USCIS Policy Manual Update Regarding CSPA “Sought to Acquire” Requirement

USCIS is making crucial updates to its Policy Manual concerning the extraordinary circumstances exception to the “sought to acquire” stipulation under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). These changes are a result of a policy revision dated February 14, 2023.

Key Updates:

Extraordinary Circumstances: The policy change of February 14 is considered an extraordinary circumstance. This means that it may pardon an applicant’s inability to fulfill the “sought to acquire” stipulation.

Adjustment of Status: If an applicant failed to apply for a status adjustment because they couldn’t determine their CSPA age according to the preceding policy, or if their CSPA age was over 21 under the old rules, they might now be eligible for age-out protection under the current policy.

Existing Applications: For those whose status adjustment applications were already pending as of February 14, and who made these applications within a year of a visa’s availability based on the former policy’s Final Action Dates chart, they are seen as having met the “sought to acquire” condition.


The CSPA acts as a protective measure to ensure certain beneficiaries do not lose their immigrant visa or status adjustment eligibility simply because they age out during the immigration procedure. For one to enjoy CSPA’s advantages, they must aim to obtain lawful permanent resident status within a year of an immigrant visa’s availability.

The previous policy, before February 14, 2023, might have deterred some noncitizens from applying for a status adjustment due to CSPA age calculations. With the new policy, even if they don’t meet the 1-year condition, they can still benefit from the CSPA if they demonstrate their failure was due to extraordinary circumstances.

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