August 13, 2021

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (Approved I-360)

Mooradian's client, a young man from Asia, recently received an approval of his Special Immigrant Juvenile Status petition based on an adoption order.  The client had been adopted by a relative several years ago, but given that the relative had completed the adoption without the assistance of an attorney, the Probate and Family Court did not issue the necessary findings for the child to receive Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

Unfortunately, by the time the client came to Mooradian's office, he had already turned 18 years old. Mooradian needed to rely on a new law, M.G.L. c. 119 §39M, which grants probate and family courts jurisdiction until an immigrant child reaches 21 years of age, as well as an argument that a new order could be entered nunc pro tunc, i.e., as if it were entered on the day of the initial judgment, in order to essentially add in the required findings for SIJS. Mooradian developed a comprehensive affidavit from the client, among other evidence, to demonstrate that he had been neglected, abused, and abandoned, and that he was unable to reunify with his biological parents.

The Probate and Family Court judge was amenable to issuing the predicate order; Mooradian carefully argued the case in written communications to USCIS.  Following several Requests for Evidence, USCIS agreed with the arguments.  Now that the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status has been approved, the agency can issue Lawful Permanent Resident status to this client, who has endured protracted abuse and neglect and thus qualified for protection in the United States.

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