On June 13, 2019, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) sent a written notice to possible class members of class action lawsuit against USCIS. If you received a Special Findings Order from a New York Family Court after you turned 18 and then filed or plan to file a petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile (“SIJ”) classification, you may be able to get help from a class action lawsuit against the USCIS, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), and other federal officers (the “Government”).
What is a Special Immigrant Juvenile (“SIJ”) Classification?
If you are in the United States and need the protection of a juvenile court because you have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by a parent, you may be eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification. If SIJ classification is granted, you may qualify for lawful permanent residency (also known as getting a Green Card). To be eligible for SIJ status:
You must be under 21 years old on the filing date of the Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant
Your state juvenile court order must be in effect on the filing date of the Form I-360 and when USCIS makes a decision on your application, unless you “aged out” of the state court’s jurisdiction due to no fault of your own
You cannot be married, both when you file your application and when USCIS makes a decision on your application. “Not married” includes a child whose marriage ended because of annulment, divorce or death.
You must be inside the United States at the time of filing the Form I-360
If you are in the legal custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):
You must request permission from HHS for the court to legally place you somewhere else
You do not need to request permission from HHS if the state court does not place you somewhere else.
What is this case about?
The Plaintiffs claimed that the Government has imposed new, unlawful requirements for people who received Special Findings Orders from New York Family Court when they were 18, 19 or 20 years old and who applied for SIJ classification.
How do I know if I am part of the class?
You are part of the class if you applied for SIJ classification, your application was based on a New York Family Court Special Findings Order issued between your 18th and 21st birthdays making the findings necessary to apply for SIJ classification, and after January 1, 2016:
You have received from USCIS a Notice of Intent to Deny (“NOID”) your SIJ status application on the ground that the Family Court does not have jurisdiction as a “juvenile court” over petitioners between the ages of 18 and 21 and/or that the New York Family Court does not have the authority to “reunify” petitioners between the ages of 18 and 21 with their parents; or
You have received a denial of your SIJ status application from a USCIS Field Office or the USCIS National Benefits Center on the grounds in (1), above; or
You have received a denial of your SIJ status application from a USCIS Field Office or the USCIS National Benefits Center and you have filed an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO”) of USCIS, and you have received a NOID in response to your appeal on the grounds in (1), above; or
You have received a denial of your appeal from the AAO on the grounds in (1), above; or
Your SIJ application was granted, but you have received a Notice of Intent to Revoke (“NOIR”) your SIJ status from USCIS on the grounds in (1), above; or
Your SIJ application was granted, but your SIJ status has been revoked by USCIS on the grounds in (1), above; or
You are still waiting for a decision from USCIS about your SIJ application which was filed with a New York Family Court Special Findings Order.
I received this notice. What should I do?
If you have an attorney assisting you on your case, you should contact them to inquire how this affects your case. If you do not have an attorney, you should contact the Class Counsel assigned to this lawsuit at 212-418-7626 or NYSIJClassCounsel@lw.com. If you are affected by this development and have further questions, please contact us. We are here to help you. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Tumblr for up-to-date immigration news.
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