USCIS Updates Guidance for Special Immigrant Juvenile Petitions

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated its guidance for adjudicating Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) petitions, effective immediately. This change, aligning with the Casa Libre/Freedom House v. Mayorkas order from July 31, 2023, aims to streamline the process for certain applicants. The 180-day adjudication timeframe now applies only to initial SIJ petitions, not to motions or appeals following a denial. SIJ classification provides a pathway for noncitizens who have suffered abuse, abandonment, or neglect by a parent to apply for lawful permanent residency in the U.S.