Austin & San Antonio CSPA Lawyers
Helping Families Navigate the Child Status Protection Act
In a day and age when the word “immigration” is generally met with contention and debate, we tend to forget the great pains that many honest, hard-working families undergo to reside in this country. The law firm of Peek & Toland fully appreciates the magnitude of such a decision and stands ready to help those families who find themselves separated by borders or bureaucracy.
Up until the last decade, naturalized or permanent residents in the United States had a number of hurdles to overcome in order to petition their immigrant children’s status. Families attempting to reunite in this country found the process to be all-consuming – requiring years of effort, tremendous patience, and often a great deal of luck. Chief among those issues was a quirk found in the Immigration Nationality Act (INA) of 1952 – children of permanent residents or naturalized citizens of the United States, attempting to join their parents, were often barred from completing the process due to their age.
Fortunately, the laws governing these types of cases have been amended – but the process still remains incredibly complex. If you or a family member are attempting to immigrate to the United States and are in need of legal counsel, contact the law firm of Peek & Toland today. Our knowledgeable and understanding CSPA lawyers in Austin & San Antonio are here to help you and your family in every way possible.
For a confidential consultation call (512) 399-2311.
What Is the Child Status Protection Act?
As far as qualifications go, The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) tend to look favorably upon immediate family members looking to join their loved ones already residing legally within the country. The term “immediate family” refers exclusively to children and spouses only.
Unfortunately, this is also where a great deal of trouble began with the Immigration Nationality Act – individuals who had applied for residency as children found themselves “aging out” of the process once they turned 21. In the eyes of the law, once an individual turned 21, they were no longer a child and therefore no longer given preferential treatment to join their family. Instead, they had to apply as adults without the benefit of their families’ current status.
After decades of difficulty, in August of 2002, George W. Bush signed into law the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). In essence, the law behaves as a sort of hold; once a family petitions for their child’s residency, their age is “held” at the moment the application is submitted.
How Does the CSPA Work?
The CSPA effectively creates two possibilities for parents looking to bring their children to the United States:
- Parents who file a Form I-130 or Petition for Alien Relative prior to their child’s 21st birthday (this includes up until the day before) effectively “freeze” their age the moment the petition is submitted. Therefore, the child cannot “age out” even if the process goes beyond their 21st birthday.
- If a parent currently residing in the United States naturalizes before the out-of-country beneficiary turns 21, the age of the child is then “frozen” at the moment of naturalization – meaning that Form I-130 petition can be processed after the child has turned 21.
How Can an Immigration Attorney Help?
While a major roadblock has been removed in the path to citizenship, it is still fraught with difficulty and complications. Peek & Toland can help you navigate the various deadlines, documentation, and demands that the USCIS still demands in its applications.