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How Turning 21 Will Affect My Son’s Eligibility for Green Card?


I am a US citizen, and petitioned for my son's Green Card a few years ago. How turning 21 will affect my son’s eligibility for an immigration visa or green card?


If your child turns 21 before his or her Priority Date has become current, that is, before visas are being allotted to people who applied at the same time as the primary immigrant, the child could be “age out,” or drop into a lower Visa Preference category (2B), with a longer waiting period.

However, with the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), a child can actually turn 21 without turning 21 in the immigration law. That is because the law allows you to subtract from the child’s age the amount of time that it took USCIS to approve your family’s immigrant visa petition. But this would not save every child.

Children who turn 21 after their Priority Date becomes current can keep their 2A status, but there is a catch. The child who has turned 21 must submit his or her green card application within a year of when the Priority Date became current.




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