Risks of Applying for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) in Affirmative Cases

Immigrant Youth
Publication Date

USCIS recently issued updated guidance on when it will refer a person to Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) or issue a Notice to Appear (NTA, the charging document that begins a case in immigration court). Advocates must consult this memorandum in evaluating the risk of referral in individual cases, as it now requires USCIS to issue an NTA in any case in which, “upon issuance of an unfavorable decision on an application, petition, or benefit request, the alien is not lawfully present in the United States.” This Practice Advisory answers common questions about the risks of filing affirmative SIJS cases for youth in a variety of scenarios, such as when the youth has a delinquency history, the youth is over the age of 18, or the youth is alleged to be gang-involved.