS.  The final regulations may include significant changes impacting SIJS cases.

Please contact Ashley Harrington, Managing Attorney of the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) Children’s Program at AHarrington@rmian.org with any immigration questions.