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Child Status Protection Act
 

The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) was signed into law on August 6, 2002. CSPA was enacted to address the problem of minor children losing their eligibility for immigration benefits because they had aged-out or turned 21 years old as a result of processing delays on the part of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or the Department of State. It was not intended to benefit an applicant who aged-out due to the unavailability of a visa number.

The eligibility of an applicant for benefits under the aging-out provisions of the CSPA may be determined only at the time a visa application is adjudicated by a consular officer.

Individuals who believe that they qualify for visa issuance under the Act may come to the Embassy’s Immigrant Visa Branch Check-in Counter (Window 38) on any workday at 7:30 a.m. to submit a visa application. These applicants will be required to complete a Form DS-230 (Part 1 and 2), present a valid passport, birth certificate issued on security paper by the Philippine National Statistics Office and Notice of Approval of petition, and remit the non-refundable application fee.

Beginning May 2011, applicants seeking benefits under the CSPA must complete the required medical examination at St. Luke’s Extension Clinic in Manila prior to the visa interview.

The following information is provided to assist individuals who wish to pursue an immigrant visa application based on the aging-out provisions of the CSPA. While every effort was made to provide accurate information herein, a consular officer can only make a final determination of an individual’s CSPA eligibility upon review of an actual visa application.

CHILD STATUS PROTECTION ACT (CSPA) DETERMINATION COMPUTATION

What immigrant visa category was the applicant petitioned under?

  • If under the Immediate Relative (IR2) category

Was the applicant under 21 years of age when IR2 petition was filed?

If the answer is yes, then the applicant may be eligible for CSPA age-out protection.

  • If under an employment-based or family preference category(F1, F2A, F2B, F3, F4, FX, E1, E2, E3, E4, EW)

The following three steps may determine CSPA eligibility for derivative beneficiaries of Employment-based and Family Preference petitions.

STEP ONE: Does the CSPA apply to the case?

  • Was the derivative applicant under 21 years of age when petition was filed?

If the answer is yes proceed to Step 2; if not, CSPA would not apply to the case and the remaining steps are not applicable.

 

 STEP TWO: If the CSPA applies in Step 1, calculate the alien’s age with the following data:

(A) the date a visa number became available for the applicant’s use,

(B) the applicant’s date of birth,

(C) the date the visa petition was approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and

(D) the date the visa petition was filed or the priority date.

Enter the data in the table below to calculate the applicant’s CSPA age.

Table for CSPA Age Computation

Age of applicant when a visa number became available

A. VISA NUMBER AVAILABILITY B. Birthdate
(DD-MM-YYYY) Less (DD-MM-YYYY) = 0
Time the case was pending with the U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services LESS
C. VISA PETITION APPROVAL DATE D. Visa Petition Filing Date
(DD-MM-YYYY)
Less (DD-MM-YYYY) = 0
CSPA Age
0   -  0 =0.0

If the result of the computation is below 21 years, proceed to Step 3. If the applicant’s computed CSPA age is over 21, the applicant would not qualify for age-out protection under the Act, and Step 3 would not be applicable.

STEP THREE: If the applicant’s computed age in Step 2 is less than 21 years old, did the applicant pursue an immigrant visa within one year of visa availability?  

    For a derivative applicant whose principal applicant obtained an immigrant visa:

1. When did the visa number become available? ________

2.  When did the derivative applicant submit completed Form DS230? ________

    If the answer to the second question is within a year of visa number availability, then the applicant may be eligible for CSPA protection.

     

    For a derivative applicant whose principal applicant adjusted status as a Legal Permanent Resident in the USA:

1. When did the visa number become available? _______

2.  When did the principal applicant file Form I-824 or when did the derivative applicant apply for following-to-join processing? _______

    If the answer to the second question is within a year of visa number availability, then the applicant may be eligible for CSPA protection.

     

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

 

Adjustment of Status – An alien in the United States with a non-immigrant visa may adjust status to become a Legal Permanent Resident by filing a Form I-864.

Applying for a Visa - for CSPA purposes, applying for a visa generally means that the applicant submitted the completed DS-230 (Part I). For derivative children applying under following-to-join status, applying for a visa means that the principal applicant had filed a form I-824 for the derivative child.

Approval Date - The date when the petition was approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly INS, BCIS).

Derivative – For CSPA purposes, a derivative is a minor child of a principal applicant who has an approved employment-based or family-preference visa petition.

Employment-based Visa Category - Visa cases under these categories are processed based on an approved Form I-140 visa petition.

Family Preference Categories – Visa cases under these categories are processed based on an approved Form I-130 visa petition.

Filing Date or Priority Date - The date the petition was received by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly INS, BCIS).

Following-to-Join - Derivative beneficiaries who are traveling to follow the principal applicant who is already in the United States.

IR2 (Immediate Relative) – A minor child of a petitioner who is a U.S. citizen.

Principal Applicant - The primary beneficiary of an approved Employment-based or Family-Preference visa petition.

Visa Number Availability – For CSPA purposes, this is either the date on which the applicant’s priority date became current for processing, or when the visa petition was approved, whichever came later. For an archive of visa bulletins, click here.