USCIS Policy Update on the Child Status Protection Act

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently updated its online policy guidance related to the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). The USCIS update to the online policy manual consolidates all CSPA guidance in one location, and supersedes prior memos and judicial decisions dealing with the CSPA.

Background on CSPA

The CSPA, which was enacted in 2002, provides relief to certain dependent children who otherwise would “age out” of eligibility to obtain immigration benefits upon reaching the age of 21 years before they are able to become lawful permanent residents (LPRs or “green card” holders) with their parents. For more information on the background of CSPA, please visit the MurthyDotCom InfoArticle Child Status Protection Act Basics (Part 1 of 2) (28.Jun.2013).

Must Use Final Action Chart Dates to Qualify for CSPA Benefits

Through this update, the USCIS finally provides formal guidance on how the CSPA applies in light of the dual chart system introduced in the October 2015 Visa Bulletin. The guidance explains that the date listed in the “final action” (FA) chart, and not the one in the more favorable “dates for filing” (DF) chart, is the date the foreign national must use for purposes of qualifying for immigration benefits under the CSPA.

The guidance explains that, even if a person is able to apply for adjustment of status (form I-485) based on the DF chart, the application can ultimately be denied if the applicant ages out by the time the priority date becomes current under the FA chart. More information on the dual chart visa bulletin system is available in the MurthyDotCom InfoArticle, Priority Dates: How Does the Visa Bulletin Work? (27.Oct.2015).


Eligibility under CSPA can sometimes be difficult to calculate. It is important to verify eligibility and determine factors that need to be addressed to make the argument regarding CSPA eligibility in certain situations.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.