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Ombudsman Update: Child Status Protection Act: Was Your Child Previously Denied CSPA Benefits? Does Your Child Qualify?

The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), signed into law on August 6, 2002, permits applicants for certain immigration benefits to keep their classification as a "child" even after reaching age 21.

In 2007, the Board of Immigration Appeals held that children did not need to have Form I-485s (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) or immigrant visa applications pending on August 6, 2002 to benefit from CSPA, contrary to prior USCIS interpretation. (In re Rodolfo Avila-Perez, 24 I&N Dec. 78 (BIA 2007)) (PDF, 9 pages - 53 KB).

USCIS revised its guidance in May 2008 and now applies CSPA benefits retroactively.

  • Was your "child" denied because s/he no longer met USCIS' definition of a "child"?
  • Did your child become 21 years old or older while the application for permanent residency was pending?

If you answered yes to either question above, CSPA may provide "child" status protection. Note: If your child married, CSPA may not provide "child" status protection.

To determine your child's CSPA age, review the USCIS CSPA Fact Sheet (PDF, 3 pages - 40 KB).

If your child was previously denied Adjustment of Status solely based on a finding that s/he no longer met USCIS' definition of "child," you may file a motion to reopen without fee at any time to your local USCIS office.

To learn more about CSPA, review the USCIS CSPA Fact Sheet (PDF, 3 pages - 40 KB).

For all other inquiries, please submit DHS Form 7001 to our office.

Last Published Date: August 24, 2015

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