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Who Can Petition for SIJS Status in 2024?

Welcome to episode 11 of the VivaVisa podcast. Today, we delve into SIJS petitioner eligibility, exploring critical aspects influencing who can petition for SIJS applicants. Join Kousha Adhami from Adhami Law Group as we address vital listener questions about the nuances of SIJS petitioner eligibility. This episode provides clarity and expert guidance on navigating the eligibility criteria and legal landscape impacting SIJS applications. Tune in as we explore the complexities of SIJS petitioner requirements, equipping you with the knowledge to support your or your loved one’s application.

Who Can Be a Petitioner in SIJS Cases?

In Episode 11, Kousha Adhami thoroughly explains who qualifies as a petitioner in SIJS cases. He highlights a wide range of eligible individuals. Whether a parent, relative, or non-relative, a petitioner’s suitability depends on their relationship with the child and the child’s age. Thus, parents can petition in family law courts if the child is under 18, while non-relatives and distant relatives often must go through probate court. Moreover, all petitions should be filed before the child turns 21 to ensure they are managed within the correct legal framework.

Distinguishing Between State and Immigration Court Roles

Kousha explains why initial SIJS proceedings happen in state court, not immigration court, emphasizing the separation of jurisdictions.

Key Insights:

  • Diverse Petitioner Eligibility: To understand who can petition, each category—parents, relatives, or non-relatives—follows distinct legal paths based on the child’s age and residence.
  • Court Jurisdiction Matters: Petitioners must file in the appropriate court—family law for parents of minors under 18 and probate for others, by state laws.
  • Role of Relationship and Age: The child’s relationship and age guide the court process, highlighting the need for customized legal strategies.
  • Screening for Non-Relatives: The Department of Child and Family Services thoroughly screens non-relative petitioners to ensure their safety and suitability.
  • Legal Status Irrelevance: Legal status is irrelevant in family and probate courts, which focus solely on the child’s best interests.

In conclusion, knowing where and how to correctly file petitions is crucial to avoid costly mistakes and delays.

Looking Forward to Future Episodes

Explore upcoming topics on background checks, petitioner financial requirements, and securing SIJS status.

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