How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Children of immigrants who 'aged out' of visas can get their place back in line

The now-adult children of immigrant parents who "aged out" of obtaining derivative visas while their parents waited for green cards can get their place back in line, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The decision in the class-action lawsuit against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and other federal officials is a victory for thousands of young people who lost their priority status for family-sponsored visas upon turning 21, as their parents faced long waits due to backlogs in the immigration system. 

When this happens, these former minor children of immigrants are no longer eligible to derive green cards through their parents, and must start over to seek one on their own. 

The lawsuit argued that several plaintiffs were eligible to retain their priority date for receiving a green card under the Child Status Protection Act of 2002. The plaintiffs had been denied this request by the agency and the Board of Immigration Appeals, however, which interpreted the law differently.