Until recently, no uniform and widely accepted criteria for defining remission in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) were available. In recent years, a set of preliminary criteria for clinical remission in JIA was developed through an international collaborative effort. These criteria enable the classification of patients in the states of inactive disease, clinical remission with medication, and clinical remission without medication. The first phase of the validation process of the criteria, which was accomplished recently, established that they are feasible and have good face, content and construct validity, and strong discriminant properties. A few studies have applied the new remission criteria in series of patients with JIA, with results that concur with those of previous surveys in showing that only a few patients with JIA have a chance of remaining in long-term remission status without medications. These findings highlight the critical need for therapies that have the capacity to induce sustained complete disease control of JIA.