Phiadelphia Immigration Lawyers | Avoid “Age Out” By Filing Your Immigration Petitions Now

Immigrant children are a growing part of any community.  Many parents become legal permanent residents or naturalized citizens before their children for a variety of reasons.  Other immigrant parents, including those filing asylum/refugee applications, family-based visas or employment-based visa applications, seek legal status for their entire family at the same time.

When a child joins an immigrant parent in the United States, the parent must file an adjustment of immigration status petition or permanent visa application on behalf of their child to obtain proper legal status.  “Age out” occurs when a child turns 21 during the application process and thus becomes ineligible to become a permanent U.S. resident based on their parent’s visa status.

Under U.S. immigration laws, the definition of “child” includes:

  • any unmarried child under the age of 21 who was born in wedlock,
  • any unmarried child under the age of 21 who was not born in wedlock but has a maternal relationship or a bona fide paternal relationship,
  • any unmarried stepchild under the age of 21 who became a stepchild before the age of 18, and
  • any unmarried child under the age of 21 adopted before their 16th birthday.

Child Status Protection Act

Due to the lengthy delays in the visa application process, “age out” is a serious concern for many immigrant families.  In 2002, Congress passed the Child Status Protection Act (“CSPA”) to prevent “aging out” under certain conditions.  Under the CSPA, if an adjustment of status petition or visa application was filed by a parent on behalf of their child on or after August 6, 2002, the child’s classification will remain a “child” even if they turn 21 during the application process to avoid “age out.”

The CSPA does require that an application for permanent residence be filed on behalf of the child within a year of a visa becoming available.  Given the special immigration status preferences given to children of U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents and children of asylum and refugee applicants, the CSPA has significant consequences for immigrant families throughout the United States.

To avoid the danger of your child “aging out” of the special immigration status provided to children of naturalized citizens or permanent legal residents, do not delay in filing a visa petition or adjustment in status application for your children.

Philadelphia Immigration Law Attorneys Surin & Griffin, P.C.  Handle All Types of Immigration Matters Including Issues Related to “Aging Out”

If you are a family with children who may be aging out of the immigration system or if you have not yet filed an adjustment of status petition or visa application for your children, you need an experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyer to assist you with the many complexities of immigration law. The dedicated Philadelphia immigration law attorneys at Surin & Griffin, P.C. assist families with all their immigration law matters, including deportation issues, naturalization matters and applications for legal status to remain in the United States through family visas, U-visas, business visas or employment visas.

With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, we serve individuals throughout Pennsylvania.  To discuss your potential immigration law matter, call Surin & Griffin, P.C. today at (215) 925-4435 or contact us online.