USCIS Update

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently updated its Policy Manual to clarify the application of the extraordinary circumstances exception to the “sought to acquire” requirement under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). This article explains the implications of these updates, which took effect on Feb. 14, 2023.

CSPA Background

The CSPA protects particular beneficiaries from losing eligibility for immigrant visas and adjustment of status because of aging out during the immigration process. It is vital to seek lawful permanent resident status within one year when an immigrant visa becomes available. The following explains USCIS updates to the “Sought to Acquire” Requirement under the CSPA:

  1. Extraordinary Circumstances Exception – The Feb. 14 policy change is considered an exceptional circumstance that may excuse an applicant’s failure to meet the sought-to-acquire requirement. This exception opens doors for those who previously may have been ineligible.
  2. Excusing Failure to Meet Requirement – The USCIS may excuse an applicant’s failure to meet this requirement if they did not apply to adjust their status due to prior policy constraints or if their CSPA age would have been calculated as over 21. The new policy ensures these applicants are eligible for CSPA age-out protection.
  3. Compliance with the Requirement – The policy also clarifies that applicants who applied to adjust their status within one year of a visa becoming available and whose application was pending on Feb. 14 have met the sought-to-acquire requirement.


The recent updates to the USCIS policy provide a more straightforward path for noncitizens who might have been affected by the earlier regulations. If you or a loved one may benefit from the changes to the “sought to acquire” requirement under the CSPA, seeking professional guidance from an immigration lawyer is highly recommended. Understanding these complex changes is essential for navigating the immigration process successfully, and we are here to assist you every step of the way.

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