CSPA’s one-year filing can start with I-864
The State Department recently modified the Foreign Affairs Manual regarding what actions satisfy the one-year filing requirement under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(6). That law allows children in the F-2A category, as well as derivatives in all preference categories, to remain “children” after turning 21. They are protected and locked in as “children” if they are under 21, using their CSPA age, when their priority date becomes current in the F-2A category. Use Chart A, Application Final Action Dates, to determine when the priority date becomes current. For derivatives, use the priority date and preference category of the principal beneficiary. Their CSPA age on that date is their biological age minus the time the I-130 petition was pending before it was approved. Assuming they are under 21 on that date using their CSPA age, they must seek LPR status within one year in order to retain their F-2A or derivative status,
The State Department has now clarified that filing the following forms or taking the following action will satisfy the one-year requirement:
- Paying the immigrant visa fee with the National Visa Center ($325)
- Submitting the DS-260, Part 1, Application for Immigrant Visa
- Paying the Affidavit of Support filing fee ($120) with the National Visa Center
- Submitting an Affidavit of Support, Form I-864 or I-864EZ
- Submitting Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition
- Filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
The State Department recently added that submitting the Affidavit of Support or paying the Affidavit of Support filing fee would satisfy the requirement. That would only apply, however, if the child is listed on the Affidavit of Support.
The agency clarified that submitting a DS-260 for the principal beneficiary within the one-year period would not satisfy the requirement for the derivative children. A separate DS-260 would have to be submitted on the child’s behalf within the one-year period. It also pointed out that in cases where the principal beneficiary has adjusted status, it is necessary to file a Form I-824 in order to notify the NVC and initiate consular processing for the derivative children residing abroad.