Washoe Legal Services assists immigrants with obtaining/maintaining legal immigration status. The immigration unit focuses primarily on victims of crime and domestic violence by petitioning for special legal protections that are available to them.
WLS also assists individuals who are not victims of crime, but a reduced fee may apply to these services. Services offered through this unit include U-Visas, T-Visas, VAWA Self-Petitions, Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Petitions, Naturalization (Citizenship) Petitions and Permanent Legal Resident (“Green Card”) Applications.
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), is an immigration benefit for youth that is unique in the fact that it requires both special findings from a state juvenile court and the primary federal immigration benefit agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Given the benefit’s crux at the intersection of state and federal law, it is one that can be difficult to obtain, both for immigrant youth and for the legal advocates that assist them. Here at Washoe Legal Services, we work across multiple units, striving to help those qualified youth obtain this challenging benefit. Be sure to read this article to understand some of the challenges and complexities in obtaining SIJS, including a quote from our own WLS Immigration Specialist, Noah Montague.