USCIS allowed many children to age out of their green card applications, without a clear path to a new status. This was especially problematic for children whose lawful permanent-resident status depended on their status as the child of an immigrant entering the United States under a different visa category. In recognition of this fact, the Child Status Protection Act provided a pathway for those children to gain more time.
You can contact me, Boston immigration attorney Giselle M. Rodriguez, to discuss next steps on your or a loved one’s “child” status, or read on to find out more.
Two quick notes:
1: We can meet in-person, on Zoom, or by phone.
2: My legal fees DO include the translations of relevant documents.
The Definition of a “Child” in Terms of Immigration
For immigration purposes, a child is a person who is both unmarried AND under the age of 21.
This is important, because while you can sponsor a child, you cannot sponsor an adult, even if that adult is your son or daughter. The same is true for other visas that allow children to come into the country with their parents.
The CSPA Age
The “CSPA age” is a calculated age for CSPA purposes only. This allows you to use your CSPA age for the purposes of completing visa processing instead of your actual age.
There is one caveat: you must not get married while your CSPA application is pending. If you do, you will once again be considered an adult, not a child. While your new spouse may be able to sponsor you into the United States it is a good idea to make sure that you have spoken with an immigration lawyer before changing your status.
The CSPA age is calculated by subtracting the number of days that your petition has been pending from your actual age on the date the visa became available. Thus, if you are 22 and your visa becomes available after you have been waiting for 4 years, then your “CSPA age” would be 18, allowing your petition to move forward.
CSPA only applies to certain types of visas:
- Family-sponsored principal applicants and their children
- Violence Against Women Act applicants
- The children of employment-based visa applicants
- Diversity visa applicants
- Derivative refugees
- Derivative asylees
You are a “derivative” applicant if your family member applied for a visa type and included you in the application. For example if your mother married a US Citizen and brought you along to the US, then your application derives from her spousal application.
The CSPA act can be helpful in ensuring that you can remain in the United States, but there may be better programs to use. In addition, it’s very easy to make a mistake that could invalidate your petition.
If you think you may be eligible to remain here under CSPA, you can contact my office here in Boston today. I’ll be happy to help you protect your status in the United States.