Child Status Protection Act CSPA
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Child Status Protection Act

Child status protection actThe Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) was passed by Congress in an effort to keep families together and stop the devastation caused by the U.S. immigration laws, to a family, when the parents are ready to receive their permanent residency (Green Card), but a child “ages out”, that is turns twenty-one and no longer is able to enter the United States with their family.

Before the enactment of CSPA, if a child turned 21, he or she no longer qualifies as a derivative beneficiary to their parents’ petition. The parents would then have to file a P2 petition as a Lawful Permanent Resident filing for the son or daughter. The problem here is that, it can take more than 5 years for the child to become a legal resident.

CSPA amended the immigration laws by changing the definition of a child for immigration purposes. No longer would a child “age out” at 21. Instead CSPA “freezes the age” of the child in various ways. If the petitioner is a U.S. citizen the age of the child freezes when the visa petition for the child is filed. If the parent is a Lawful Permanent Resident, then when the parent naturalizes, the age is frozen,

CSPA specifies a mathematical formula to calculate how much extra time a child can add to her or her age. The formula is a bit complicated, but a simple example illustrates how it works. Her US citizen brother petitioned Maria Paula in 2001. The immigration service took 5 years to process the petition before it was approved. When Ana Paula’s priority date finally became current she submits her application for an interview at the Consulate. She is very worried because her older son Joao turned 21 three years ago and is now 24 years of age. In the past Joao was just out of luck and had to wait for his mother to sponsor him. This could take many years and he would remain in an illegally in the United States for the time it would take to complete. But thanks to CSPA, Joao can deduct 5 years from his age, which would make him 19-years-old for immigration purposes. He is now able to immigrate with the family.

Unhappily, CSPA does not work out for everyone. If Joao were 19 when the petition was filed and is now 29, the formula would reduce his immigration age to 24 and he would be out of luck.

CSPA also has an opt-out clause that permits beneficiaries of 2nd preference I-130 petitions that were automatically converted to family first preference upon the petitioning parent’s naturalization to continue as 2nd Preference. This is very helpful for nationals of certain countries like Mexico and the Philippines.

"Our immigration lawyes, have assisted numerous numbers of new immigrants to keep their family together by using CSPA to their benefit.  If your child is facing this problem or has not been permitted to join the family because he or she "aged out" call for a consultation and find out if there is still a chance to keep the family together."

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    Moses Apsan and his staff, based in New York City and Newark, NJ provide exceptional legal services throughout the world, in all aspects of immigration to the United States, including non-immigrant (temporary visas), immigrant visa (Green Card) and deportation defense. In addition Mr. Apsan, has been practicing Bankruptcy law and Divorce laws for over 35 years, He was the President of the Federal Bar Association, New Jersey Chapter (1997-2002). He speaks Portuguese and Spanish..

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