J was abandoned by his father when he was ten. Help J apply for a special visa that will allow...

  • Client Location: Kew Gardens
  • Type of Relief: Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS)


Facts: J is a 17-year old native of Colombia who came to the U.S. in June 2019 on a B2 visitor visa with his mother. J was raised by both parents in Colombia until they separated in 2013. Since the separation, J has resided exclusively with his mother, who supports him financially, and provides for all of his needs, including shelter, food and clothing. When his parents separated, J’s contact with his father decreased dramatically. J spoke to his father only about once per month, and those communications only occurred because J reached out to his father. J’s father has not provided any emotional or financial support for him since the dissolution of the marriage. In fact, J began seeing a psychologist in or around 2014 to deal with his feelings about his relationship with his father. His father’s lack of communication makes J feel like his father doesn’t love him. J’s mother sued his father for child support in Family Court in Colombia, and J’s father was ordered to pay support. For a time, J’s father paid the court-ordered child support, but eventually he stopped. According to J’s mother, she did not seek sole custody of J. The case is still pending in Colombia. Catholic Charities has requested a copy of these court documents so that we and/or pro bono counsel can review them. J has had no contact with his father for nearly a year and states that his father does not seem to want any contact with his son. J has a supportive and loving relationship with his mother. They have a positive relationship based on mutual trust and enjoy spending time together.  

Legal Assessment:  J is eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), a visa for children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected by a parent. This status will allow J to remain in the U.S. with his mother. J needs a dedicated pro bono volunteer advocate to help him file for custody/guardianship at the Queens County Family Court and then submit his application for SIJS to USCIS.

J is a Spanish speaking client.


  • Family
  • Immigrant Children
  • Next Case Deadline
  • Estimated Time Commitment (Hours)
    • < 5
    • 5-10
    • 10-20
    • > 20
    • unknown
  • Mentor Available
  • Free Volunteer Training
  • Organization Provides Malpractice Insurance
  • Case Level / Appropriate For
    Beginner, Intermediate
  • Skills Developed
    Administrative hearing, Case Management, Client advice and counseling, Client/witness interviewing, Legal research & writing
  • Venue where case will be heard
    USCIS, Queens County Family Court, Immigration Court
  • Additional Volunteers Needed
    Mentor, Other: Interpreter