Child (Age-Out Protection)
Both Houses of Congress have passed a law which protects children who are turning 21. This law, currently waiting for President Bush’s signature, will ameliorate a common problem, that is, children of parents applying for adjustment of status, who have turned 21 during the permanent residence process. In the past, such children, now considered adults were not eligible to immigrate to the United States with their parents. The new law looks at the age of the child at the “time of filing” the application rather than at the “time of adjudication”. Therefore, any person under the age of 21 at the time of filing for permanent residence, will continue to be considered as an “accompanying” child.
Children were “aging-out” more and more as the length of time to process adjustment of status applications lengthened. For that reason, the Immigration Service was being requested more frequently to “expedite” such cases. These requests removed resources from the normal processing, creating even further backlogs. Once this new law is signed, there will be no need to use up these valuable resources. Unfortunately, this law will not be retroactive. This law has not yet been signed by the President but it is anticipated to be signed anytime.