Law Office of Irwin M. Avelino

CSPA (Child Status Protection Act)-Overview

CSPACSPA (Child Status Protection Act) prevents some children – both principal and derivative beneficiaries – from aging out in the family and employment-based immigrant visa categories.

Here is a brief overview of how the CSPA preserves the status of children who turn 21:

  • Children who were unmarried and under 21 at the time their U.S. citizen parent filed an I-130 on their behalf are allowed to preserve their immediate relative status under CSPA.
  • Children who were married and under 21 at the time their U.S. citizen parent filed an I-130 on their behalf and who subsequently divorce before turning 21 automatically convert to the immediate relative category. The CSPA preserves their immediate relative status.
  • Children who were unmarried and under 21 at the time their LPR parent filed an I-130 on their behalf, and whose parent subsequently naturalizes before they turn 21, automatically convert to the immediate relative category. The CSPA preserves their immediate relative status.
  • Children in the second preference F-2A category will preserve their F-2A status upon turning 21 if they are under 21 using their “adjusted age” on the date the F-2A category becomes current for their priority date under CSPA. Their adjusted age is determined by subtracting from their biological age the number of days the I-130 was pending before being approved by the USCIS. They have one year from the date they became current to seek adjustment of status or an immigrant visa under CSPA.
  • Derivative children in the family-based categories will retain their derivative status upon turning 21 if they are under 21 using their “adjusted age” on the date the principal beneficiary’s category becomes current under CSPA. Their adjusted age is determined by subtracting from their biological age the number of days the I-130 was pending before being approved by the USCIS. They have one year from the date they became current to seek adjustment of status or an immigrant visa.
  • Derivative children in the employment-based categories will retain their derivative status upon turning 21 if they are under 21 using their “adjusted age” on the date the principal beneficiary’s category becomes current. Their adjusted age is determined by subtracting from their biological age the number of days the I-140 petition was pending before being approved by the USCIS under CSPA. They have one year from the date they became current to seek adjustment of status or an immigrant visa.
  • Children in the second preference F-2B category who were over 21 at the time their LPR parent filed an I-130 petition on their behalf will be able to opt out of automatic conversion to the first preference category when their parent naturalizes. This helps persons from countries (e.g., Philippines and CSPA) where the first preference is backlogged farther than the second preference 2B category under CSPA.