Court Rules for Priority Status for Green Card Applicants Who Have “Aged Out”

The Huffington Post has reported the following:

“On September 26, 2012 a federal appeals court ruled that immigration officials must give priority status to thousands of green card applicants who lost their place in line for U.S. residency when they turned 21, therefore “aging out.”

A narrowly divided 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the United States Citizen and Immigration Services wrongly determined that “aged out” applicants were no longer eligible for special visas as children of green card holders after they turned 21. Under U.S. immigration law, children 21 and older cannot immigrate under their parents’ applications for green cards. The USCIS said those children who “aged out” during the process lost their place in line, even if the parents’ application took years to process.

The court, in a 6-5 decision, ruled otherwise, saying the applicants may keep their “priority date” established when their parents filed for a derivative visa for their children. The ruling held that Congress meant to aid these applicants with the 2002 passage of the Child Status Protection Act. The act meant to preserve the original date of application of a minor who turned 21 during the pendency of the parents’ application.

The court ruled that immigration officials were wrongly forcing many of these applicants to file new applications for residency, putting these applicants at the end of the line. The new ruling requires immigration officials to consider the original application date while processing the application for residency.

The federal government could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the matter.”

Source: The Huffington Post