Celebrating International Youth Day and Navigating the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA): Your Pathway to a Brighter Future

Happy International Youth Day!!!

Aug. 12 is International Youth Day, a global observance that highlights the importance of empowering and engaging young individuals in shaping a better world. This day not only recognizes the contributions of youth to society but also serves as a reminder of the unique challenges they may face, especially in the realm of immigration.  As immigration lawyers dedicated to supporting families and individuals through their immigration journey, we are thrilled to extend our warmest greetings to you and your loved ones and inform you a little about the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).



Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) – Protecting the Dreams of Our Youngest Applicants


For families with children under 21 seeking to obtain a green card, understanding the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) is paramount. The CSPA provides crucial safeguards to protect the immigration benefits of children who may “age out” due to processing delays, ensuring they can still pursue their dreams of becoming permanent residents.



How CSPA Works: A Simplified Explanation


The CSPA formula calculates the “CSPA age” of a child by subtracting the time taken by USCIS to process the I-130 or I-140 petition from the child’s actual age on the date a visa becomes available. By doing so, the CSPA allows certain applicants to retain their status as children, even if they turn 21 during the often-lengthy visa application process.



CSPA Background and Application


The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) outlines that a child is an individual who is both under 21 years old and unmarried. If someone applies for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status as a child but reaches the age of 21 before their LPR status is approved (obtaining a Green Card), they are no longer considered a child for immigration purposes. This situation is commonly known as “aging out,” and it can lead to the need to file a new petition or application, face extended waiting times for the Green Card, or even lose eligibility for it.


To address the issue of children aging out due to USCIS processing delays, Congress introduced the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), which took effect on August 6, 2002. The CSPA doesn’t alter the definition of a child but provides a way to calculate a person’s “CSPA age” to determine if they still qualify as a child for immigration purposes. This means that some individuals can still be considered children beyond their 21st birthday. However, it’s important to note that being unmarried remains a requirement to retain eligibility for classification as a child under the CSPA.


CSPA applies only to the following people:


  • Immediate relatives (including derivatives of widow(er)s);
  • Family-sponsored preference principal applicants and derivative applicants;
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioners and derivative applicants;
  • Employment-based preference derivative applicants;
  • Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) derivative applicants;
  • Derivative refugees; and
  • Derivative asylees.



CSPA for Immediate Relatives


If you are an immediate relative, a VAWA self-petitioning abused spouse or child of a U.S. citizen, or a derivative child of a VAWA self-petitioning abused spouse or child of a U.S. citizen, your age is frozen on the date the Form I-130 or Form I-360 is filed. If you were under the age of 21 at the time the petition was filed, you are eligible for CSPA and will not age out. However, you must remain unmarried in order to qualify.


If the petitioner of a pending or approved immediate relative spousal petition dies, their spouse’s Form I-130 automatically converts to a widow(er)’s Form I-360. The widow(er)’s children, if any, who are under the age of 21 and unmarried at the time of the petitioner’s death can be classified as derivatives on the automatically converted Form I-360 and therefore qualify for the CSPA.


Your Pathway to a Brighter Future – Contact Us Today!

As we come together to celebrate International Youth Day, our team of experienced immigration attorneys is here to support you every step of the way. If you or your loved ones qualify for a green card or need guidance on navigating the complexities of the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), we encourage you to reach out to us. We are committed to ensuring that the dreams of even our youngest applicants are protected and that families stay united on their journey to a better life in the United States.



Schedule a Consultation: https://calendly.com/amorgan-esq/newclient

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