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CSPA Child Status Protection Act
The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) was passed into law in 2002. The purpose of this act was to help young people who turned 21 years old before USCIS and DOS approved their green card applications. As a result of the lengthy delays on the green card waitlist and extensive processing times at USCIS and the State Department, petitions that were filed for a child well in advance of their 21st birthday were “aging out” and being rejected once that child turned 21 without a resolution to their petition. Before the CSPA, petitioners needed to file Form I-130 before their child’s 21st birthday to ensure that they did not “age out” before USCIS approved their application. Now, if USCIS receives the Form I-130 at any point before the child’s 21st birthday, the child will be considered an “immediate relative” even if he or she is 21 or older when the petition is finally approved.
CSPA provides an improved method to calculate a person’s age to assess if they meet the definition of the child for immigration. The age calculated of the child is their CSPA age. This age allows some people to remain classified as children even beyond their 21st birthday. Note that this does not change the mandatory requirement for remainng unmarried to remain eligible for classification as a child.
CSPA applies to the following people:

1. Immediate relatives which even includes the derivatives of the widow(er)s)
2. Family-sponsored preference principal applicants and also the derivative applicants
3. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioners and the derivative applicants;
4. Derivative asylees
5. Employment-based preference derivative applicants;
6. Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) derivative applicants;
7. Derivative refugees

If you are applying for permanent residency based on these categories and the forms mentioned below were filed on or after 2002, you are eligible for CSPA:

1. Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence
2. Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative;
3. Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant;
4. Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker;
5. Form I-589, Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal;
6. Form I-590, Registration for Classification as a Refugee; or
7. Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition.

CSPA for Refugees and Asylees
If you are a derivative refugee, the CSPA age is the age on the date your principal refugee parent or Form I-730 petitioner files their I-590. If you were under the age of 21 at the time of your parent’s interview, your age is frozen at that date, and you will not age out.

CSPA for Immediate Relatives
If you are an immediate relative, a VAWA self-petitioning abused child, or spouse of a US citizen, the age is frozen on the date the Form I-360 or Form I-130 is filed. If you were below 21 years of age at the time the petition was filed, you are eligible for CSPA and will not age out.

CSPA for Diversity visa and family and employment visa immigrants
If you are a family preference, DV applicant, employment-based preference applicant, your CSPA is calculated by subtracting the number of days for which the petition was pending from the age on the date an immigrant visa is available to you. The perfect formula is

Age at Time of Visa Availability – Pending Time = CSPA Age

To benefit from the CSPA as a family preference, you should seek to acquire the status of the lawful permanent resident within one year of the visa being available to you. This is referred to as the “sought to acquire” requirement. To satisfy this requirement you must:

File the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
Submit the Part 1 of Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application
Pay the immigrant visa fee and Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) review fee DOS
File the Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition

Calculating a correct CSPA age can be very tricky. Seeking the assistance of a professional and experienced immigration attorney is a very sound idea if you or someone you love needs to freeze their age while a Green Card application winds through the long process. Our team of expert attorneys can help you determine your current status and are ready to assist in filing for an adjustment of visa as soon as one is made available. Our goal is to do whatever we can to keep your family together.

Call Rijal Law firm today and book a consultation with our experienced attorneys.

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