New Aged Out Law Lets Children Immigrate Faster



(David M. Sturman is an immigration attorney and professor of law located at 16530 Ventura Blvd. Ste 310, Encino, California 91436. David M. Sturman will answer all questions regarding immigration and naturalization for free. Address questions to or telephone 818 714-2226. David M. Sturman is pleased to announce that his administrator is Philip Abramowitz.)

A recent decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of California has ruled that children who turned 21 before immigrating through their parents and “aged out” can now immigrate quickly using their parent’s original priority date.  This decision affects thousands of persons who are awaiting the immigration quota to obtain their chance to obtain permanent residence and will drastically reduce the waiting time to immigrate.

Under the new case law of De Osorio v. Mayorkas, from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, California thousands of persons waiting to immigrate can shave up to 12 years off the waiting time.  This is thrilling and fantastic news that will affect children who were left behind when their parents immigrated because the children turned 21 before they could immigrate or adjust status.

This problem is called “aging out.”  Aging out is what happens when a derivative beneficiary of a visa petition turns 21 years of age before obtaining an immigrant visa or adjustment of status.  Immigration law permits most persons who are petitioned for permanent residence to include their unmarried minor children under 21 automatically without a separate visa petition.  This is what is called “derivative or accompanying beneficiaries.” Any beneficiary of a quota based visa petition can automatically include minor single children.  (The only persons who are exempt are what are called non-quota immigrants-that is beneficiaries of petitions filed by American citizen spouses or American citizen adult children.)  This means that beneficiaries of petitions for immigrant visas filed by parents, sisters, brothers, and even employers can include their children in the petition and when the principal beneficiary immigrates, the minor children can accompany their parent.  The problem arises when the waiting time for the quota is so long that the minor children are no longer minor.  This is particularly troublesome for the Philippines where the waiting time for family based petitions by parents or siblings or even employers can be 5 to 20 years.  With such a long waiting time, surely minor children will turn 21 in the interim and age out.  Aged-out children are basically left-out children.  This bar on aged out children separates families and causes heartbreak and grief.

However, there is exciting news.  This month, the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruled that under the Child Status Protection Act passed in 2002, aged out children can use the old priority date of their parents.  This means that if their parents were petitioned by say a brother or sister, the children can use a priority date that may be 15 to 20 years old.  If parents were petitioned by an employer or by their parents, the children can use the old priority date of that old petition.  What does this do for them?  It puts the children at the very front of the waiting line for visas.  What yesterday would have taken a 10 year wait due to the quota, now will effectively be reduced to just a matter of weeks or months.  It is true that persons may save 10 to 15 years of waiting and many will be able to immigrate immediately.  This is shocking and exciting news. It is not just limited to a few persons but will affect tens of thousands or persons.  The decision of the Ninth Circuit is revolutionary!  It is a saviour for the thousands of persons stuck in a long waiting line. It will reunite families and bring happiness to many.

If you were the derivative beneficiary of your parent’s petition and your parent immigrated already, you are probably eligible to speed up your immigration.  Call us for details and we will be happy to give you more information about the new ruling for free.  As always as part of our community service, we offer FREE consultation regarding any immigration matter. You may call us, email us or visit us.

(David M. Sturman will answer all questions regarding immigration and naturalization for FREE at 16530 Ventura Blvd. Ste 310, Encino, California 91436. Address questions to or telephone 818 714-2226. Phil Abramowitz can be reached at or on his cell at 818-324-8110)