On August 6, 2002, the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) (Pub. L. No. 107-208), was signed by President Bush into law, effective immediately.
The purpose of the CSPA is to preserve child status for certain alien children beneficiaries who may have aged-out, particularly because of long delays in USCIS processing. The CSPA radically changes the process for determining whether or not a child has "aged out" for the purpose of the adjustment of status or the issuance of an immigrant visa in most immigrant categories.
The CSPA protects the children of a U.S. Citizen Parent (USC), children of Legal Permanent Residents (LPR), as well as children of asylum and refugee applicants. Prior to the enactment of the CSPA, the child's age was determined at the time of adjudicating the grant of permanent residence. The CSPA changes the definition of who can be considered to be a "child" for the purpose of adjustment of status of aliens by the USCIS, and for purposes of the issuance of visas by U.S. Consulates abroad. Basically, the CSPA defines certain earlier points of time when the child's age is determined, after which it does not matter if the child turns age 21.
(Updated 10/11/2012 by AD)
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