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Child Status Protection Act

Are you afraid that your child may not be able to immigrate with you because s/he is turning 21 soon?
Are you trying to immigrate with your parents?
Were you excluded from the visa interview from the rest of your family because of your age?

We’re Here to Help!

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 (LPR) status as a child but turns 21 before being approved for LPR status (also known as getting 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.

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.

CSPA protections may be available in your case if you have a child that turned 21 or is nearing the age of 21. To be eligible you must:

  • Be the beneficiary of a pending or approved visa petition on or after August 6, 2002 (date that the CSPA went into effect);
  • The beneficiary must not have had a final decision on an application for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa before August 6, 2002;
  • The child must seek to acquire permanent residence within 1 year of a visa

In some situations, it may be more beneficial to opt-out of CSPA protections as there may be shorter line elsewhere. For example, it may be faster for a lawful permanent resident parent to naturalize and change the designation for their child’s petition to that of a child of a U.S. citizen. Sometimes the opposite is true. Our office has extensive experience in dealing with CSPA issues, the National Visa Center, and USCIS. Call our office today to discuss your case.

About Our Firm

The Law Offices of David S. Santee is a Philadelphia-based law firm that represents individuals and businesses in a variety of immigration matters, including family-based applications for permanent residency and naturalization, employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant petitions, asylum petitions, and removal defense. We have  extensive experience with the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, having worked on more than 175 projects seeking EB-5 financing. Our firm’s founder, David S. Santee, Esquire, has nearly two decades of experience practicing law. A seasoned courtroom advocate, Mr. Santee is the former Director of Trial Advocacy Programs at Villanova University School of Law, where he continues to teach a course in Trial Advocacy as an Adjunct Professor. In addition to representing clients in immigration matters, Mr. Santee has also tried hundreds of criminal cases. He often represents individuals who are at risk of being removed from the United States due to pending or past criminal charges.

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See What Our Clients Have to Say

  • “I have had the privilege of working closely with Mr. Santee for over 5 years and have relied on his superb skills and excellent judgement to assist me in completing complex cases to successful outcomes. Our organization wouldn’t be where we are today without the strong relationship we have with Mr. Santee.”

    Thomas Martin Vice President, Baker Tilly Capital
  • “Mr. Santee represented me on my appeal. He got my conspiracy charge reduced and my sentence cut in half so that I ended up with time-served. He saved me four years of parole!”

    K.T. Lawncrest
  • "I thought I was going to die in prison. However, today I can see the light at the end of the tunnel because of the dedication and hard work of Attorney at Law David Santee. Anyone who is seeking true representation from an attorney who is not going to take your money and sell you out should consider David Santee because he will ensure your rights are protected."

    Luis Gonzalez Former Juvenile Lifer

More About Our Immigration Practice

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Family Petitions

We represent individuals who are seeking to immigrate to the United States through a family member who is a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. This includes spouses, finances, children, siblings, and other family members.

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Employment Petitions

We represent individuals who are seeking to travel or immigrate to the United States based on their employment status. This includes priority workers, skilled workers, professionals with advanced degrees, and foreign investors.

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Removal Defense

We represent individuals in removal proceedings in Immigration Court. If you or a loved one has been served with a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court, contact us now to find out what defenses are available.

Based in Philadelphia
Serving all of Pennsylvania

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