"Aging out" refers to immigration cases where a person turns 21 during the process of applying to become a lawful permanent resident as a "child." Under federal law, a person can become a lawful permanent resident if he/she is the child of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Usually, this person is unmarried and under 21.
What is the Child Status Protection Act?
The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) of 2002 prevents your child from "aging out." If you are a U.S. Citizen, your child will not "age out." However, if you are a legal permanent resident, you should check with your local immigration office to determine if and when your child will "age out."The CSPA changed the determination of who could be considered a "child" for visa purposes.
I Am a U.S. Citizen. What Do I Do to Prevent My Child From “Aging Out”?
If you are a U. S. citizen, you should file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) for your child before he/she turns 21. Once you have done that, he/she will be considered a child for immigration purposes even if the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not take action on the petition before your child turns 21.
I Am a Lawful Permanent Resident. What Do I Do to Prevent My Child From “Aging Out”?
If you are a lawful permanent resident, you should also file Form I-130 before your child turns 21. Under the CSPA, the age of your child will be calculated by using the date that the priority date of the Form I-130 becomes current, and subtracting the number of days that the I-130 is pending. Also, your child must try to obtain lawful permanent resident status within a year of visa availability.
Do I Need an Experienced Immigration Law Attorney?
An immigration lawyer would be able to go over and discuss the applicable laws with you. A lawyer would be able to determine if your child has or has not aged out based on the CSPA. Also, a lawyer would be able to help you deal with any immigration officials or government agencies that you may encounter.