Question: My Mother’s brother sponsored her and our family to immigrate to the U.S. in 2000 and at that time, me and my sisters were under 21. But by the time of my mom’s interview at the U.S. Embassy many years later, all of us kids were in our late 20s and were not allowed to immigrate to America along with our mom and dad. I saw something about a Child Protection Act that would help us kids to immigrate to the U.S. with our parents even though we were over 21 at the time they got their residency – is that true?
Answer: The “aging out” of children is a common problem in immigration. The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) is meant to protect children and it does in some cases, if the CSPA calculation brings the child to a technical age below 21.
To calculate this: #1 Take the date the I-130 was approved (I-130 Approval date) and subtract it from the “priority date” (date the I-130 was filed) on the I-130 petition I-797 Notice of Action. Then, #2 The time the priority date became current (you can look this up on the Visa Bulletin site), subtract the amount of time calculated in #1 from your age at that time. If you were under age 21 at that time, then the CSPA should have protected you. The consular officers are required to use the CSPA when determining immigrant visa eligibility. We routinely provide the USCIS and National Visa Center with the CSPA calculation for eligible children over age 21 during immigrant visa processing to ensure that the child remains a minor for immigration purposes. You can get free information about child “Age out” issues and how the “Child Status Protection Act”, may benefit your minor child by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378.
Question: I am a Green Card holder and I after I got married a few years ago, I filed for my wife who is in the Bahamas in August 2016. It’s really hard for us to be separated and I have a full time job so I can’t just take off and stay with her there and she doesn’t have a U.S. Visa. My questions is, how much longer do we need to wait from here?
Answer: That’s a great question. Since you are a U.S. Resident filing for a Spouse, your wife is in the F2A Immigration Category for Spouses and minor children of U.S. Residents. Right now, as of November 1, 2017, there are Immigrant visas for I-130 petitions filed by Residents for their spouses in November 2015. Since you filed for your wife in August 2016, as long as the F2A category keeps moving forward, your wife will may need to wait another year or so before a visa will be available. You can keep checking in with our office and I will let you know what the waiting time is as time progresses.