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DHS/USCIS RIN: 1615-AB81 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Special Immigrant Juvenile Petitions 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its regulations governing the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification and related applications for adjustment of status to permanent resident. Special Immigrant Juvenile classification is a humanitarian-based immigration protection for children who cannot be reunified with one or both parents because of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis found under State law. This final rule implements updates to eligibility requirements and other changes made by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110-457. DHS received comments on the proposed rule in 2011 and intends to issue a final rule in the coming year.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 8 CFR 204    8 CFR 205    8 CFR 245   
Legal Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1101    8 U.S.C. 1103    8 U.S.C. 1151    8 U.S.C. 1153    8 U.S.C. 1154   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

This rule would address the eligibility requirements that must be met for SIJ classification and related adjustment of status, implement statutory amendments to these requirements, and provide procedural and evidentiary guidance to assist in the petition process.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

Congress established the SIJ classification in the Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT). The 1998 Appropriations Act amended the SIJ classification by limiting eligibility to children declared dependent on a juvenile court because of abuse, abandonment, or neglect and creating consent functions. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 made many changes to the SIJ classification including: (1) creating a requirement that the petitioner's reunification with one or both parents not be viable due to abuse, abandonment, neglect, or a similar basis under State law; (2) expanding the population of children who may be eligible to include those placed by a juvenile court with an individual or entity; (3) modifying the consent functions; (4) providing age-out protection; and (5) creating a timeframe for adjudications.


DHS is considering and using suggestions from stakeholders to keep in mind the vulnerable nature of abused, abandoned and neglected children in developing this regulation. These suggestions came in the form of public comment from the 2011 proposed rule.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

In the 2011 proposed rule, DHS estimated there would be no additional regulatory compliance costs for petitioning individuals or any program costs for the Government as a result of the proposed amendments. Qualitatively, DHS estimated that the proposed rule would codify the practices and procedures currently implemented via internal policy directives issued by USCIS, thereby establishing clear guidance for petitioners. DHS is currently in the process of updating our final cost and benefit estimates.


The failure to promulgate a final rule in this area presents significant risk of further inconsistency and confusion in the law. The Government's interests in fair, efficient, and consistent adjudications would be compromised.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  09/06/2011  76 FR 54978   
NPRM Comment Period End  11/07/2011    
Final Rule  05/00/2017 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal, State 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Maureen A. Dunn
Chief, Humanitarian Affairs Division
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Office of Policy and Strategy, 5900 Capital Gateway Drive, Suite 4S190,
Camp Springs, MD 20588-0009
Phone:240 721-3000