USCRI: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)

Samples by State and Region

Florida: State-Wide Resources

"Special Immigrant Juvenile Status in Florida: a Guide for Judges, Lawyers, and Child Advocates," by Wendi J. Adelson in collaboration with the Immigrant Children's Legal Services Partnership and the Children & Youth Law Clinic University of Miami School of Law (2007)

  • This guide is intended to provide an overview of the process of applying for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status in Florida and to help point out potential difficulties in the process.

Representing Immigrant Children Training Manual

  • From a June 15, 2006 training co-presented by the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC) and the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children.

FIAC SIJS Checklist

  • List of the required documents when filing an SIJS case

Locating Child's Parents

  • Letter to Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to determine the whereabouts of the parent of the minor
  • Affidavit verifying  parent's death and of diligent search and inquiry: counsel has determine the death of the child's mother and has made "Diligent Search and Inquiry" to determine the whereabouts of the biological father
  • List of offices to contact for Diligent Search


Florida: 
Hillsborough County

Redacted Special Interest Order, Hillsborough County (2007)


Florida:  Miami-Dade County

Adjudicatory Order for Dependency

  • The court is fully informed and advised, having heard testimony and received the predispositional study and psychological evaluations, and has approved the affidavit for the child.
  • The court finds the child dependent.

Best Interest Motion on Behalf of Minor Child 

  • The motion is one subpart of a comprehensive dispositional plan the purpose of which is the welfare and best interests of an abandoned, neglected, and abused minor.

Order Regarding Child's Eligibility for SIJS

  • The court has reviewed the facts of the case and finds the child dependent based on findings of abuse, abandonment and neglect.
  • The child's mother abandoned him and left him to the care of his uncle.
  • The child was abused by uncle and local gang members.

Predispositional Study

  • Report is based on extensive interviews with the child, conducted by co-counsel and the psychological evaluations by a psychological therapist and certified trauma specialist.
  • Includes a conclusion and recommendation for the child

Best Interest Orders - Miami Dade County

  • Includes 3 orders.
  • Court found child dependent due to abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
  • Child is deemed eligible for long-term foster care.

Affidavit and Petition for Placement in a Shelter

  • The child is abandoned, neglected and abused
  • The child is currently in a group foster-care home
  • Counsel has filed this Petition for Shelter, a Petition for Dependency, a Predispositional Study Report, and a motion for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

Order for Placement in Shelter

  • The Court found that the placement in shelter care is in the best interest of the child.
  • There is probable cause to believe that the child is dependent based on allegations of abuse, abandonment, or neglect or substantial risk of same.
  • The child shall be placed in the custody of The Department of Children and Families and shall not be returned to the uncle.

Petition for Adjudication of Dependency, Foster Care, and Services

  • Counsel petitions court to adjudicate that the above-named minor is dependent and  that the Florida Department of Children and Families take custody of the child and/or provide foster-care and services to him.

Redacted Brief in Response to Notice of Certification by the Miami District Director requesting guidance in a case of first impression involving the 2005 amendments to the Florida child welfare laws.

Redacted AAO decision affirming grant of SIJS post 2005 amendments in the above cited case.

Redacted Petition for Adjudication of Dependency and SIJS Order Packet - Miami-Dade County, Sample Packet Includes: 

  • Emergency Motion for Ruling on Private Petition for Adjudication of Dependency
  • Private Petition for Adjudication of Dependency
  • Special Interest Order
  • Petition to Retain Jurisdiction for One Year Following Child's Eighteenth Birthday or Until the Child's Twenty-Second Birthday in Cases Involving Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
  • Order Granting Petition to Retain Jurisdiction Until Child's Twenty-Second Birthday
  • Notice of Filing Additional Documents in Support of Private Petition for Adjudication of Dependency
  • Affidavit of Consul General
  • Declaration Under the UCCJA

Redacted Petition for Adjudication of Dependency and SIJS Order Packet: Miami-Dade County.  Sample Packet Includes:

  • Emergency Motion to Schedule Expedited Arraignment
  • Petitioner's Motion for Entry of A Special Interest Order
  • Private Petition for Adjudication of Dependency
  • Special Interest Order
  • Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit

Redacted USCIS November 6, 2006 "Decision" denying petition for SIJS. USCIS reasoned that petitioner did not obtain specific consent and was not eligible for long term foster care in the state of Florida, even though he had an order extending the state court's jurisdiction.

Redacted USCIS November 13, 2006 "Decision on Application for Status as a Permanent Resident" denying petition for SIJS. USCIS reasoned that child was not abandoned under Florida law, even though petitioner obtained a dependency order from state court.

Redacted Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry. Miami-Dade County.

Redacted Motion for Permanent Guardianship of Dependent Child. Miami-Dade County.

Redacted Motion for Entry of an Order Determining The Child's Eligibiligy for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. Miami-Dade County.

Redacted Petition for Adjudication of Dependency. Miami-Dade County.

Redacted Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Affidavit. Miami-Dade County. 

Redacted Order of Adjudication. Miami-Dade County.

Redacted Petition to Retain Jurisdiction for one (1) Year Following the Child's Eighteenth Birthday or Until the Child's twenty-second (22) Birthday in Cases Involving SIJS. Miami-Dade County.

Redacted Order Granting Petition to Retain Jurisdiction Until Child's twenty-second birthday. Miami-Dade County.

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