Updated USCIS Policy for Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) Age Calculation

The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) is a crucial immigration law provision that provides relief to children who would otherwise reach the age of majority and lose eligibility for certain immigration benefits. Under CSPA, the age of a child is “frozen” when the initial application for certain immigration benefits, such as adjustment of status to permanent residence, is filed with the USCIS. However, calculating the child’s age has been a source of contention and confusion, particularly when determining if a child is eligible for a visa.

The Visa Bulletin, which is issued monthly by the Department of State, contains two charts to determine eligibility for an immigrant visa: the Dates for Filing chart and the Final Action Date chart, and traditionally, USCIS has considered a visa available for the purpose of calculating age under CSPA based on the Final Action Date chart.Under the new USCIS policy, effective February 14, 2023, it will use the Dates of Filing chart to calculate ages for CSPA purposes. By using the “Date of Filing” for CSPA calculations, more children will be able to benefit from the Child Status Protection Act’s relief and continue to be eligible for certain immigration benefits.

This new policy will apply to new applications, pending applications, as well as the adjustment of status applications that were denied under the previous policy. CSPA applicants whose applications were denied under the previous policy may file a Notice of Appeal or Motion, Form I-290B. While the beneficiary must file a Notice of Appeal or Motion within 30 days of the decision, USCIS may, at its discretion, excuse the beneficiary’s failure to file the motion on time if the beneficiary can demonstrate that the delay was reasonable and beyond the beneficiary’s control.

The new policy from the USCIS is a welcome change for immigrant families who have been dealing with the effects of visa backlogs on their children’s eligibility for immigration benefits. However, it is critical to speak with an experienced immigration attorney to determine how the new policy may affect your case and to explore all available options for obtaining immigration benefits.