This answer is written by AI. The information provided in this response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the information provided in this response for any legal decisions. Consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions.

Can I Apply for a Green Card with Deferred Action on My I-360?

Question from Goblin, Can I Apply for a Green Card with Deferred Action on My I-360?

Answer from AI:

When your Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, specifically under the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status, is approved with a notation of “deferred action,” it’s understandable to have questions about what this means for your ability to apply for a green card (lawful permanent residency) in the United States. Let’s break down the key components to provide a clearer understanding of your situation.

Understanding Deferred Action

Deferred action is a discretionary, limited immigration benefit granted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It does not provide lawful status but does indicate that DHS is not currently seeking to enforce removal (deportation) against an individual. Importantly, recipients of deferred action may apply for and receive employment authorization for the period during which deferred action is in effect, provided they can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment.”

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Green Card Eligibility

Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status is a classification that can lead to a green card. It is intended for minors who have been found dependent on a juvenile court in the United States due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment by one or both parents. The approval of an SIJ petition (Form I-360) is a critical step towards becoming a lawful permanent resident.

Key Steps After SIJ Approval:

  1. Adjustment of Status: Typically, after your I-360 petition is approved under the SIJ category, you may be eligible to apply for a green card through the process known as Adjustment of Status (AOS) by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This is the case even if your I-360 approval comes with deferred action.
  2. Visa Availability: You must ensure that a visa is available in the SIJ category before you can file your Form I-485. The Visa Bulletin issued by the U.S. Department of State can provide this information.
  3. Deferred Action Consideration: While deferred action does not directly impact your eligibility to apply for a green card, it does provide protection against removal and may allow you to work legally in the U.S. while your green card application is processed.

Consulting with an Immigration Attorney

Given the complexity of immigration law and the potential for changes in policies and procedures, it’s highly recommended to consult with an immigration attorney who can provide advice tailored to your specific situation. An attorney can help you understand:

  • The implications of deferred action on your case.
  • How to proceed with your application for a green card.
  • Any potential challenges or issues you might face during the application process.

Additional Resources

For more information on the SIJ status and the green card application process, you can visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Green Card Eligibility Categories page and the U.S. Department of State Immigrant Visa Process page.

Remember: This information is intended to provide a general overview and should not be construed as legal advice. Immigration laws are complex and subject to change, and your individual circumstances may require professional guidance to ensure the best possible outcome.

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