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Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer Discusses the Child Status Protection Act

Child Status Protection Act (CSPA)

As a child, you came to the United States as an immigrant, and over many years, you have established a good life here. You have a circle of peers you keep in close contact with, a community you partake in, and perhaps even promising career prospects. Yet, due to your immigrant status, you fear you may lose everything you have worked for at the drop of a hat. Feelings of insecurity trouble you on a daily basis; it’s as if you’re walking on thin ice. Fortunately, you have certain rights and protections under law that may prevent the worst case scenario from happening. Consult with an experienced immigration law attorney to find out more.

During our many years of specialized practice in immigration law, Attorney Scott McVarish and his staff at the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. have helped countless clients in southern California and worldwide secure their futures in the United States. If you’re having difficulty navigating the complex bureaucratic processes of immigration, get in touch with us today. We will guide you through every step of the way and ensure your rights are preserved. Our number is (800) 792-9889.

What is the CSPA?

Before the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) took effect on August 6, 2002, beneficiaries under the Immigration Nationality Act (INA) would lose their legal immigration status once they turned 21, or "age out," unless they received permanent residence. This proved problematic since many beneficiaries were turning 21 before their visa petitions were even considered and processed. The CSPA prevents a beneficiary from aging out due to such bureaucratic issues.

How to Qualify for CSPA

Immediate relatives may file a Petition for Alien Relative, or Form I-130, to secure legal status for their children. If a parent who is a U.S. citizen files the petition for his or her child, the child’s age becomes "frozen" on the date the petition is filed. If a permanent resident parent files the petition and also naturalizes before his or her child turns 21, the child’s age "freezes" on the date of the parent’s naturalization.

Under the CSPA, a beneficiary applying for permanent residence or a derivative of it may have the time the visa petition took to process subtracted from his or her biological age when the visa becomes available.

Requirements for Eligibility

The following requirements must be met in order for a beneficiary to qualify for protections under the CSPA:

  • Must be the beneficiary of a pending or approved visa petition on or after August 6, 2002.
  • The beneficiary must not have had a final decision on an application for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa before August 6, 2002.
  • The child must "seek to acquire" permanent residence no later than one year after the visa has become available. USCIS interprets "seek to acquire" as having a Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, filed on the child’s behalf or the filing of a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, or submit Form DS-230, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration from the Department of State. The date of visa availability means the first day of the first month a visa in the appropriate category was listed as available in the Department of State’s visa bulletin or the date the visa petition was approved, whichever is later.

It is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney to determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements for CSPA.

Protecting the Rights of Immigrants in California

At the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C., we are not afraid to confront any government entity if it means securing better futures for our clients. Contact us today for a reasonably priced consultation which will give you a full understanding of your situation and your legal options.


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3415 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 570, Los Angeles, CA 90034 | Phone: (310) 683-4516  Local Phone: (310) 242-8936 Office Location

3415 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 570, Los Angeles, CA 90034 | Phone: (310) 683-4516  Local Phone: (310) 242-8936 Office Location

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