A special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) is a child who is abused, neglected, or abandoned and who, with their family, illegally entered the United States. The law still requires that the immigrant child obtain an order from a state court making findings that the juvenile satisfies certain criteria. Once a state court makes an SIJ order, a child may file with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services for SIJ-status which can lead to lawful permanent resident status. Under the recent case of Simbaina v. Bunay decided by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, a divorce court must act on requests to sign SIJ orders and must sign these orders when appropriate.
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