Eligible for long-term foster care means that a determination has been made by the juvenile court that family reunification is no longer a viable option. A child who is eligible for long-term foster care will normally be expected to remain in foster care until reaching the age of majority, unless the child is adopted or placed in a guardianship situation. For the purposes of establishing and maintaining eligibility for classification as a special immigrant juvenile, a child who has been adopted or placed in guardianship situation after having been found dependent upon a juvenile court in the United States will continue to be considered to be eligible for long-term foster care.
Juvenile court means a court located in the United States having jurisdiction under State law to make judicial determinations about the custody and care of juveniles.
(b) Petition for special immigrant juvenile. An alien may not be classified as a special immigrant juvenile unless the alien is the beneficiary of an approved petition to classify an alien as a special immigrant under section 101(a)(27) of the Act. The petition must be filed on Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant. The alien, or any person acting on the alien's behalf, may file the petition for special immigrant juvenile status. The person filing the petition is not required to be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.
(c) Eligibility. An alien is eligible for classification as a special immigrant under section 101(a)(27)(J) of the Act if the alien:
(1) Is under twenty-one years of age;
(2) Is unmarried;
(3) Has been declared dependent upon a juvenile court located in the United States in accordance with state law governing such declarations of dependency, while the alien was in the United States and under the jurisdiction of the court;
(4) Has been deemed eligible by the juvenile court for long-term foster care;
(5) Continues to be dependent upon the juvenile court and eligible for long-term foster care, such declaration, dependency or eligibility not having been vacated, terminated, or otherwise ended; and
(6) Has been the subject of judicial proceedings or administrative proceedings authorized or recognized by the juvenile court in which it has been determined that it would not be in the alien's best interest to be returned to the country of nationality or last habitual residence of the beneficiary or his or her parent or parents; or
(d) Initial documents which must be submitted in support of the petition.
(1) Documentary evidence of the alien's age, in the form of a birth certificate, passport, official foreign identity document issued by a foreign government, such as a Cartilla or a Cedula, or other document which in the discretion of the director establishes the beneficiary's age; and
(2) One or more documents which include:
(i) A juvenile court order, issued by a court of competent jurisdiction located in the United States, showing that the court has found the beneficiary to be dependent upon that court;
(ii) A juvenile court order, issued by a court of competent jurisdiction located in the United States, showing that the court has found the beneficiary eligible for long-term foster care; and
(iii) Evidence of a determination made in judicial or administrative proceedings by a court or agency recognized by the juvenile court and authorized by law to make such decisions, that it would not be in the beneficiary's best interest to be returned to the country of nationality or last habitual residence of the beneficiary or of his or her parent or parents.
(e) Decision. The petitioner will be notified of the director's decision, and, if the petition is denied, of the reasons for the denial. If the petition is denied, the petitioner will also be notified of the petitioner's right to appeal the decision to the Associate Commissioner, Examinations, in accordance with part 103 of this chapter.