Child Status Protected Act (CSPA)
CSPA Age Out
The Child Status Protected Act of 2002 addresses a complexity of age-related issues for children of immigrants, in numerous but not all categories, who exceed the age of 21 while a USCIS petition is pending due to the excessive backlogs in some family, employment, asylee, refugee and VAWA categories. Normally, they are not eligible to immigrate through their parents' processing. This is called "age out" meaning their age over 21 put them out of the required age to immigrate. When qualified, CSPA protects because the child's age freezes on the date that the I-130 petition was filed by the U.S. citizen or permanent resident despite its continued aging.
Opt Out Through CSPA
CSPA also protects certain permanent resident relatives who upon the naturalization of the parent actually lose space and time in line to immigrate. For the Philippines and Mexico, this can add five years to the waiting period by automatically moving the beneficiary children up to a more unfavorable preference. In these instances, under CSPA they will actually be assigned a lower preference to enhance their waiting time to immigrate. This is called "opt out" for not electing to move up. Other humanitarian program participants such as asylees, refugees and those in VAWA may also enjoy the benefit provided by CSPA.