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April 2014 

United States immigration is a complex maze of forms, documents, and interviews. It is a challenge for anyone to effectively navigate, and it can be even more so for children. Fortunately, when it comes to immigration and children there are two options available to children already present within the United States to make the process go a little smoother.

The first is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the second is Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). Below are the details you can use to determine which is right for you and your individual circumstances.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process (DACA)

In June of 2012, the decision was made by the Secretary of Homeland Security to defer action for children who came to the United States without authorization. The deferral is a two-year temporary relief from deportation and may be renewed. It allows children to remain in the United States and complete their studies. It also provides temporary work authorization. DACA does not grant legal status or allow for the sponsorship of family members.
There are considerable documentation requirements that applicants must provide in order to qualify.

To be eligible, applicants must meet and be able to prove that they:  
  • Were younger than age 31 prior to June 15, 2012 ;  
  • Entered the United States before their 16th birthday;
  • Have maintained continuous residence within the United States since June 15, 2007;
  • Had a physical presence within the United States both on June 15, 2012, and at time of application;
  • Entered the United States prior to June 15, 2012 without inspection;
  • Are currently in school, graduated, or having obtained a GED certifying satisfactory completion from High School; and
  • Have no criminal convictions including either a felony or significant misdemeanor. 
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)

When it comes to immigration and the young, there is nothing more important than protecting children who have been subjected to abuse, neglect, or abandonment by one or both parents. SIJS is designed to assist children so that they can remain within the care of a guardian who will take care of them and keep them safe from harm.
To be eligible, a court in the United States must decide that it is not in the best interests to return an unmarried child under the age of 21 to their home country, and reunification with one or both of the child's parents is not a viable option.

SIJS allows qualifying children to obtain lawful permanent residence within the United States, work authorization, and the ability to eventually apply for a green card. It does not allow for the sponsorship of family members.
Additional Considerations:

US immigration law can be complex and difficult to navigate. We encourage you to contact Ellaine Carr and Associates, with your questions, and to discover the immigration options that are available for you and your family.

We have the expertise to help you navigate the process so that you can see your dreams of American citizenship become a reality. 
Call us for a consultation at 877-643-2112.
Ellaine Carr
Ellaine Carr & Associates Immigration Law
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Ellaine Carr
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