The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) amended the Immigration Nationality Act (INA) by changing who qualifies as a child for immigration purposes. The CSPA permits certain beneficiaries to retain classification as a “child,” even if he or she has reached the age of 21. For certain derivative beneficiaries, they must follow a formula to determine if they are eligible to remain classifiable as a “child under 21.” CSPA allows the time a visa petition was pending to be subtracted from the beneficiary’s biological age at the time of visa availability so that the applicant is not penalized for the time in which USCIS did not adjudicate the petition. The child must then “seek to acquire” permanent residence within one year of a visa becoming available. Recently, the State Department’s Visa Office took a broader view of the “sought to acquire” provision under the CSPA after previous narrow interpretations by Department of Homeland Security and Department of State. Thank you to Attorney Cyrus Mehta for sharing his success story.
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