How long will it take to get my green card?
Every case is different, but since SIJS requires several steps, you can plan on the process taking one to two years before the immigration agency reaches a decision. There also may be some delays after you are approved and before your green card is issued. However, once you have an application pending with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you should be safe from being deported until a decision about your application has been made.
I applied for SIJS and am waiting for my green card. Is there anything I need to know while I wait?
Yes. Until you have your actual green card in hand you MUST:
I applied for SIJS, but it’s taking a very long time.Can I leave foster care while I’ m waiting?
No. Even if you feel that it is time for you to be on your own, while your application is pending, you MUST remain in foster care. If you are very unhappy in your current foster care situation, speak to your law guardian to see if something can be done. Do NOT, however, go “AWOL” (leave foster care without permission) or sign yourself out of care. Doing so will jeopardize your application and you almost certainly will be denied a green card.
Am I allowed to work at a job while I am waiting for my SIJS application to be approved?
After the SIJS application is filed, you will be eligible for an Employment Authorization Document, a card that will allow you to work legally while the application is being processed. You will also be able to get a temporary social security number. It is important to remember that the Employment Authorization Document only authorizes you to work, and it has an expiration date. It will not help you get financial aid or public benefits.
If I get a green card through SIJS, can I also get green cards for my family members?
If you get a green card through SIJS, you will become an LPR (Lawful Permanent Resident), but this only applies to you. You will NOT be able to help your parents get a green card.
It may be possible to sponsor other family members (like your brothers or sisters), but it is not guaranteed. Speak to your immigration attorney if this is something you are hoping to do, and you can learn about other options.