The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) is a statute that guards against children “aging out” of eligibility for permanent residency when they turn 21 while their parent’s immigration petition is still pending. The CSPA applies to individuals under the age of 21, unmarried, and the biological or adopted child of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident.
The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) seeks to protect children by allowing them to retain the same immigration classification regardless of their age by “freezing” or “resetting the clock” on their age for a purpose of determining their eligibility for permanent residence when an immigrant visa petition has been filed on their behalf before they turn 21. For example, if a child was 18 years old when their parent filed a petition for them but turned 21 before the petition was approved, they would still be eligible to receive permanent residency as if they were 18 at the time of approval.
The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) also allows parents or guardians to substitute a new child if the child previously listed on their petition “ages out” and is no longer eligible under the CSPA. This provision enables parents or guardians to replace an ineligible child with a qualifying son or daughter who meets all other eligibility requirements for immigration benefits.
CSPA applies to married sons and daughters of the citizens’ category, but only when their parent is naturalized after filing the visa petition. In this situation, CSPA allows the time between when the petition was filed and a parent’s naturalization to be subtracted from their age at the time of visa availability. It means that they may be eligible for a visa even if their age exceeds 25, as long as their parent had not naturalized before their 25th birthday.
Overall, CSPA helps protect children of immigrants from aging out and losing their chance to obtain legal status in the United States. It allows them to remain eligible for a visa even after they reach the age limit, as long as they began the process before turning 21 or 25 (depending on the preference category). It is an important protection that helps ensure fairness in immigration processing.
However, not all children are eligible for this protection, as it depends on the case and does not guarantee permanent residency.
By understanding how the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) works and who it applies to, you can feel at ease knowing that your son or daughter will not be denied their immigrant benefits due to “aging out” of eligibility.
Consult with an experienced immigration attorney for advice on your case and eligibility for the Child Status Protection Act.