Preserving My Age at under 21 for Green Card Purposes

Questions:

(1) What do I do when I have already turned 21 at the time my priority date becomes current based upon an approved I-130 petition filed on my behalf by my lawful permanent resident (LPR) parent or an approved I-140 petition filed on behalf of my parent and I am listed as a derivative beneficiary?

(2) So that I am able to remain a “minor child” under U.S. Immigration Law, I have been able to calculate an “adjusted” age under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) to be under age 21. What do I have to do and how quickly do I have to do it to preserve my “adjusted” age?

Answer:

To preserve your “adjusted age” as the child of an LPR you must “seek to acquire” LPR status within one year of the immigrant visa becoming available. If you fail to do this, the CSPA protections will not apply and your biological age will control. USCIS has defined the term “sought to acquire” as filing for adjustment of status, filing for an immigrant visa, or by having the parent file a Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition.

As long you, the child, file a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS within one year of the visa becoming available, you will have satisfied this requirement and will have succeeded in locking in and preserving your “adjusted age”. The date on which the visa becomes available is the first day of the month when the Visa Bulletin indicates that the priority date is current. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) concurs with this interpretation. DOS has also defined the term “sought to acquire” for those who are applying for an immigrant visa from outside of the U.S. through a U.S. consulate. Submitting a completed Form DS-260 for an Immigrant Visa within one year of the visa becoming available satisfies that requirement as well. If your parent has just achieved LPR status and you, as the child, are outside the US and will be applying for your immigrant visa, or LPR status at a U.S. consulate overseas as a “follow to join” child, the one year requirement is also satisfied if your LPR parent files a Form I-824 on your behalf which requests that you be authorized to process your own LPR status at the Consulate as a child of the principal LPR using your “adjusted” CSPA age instead of your biological age.