Green Cards (Common)
National Interest Waivers
Professors & Researchers
Executives & Managers
PERM Labor Certification
Investors (EB-5 visas)
Family (Spouse, etc.)
Work Visas (Common)
O-1 Extraordinary Ability
TN Canadians & Mexicans
J-1 Visa Holders
Nurses & Physical Therapists
Child Status Protection Act
On August 6, 2002, President Bush signed the Child Status Protection Act (“CSPA”) (Pub. L. No. 107-208).
Before this law was passed, children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents faced the risk of “aging out” because long delays in processing and visa backlogs caused children to turn 21 years old and no longer qualify as a minor child. Because the child's age was determined at the time of deciding the adjustment of status application or visa application, some children who turned 21 while their petitions were pending no longer qualified for their green card categories. The purpose of CSPA is to ensure that certain alien children are not denied or further delayed in obtaining permanent residency because of these delays.
CSPA changes the process for determining whether or not a child will “age out” when applying for permanent residency. CSPA affects children of U.S. citizen parents, lawful permanent residents, and asylum and refugee applicants. CSPA determines who the USCIS and the Department of State considers to be a “child” for the purpose of adjustment of status and visa issuance.
If a U.S. citizen files a permanent residency petition for a child before that child turns 21, the child will continue to be considered a child under 21 for immigration purposes even if the USCIS does not approve the petition until after your child turns 21. The child's age will be determined on the date on which the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is filed, as opposed to when the application for permanent residence is decided.
If a lawful permanent resident filed a petition for a child and later naturalized, the age of the child is determined based on the date of the parent's naturalization.
If U.S. citizen filed a petition for a married son or daughter and that child later divorces, the eligibility for immigration will be determined based upon the child's age on the date of the divorce. If at the time of the divorce the child is under 21, he or she qualifies as an immediate relative. If the divorce occurs after age 21, the child must use the Immigration 1st Preference category.
The CSPA also affects children who are sponsored for permanent residency by their parents who are Lawful Permanent Residents. The age of the child is determined on the date on which an immigrant visa number becomes available, reduced by the number of days the petition was pending with the USCIS.
CSPA also affects the calculation of ages for children who are accompanying or following to join family-sponsored, employment-based, and diversity immigrant parents. The age of these children is determined on the date on which an immigrant visa number becomes available, reduced by the number of days the petition was pending with the USCIS.
DOS Issues Revised Cable on Child Status Protection Act (Feb. 5, 2003)
DOS Cable on Child Status Protection Act (Sep. 9, 2002)
The Child Status Protection Act – Memorandum Number 2 (Feb. 14, 2003)