If you are in foster care, you might qualify for a green card with Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). SIJS protects young immigrants who are:

  • under 21,
  • not married,* and
  • have a parent or parents who have hurt them or who have not cared for them properly.

If you are in foster care, you may qualify. 

Minors (people under 21) who are not in foster care may qualify too. New York state laws say parents must care for their children. Parents must protect, feed, shelter, and support their children. They must not harm their children, and they have other legal duties. A young immigrant may qualify for SIJS if a state court decides that:

  • an immigrant child has been harmed by his/her parent(s), and
  • it is unsafe for the child to continue living with the parent(s) or to return to the home country.  

If this happens, the court will make an order, and then the minor can apply for SIJS with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

*If the marriage was not legal (because you were too young) or you are divorced now, you may still qualify.

For more information, read the SJIS flyer below.

Download the flyer


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Last Reviewed: April 27, 2023