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Indian-American families file lawsuit to protect ‘aged out’ kids

Five Indian-American families have filed a lawsuit in the US district court, in order to protect the rights of Indian-origin children who have ‘aged out’ while their families were in queue to obtain a green card.

According to media reports, the families went to the court, seeking to ensure that the provisions of the Child Status Protection Act are applied equally to all children regardless of the nation of origin of their parents.

CSPA was introduced in 2002, to prevent minor children from ‘aging out’ when they reach 21 years of age and losing eligibility to obtain a lawful permanent resident together with their parents. In simple terms, CSPA permits some individuals to remain classified as ‘children’ beyond their 21st birthday. It is based on a computation formula.

Once these children turn 21, they can no longer continue with their existing H-4 visa, which is meant only for dependents, said the report.

This is referred to as ‘aging out’.

The stipulation leaves them with no option but to obtain a restrictive F-1 visa meant for international students or self-deport to India.

There is no guarantee that the student will get an F-1 visa so the “aged-out child” must find an employer willing to sponsor an H-1B work visa.

The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) was introduced to prevent minor children from ‘aging out’ when they reach 21 years of age and losing eligibility to obtain a lawful permanent residency.

CSPA was an effort to prevent or reduce the damage caused to children by immigration delays in processing a visa petition. A “child” in the US is defined as an individual who is unmarried and under the age of 21.

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