United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a policy update that could help protect the children of temporary work visa holders from losing their legal status. Currently, if a child “ages out” and turns 21 while their parent is waiting for a green card, the child loses their legal status, putting them at risk of being unable to apply for a different visa, remaining in the U.S. without legal status, or leaving the country. The new policy update allows children to “freeze” their age while their parent’s green card application is being processed, using the earlier date in the “dates for filing” chart rather than the “final action date” chart in the Visa Bulletin. This policy update is effective immediately, and it also allows children who were previously denied green cards due to their age to appeal the decision. According to the Cato Institute, more than 200,000 children of temporary visa holders are at risk of losing their legal status, with around 10,000 “documented dreamers” aging out each year.
A Nationwide Immigration Practice