SIJS (Special Immigrant Juvenile Status) In-service Materials
Unaccompanied minors are moving to Connecticut in record numbers
CT Mirror Article by Kathleen Megan
There were 952 youths, mostly from Central America, who joined sponsors here last year. That’s almost triple the previous year, when there were 332, and more than quadruple the number in 2015, when 206 unaccompanied children came to the state. The percentage increase in the arrival of unaccompanied minors in Connecticut is higher than the national average, which almost doubled in the past two years.
The Center for Children’s Advocacy works on getting the children a “Special Immigrant Juvenile Status” visa, which is a pathway to citizenship, Marealle said. She said it would likely take a child from Guatemala about five years to get the visa, and probably another five to seven years to obtain citizenship. To get that status, a youth must prove all of the following conditions: that he or she has been abandoned, abused or neglected by at least one parent; that he or she is under the age of 21 and unmarried; and that it is not in the child’s best interest to be returned to his or her home country.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigrant Services page on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
From the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrant Services page:
Special Immigrant Juveniles:
"If you are in the United States and need the protection of a juvenile court because you have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, you may be eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification. If SIJ classification is granted, you may qualify for lawful permanent residency (also known as getting a Green Card)."