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How to Calculate the CSPA age for Aging out of Child Green Card Application


For the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) for family and employment preference, how to calculate the CSPA age?


The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) defines a child as a person who is both unmarried and under 21 years old. If someone applies for lawful permanent resident (Green Card) status as a child but turns 21 before being approved for a Green Card, that person can no longer be considered a child for immigration purposes. This situation is commonly referred to as “aging out”, and often means that these applicants would have to file a new petition or application, wait even longer to get a Green Card, or may no longer be eligible for a Green Card.

U.S. Congress recognized that many children were aging out due to large USCIS processing backlogs, so it enacted the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) to protect certain children from aging out. The CSPA went into effect on August 6, 2002.

CSPA does not change the definition of a child. Instead, CSPA provides a method for calculating a person’s age to see if they meet the definition of a child for immigration purposes. The calculated age is the child’s “CSPA age.” This allows some people to remain classified as children beyond their 21st birthday. However, CSPA does not change the requirement that you must be unmarried in order to remain eligible for classification as a child.

If you are a family preference, your CSPA age is calculated by subtracting the number of days your petition was pending (pending time) from your age on the date an immigrant visa becomes available to you - age at time of visa availability. However, you must remain unmarried in order to qualify.

The formula for calculating CSPA age is as follows: Age at Time of Visa Availability - Pending Time = CSPA Age

For example: If you are 21 years and 4 months old when an immigrant visa becomes available to you. Your petition was pending for 6 months. Your CSPA age is calculated as follows: 21 years and 4 months - 6 months = 20 years and 10 months




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