Listen to this article
On 14 Feb 2023, USCIS announced that they will start using the ‘Date of filing’ chart to count the child’s age instead of the ‘Final action’ chart. This is a big change and may benefit a lot of children who would have otherwise aged out.
Child age protection is available to families filing for a USA green card. The US immigration’s Child Age Protection Act rules are as complex as they can get.
Even though the rules have been laid out by USCIS on their website, it is still confusing for many people to calculate their son’s or daughter’s age.
Do not worry, we have an app to help you find the child’s age freeze date.
You can simply add your i-140/i-130 information to find the CSPA age for your child and the app will guide you step by step to find the real CSPA age. This will help you determine whether your child will get a Green card with you.
- Your child’s I-130 application if filing a family-based or
- Parent’s i140 information if filing in employment-based category
This article will discuss:
USCIS uses the ‘Date of filing‘ chart in their monthly visa bulletin for finding the CSPA age for your child.
Open App in new Window
Here is an example of using the easy CSPA calculator for a family-based green card. The example shows that the child’s CSPA age is 4 years and is eligible to claim a green card.
Rules of Child Age Protection
#1 Child Unmarried
The child should remain unmarried at the time of filing the I-130 (family-based green card) and at the time of filing the I-485 application.
#2 CSPA age less than 21
The child’s CSPA age should be less than 21 if the current age is more than 21 to be eligible for green card approval.
#3 Date Current in
Final Action Date of filing Chart
Your priority date should be current in the ‘Date of filing’ chart to be eligible for CSPA law protection.
USCIS modified the rule in Feb 2023 to start using the ‘Date of Filing’ chart for CSPA calculations for your pending i-485 (green card adjustment of status) or a DS-260 immigrant visa application at the US embassy.
Many people file employment-based green card downgrades if their EB2 dates get current in the EB2 DOF chart. They are not eligible for CSPA until the date actually gets current in any one of the visa bulletin charts.
#4 Sought to Acquire Requirement
You must file an i-485 or DS-260 once your PD date gets current.
The “sought to acquire” means filing the green card application within 1 year of the PD date getting current.
For counting the one year:
- Your PD date should remain current continuously for 12 consecutive months.
- If the date retrogresses anytime in the consecutive 12 months, the 1-year counter resets.
- The 1-year timer restarts as and when your PD date gets current again.
If you filed the I-485, DS-260, or I-824 anytime before or within the first consecutive 12-month period ended, you are eligible for CSPA. The app automatically checks and calculates the 12-month (or 1-year) period for you.
The CSPA calculator app will tell you if you have met the 1-year sought-to-acquire requirement not by looking at all past visa bulletins and your child’s priority date.
EB2 to EB3 Downgrade – Do not File i140 Premium
We strongly advise you to file EB2 to EB3 i-140 downgrade in regular and not upgrade to premium if you have H4-dependent kids.
The CSPA age protection rules take into account the time i140 was pending for employment-based cases. Hence, it will work out in your favor if your EB3 i-140 stays pending for as long as possible.
The time EB3 i-140 stays pending will be deducted from your H4 kid’s age to reach the CSPA age.
If you upgrade your EB3 i-140 to get approval within 15 days, you will only be able to deduct a limited number of days.
- If your PD date is close to the current Final action date and is within 180 days’ distance, then you can upgrade to premium.
- If your PD date is more than 180 days away from the current final action date, we suggest you keep the I-140 pending in the regular queue.
Immigration lawyer Shusterman explains the various cases for calculating the CSPA age for your child:
Open video in new Window
USCIS allows the CSPA protection if your green card priority date has been current in either the ‘Final Action’ or the ‘Date of filing’ Chart.
Hence, if you are filing your EB3 i140 and i485 using the date of filing chart, your child will be eligible for CSPA age lock protection.
CSPA age is a number that USCIS will use instead of the child’s real age.
CSPA age is useful if your child has grown older than 21 years and his/her green card application is still pending.
CSPA age protection is available for family, employment, asylum, refugee, and diversity-based green cards.
CSPA age is useful only if it is less than 21. It protects kids from aging out if their USA green card application is pending when they turn 21.
If the CSPA age is greater than 21, your child cannot be treated as your dependent and hence is not eligible for a green card.
Yes, CSPA applies to the F4 category.