If you are going through the process of family immigration in New Jersey, you may be aware that children can “age out” of their parent’s visa petition if they turn 21 while their case is still processing. This can create a devastating situation where the child is no longer eligible for immigration status, despite starting the process when they were still a minor. However, recent policy changes by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offer new hope for these children.
New policy update to protect aged out children
In the past, children who aged out could not automatically get the benefits of the original visa petition filed for them. However, under the new family immigration policy, hundreds of thousands of aged-out children will now be protected. This is because the USCIS will automatically convert the child’s original visa category to the appropriate new category based on the child’s age.
Who is eligible?
The new policy update applies to the children of lawful permanent residents (LPRs), those with green cards, and those with certain work visas. This is a significant expansion of the prior policy, which only applied to the children of U.S. citizens.
What this means for you
If you are in the process of family immigration and have a child who is approaching the age of 21, this policy update is a significant development. It may help ensure your child can continue the immigration process and be granted immigration status. In addition, this policy change will protect hundreds of thousands of aged-out children and provide a pathway to obtaining immigration status and being reunited with their families in the United States.
The right direction
The new policy update by the USCIS is a step in the right direction for family immigration. It is a positive development that will help ensure that children aged out are not left without immigration status. If you are going through the family immigration process, staying informed about updates that can impact your case is essential.