Can My Child Over 21 Years Old Get I-360 VAWA Green Card?

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A safe haven is a better haven if children are part of it. I could not imagine life without my two daughters, sources of immense pride and joy. Foreigners who apply for a green card under the Violence Against Women Act also get a green card for unmarried children under 21 years of age included on the I-360 VAWA form. If the “child” turns 21 years old before the I-360 VAWA form is approved, a special law may still let the child get a green card. This helpful law is the Child Status Protection Act, CSPA.

With Citizen Spouse, Adult Child Can Get VAWA Green Card after Age Out

For stepchildren of US citizen abusers, if the child is under 21 years old when the VAWA I-360 was filed, the age freezes on the date of filing. Meaning, if the child was 20 years old and 9 months when the VAWA I-360 was filed, they will not age out. They can get a green card YEARS later (whether they live inside the US or outside the US), so long as they BEGIN the process to get a green card. More on this requirement below.

With Legal Permanent Resident Spouse, Adult Child Might Get VAWA Green Card

For stepchildren of legal permanent resident, CSPA requires some math to find out what the child’s “adjusted age” is.  Blandon Law attorneys calculate this using the Visa Bulletin and documents showing the child’s age, the date the application was filed, and the date the application was approved.

This is where the law gets complex. The “adjusted age” is reached on the later of either the Priority Date or the date the application is approved. And – just for fun – the Priority Date used changes often and is different depending on whether the child lives outside the United States or lives inside the United States. Here’s the math to remember:

legal permanent resident abuser + child under 21 when I-360 filed + child over 21 now =

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Must File I-485 Residency or Pay Visa Fee Within One Year

With the CHILD Status Protection Act, Congress wanted to avoid the terrible consequences of separating a family because the government had an application pending for years. Congress did NOT intend, however, to give these children a blank check to a green card.  The CSPA requires that the now-over-21-year-old adult seek legal permanent resident status within ONE YEAR after they are eligible. They can do this by either applying on Form I-485 if they are in the United States or paying the visa fee with the National Visa Center if they are outside the United States.

The CSPA is a complex part of immigration law. If you or someone you know was under 21 years of age when a VAWA I-360 was filed, call Blandon Law today at 954.385.0157 for an attorney consultation.

Disclaimer – These entries are based on real life events. Family member names, when used, are real. Client names are changed for privacy.

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