CSPA: Derivative “Child” Gains Permanent Residency on Uncle’s Petition Following Visa Retrogression

On November 19, 2012, the USCIS granted permanent residency under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) to a twenty-five and-a-half year old man from Panama who immigrated under the family fourth preference immigrant petition of his uncle for his mother.  Owing to a four-year wait in processing the immigrant petition, he still qualified as a “child” under the CSPA calculations of Immigration and Nationality Act § 203(h)(1) on the date visas first became available.  He and his mother satisfied the one-year “sought to acquire” requirement by filing for adjustment of status within four months of initial eligibility, but visa availability retrogressed less than two months later--before they were able to complete their adjustment of status process.  Having qualified as a “child” at the time of initial visa availability, he remained a child for immigration purposes despite the nearly two-year period that visas were unavailable.  Owing to much confusion about how to apply the CSPA, he contacted us to prepare a letter to the USCIS that explained the age calculations and the applicable CSPA provisions step-by-step to avoid any delays when visas became available again for him and his mother on November 1.  So eleven and-a-half years after his uncle filed the petition for this young man's mother, the young man has become a lawful permanent resident of the United States.