Children and young adults under the age of 18 who travel to the United States without a parent or guardian are designated “Unaccompanied Minors” or “UACs.” These young people may be seeking asylum because of persecution they suffered in their home countries but have to overcome the additional challenges of locating a U.S.-based sponsor who can take them in and help them navigate the immigration system.
UAC asylum cases have some benefits, including a “second chance” at applying for asylum before having to do so in front of an immigration judge. However, there are many difficult issues in these cases, including placement in a guardian’s home after detention in a youth shelter, employment authorization, and the likelihood of winning the asylum claim.
Unaccompanied minors also often face issues around attending school, language barriers, and sometimes even criminal issues. An experienced immigration attorney can help you put the pieces together so that these complications don’t overwhelm you and your family.