USCIS announced new policies that will provide better protection to immigrant children who are victims of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or similar paternal maltreatment. Included in the new policies are updated regulations to clarify Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) eligibility criteria such as making an age-out provision to protect petitioners who turn 21 while their petition is pending. USCIS updated regulations for evidentiary requirements to improve the efficiency of the program and ensure that eligible victims receive SIJ classification and a pathway to apply for lawful permanent residence status. USCIS may agree to a grant of SIJ classification when the petitioner has provided evidence of court-ordered relief from paternal abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis under state law, as well as evidence of the factual basis for a juvenile court’s determinations.

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