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New USCIS Policy Guidelines Update the 'Sought to Acquire' Requirement of the Child Status Protection Act

By: Angelita Chavez | August 25, 2023

August 25, 2023 | By: Angelita Chavez

USCIS announced plans to update its Manual to reflect the policy changes to the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) made on February 14, 2023.

The CSPA is designed to protect individuals with petitions filed for them as children but will “age” out by turning 21 before their visa becomes available. Under the CPSA, those eligible for protection would not lose their eligibility if they turn age 21 and have “sought to acquire” lawful permanent residence status within one year of their visa availability.

The announced updates to the USCIS Policy Manual clarify questions about the “sought to acquire” requirement for purposes of the CSPA including that:  

  • USCIS considers the February 14 policy change as an ‘extraordinary’ circumstance. Therefore, it can be used to excuse an applicant’s failure to meet the sought to acquire requirement.
  • USCIS may excuse an applicant’s failure to meet the sought to acquire requirement if they:
    • They did not apply for adjustment of status due to an inability to calculate their age under the old CSPA policy; or
    • They would be considered over age 21 under the prior policy.
  • Affected applicants with a pending adjustment of status application on February 14, 2023, who applied within one year of their visa becoming available based the Final Action Dates chart, as per the previous policy, are considered to have met the sought to acquire requirement.

The trusted immigration team at Chugh, LLP is ready to answer any questions and provide any assistance needed. Applicants who believe they may be protected under the CPSA are encouraged to contact their attorney to see if the new policy applies to them. 

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