USCIS Issues Policy Guidance for the Child Status Protection Act

USCIS announced a policy manual update following the change to the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) in February 2023. The policy change is aimed at documented dreamers at risk of aging out of legal status at age 21. The update clarifies how USCIS will apply the extraordinary circumstances exception to the “sought to acquire” requirement, where beneficiaries must have sought to acquire lawful permanent residency within one year of a visa becoming available. The change allows USCIS to exercise discretion when accepting an adjustment of status application if more than one year passes after a visa becomes available. 

In the update, USCIS implemented a new formula to calculate the applicant’s CSPA age, offering more protection from aging out and clarified that:

  • USCIS may excuse an applicant’s failure to satisfy the “sought to acquire” requirement in cases where the applicant did not file their adjustment application because USCIS could not calculate their CSPA age or would have calculated their CSPA age to be over 21 years old under the prior policy, but they are now eligible for CSPA age-out protection under the new policy.
  • USCIS considers applicants whose adjustment of status applications were pending on February 14, 2023, to have satisfied the “sought to acquire” requirement if the applicant had applied for adjustment of status within one year of visa availability under the policy guidance in effect at the time of filing.
Erickson Insights and Analysis

Additional information can be found here. Erickson Immigration Group will continue to monitor developments and share updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.