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03/12/2015

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) cases, involving a claim of abuse, abandonment or neglect against one parent while the child resides with the non-offending parent, are commonly referred to as one-parent cases. These cases, though permissible under the plain language of the statute as well as federal agency interpretation, have proved challenging particularly at the state court phase of the application process and at times before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency that adjudicates SIJS petitions. This advisory is intended to be a primer for practitioners to help them successfully advocate for SIJS where one-parent SIJS claims are involved.