On Nov. 08, 2023, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of State (DOS), announced the lists of countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs in the next year. See here https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/dhs-announces-countries-eligible-for-h-2a-and-h-2b-visa-programs-1.

On Nov. 16, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the Department of Labor (DOL) published a temporary final rule making available an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for fiscal year (FY) 2024, on top of the statutory cap of 66,000 H-2B visas that are available each fiscal year. American businesses in industries such as hospitality and tourism, landscaping, seafood processing, and more turn to seasonal and other temporary workers in the H-2B program to help them meet demand from consumers. See https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/news-releases/uscis-announces-availability-of-additional-h-2b-visas-for-fiscal-year-2024.

What do these announcements mean? They mean more opportunities for foreign workers to come to the United States for temporary agricultural and non-agricultural employment. If you are interested in participating in these programs, be sure to check the list of eligible countries and start the application process. This is a great opportunity for both employers and foreign workers to fill important roles and support various industries in the United States.


By: Norka M. Schell, Esq.
Nov. 08, 2023

Once upon a time, in the land of endless possibilities, there was a young woman named Maria who dreamed of creating a new life for herself in the United States. She had heard stories of the American Dream, and opportunities. With determination in her heart, Maria set out on a journey that would change her life forever.

Maria arrived in the United States with a student visa, eager to pursue higher education. She studied diligently, excelling in her classes, and dreaming of the day when she could call America her home. However, as time went on, she faced a dilemma – her student visa was about to expire, and she could feel her dreams slipping away.

But Maria refused to give up. She started researching different ways to adjust her status and discovered the path of employment sponsorship. With renewed hope, she tirelessly searched for a job opportunity that would persuade an employer to sponsor her and help her stay in the country.

Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, but Maria’s optimism never wavered. She revamped her resume, and reached out to various companies, and networked with professionals in her field. Her efforts soon paid off when she received an invitation for an interview with a prestigious company.

Dressed in her best suit and with a big smile on her face, Maria walked into the interview room, ready to leave a lasting impression. She confidently showcased her skills, shared her passion for the chosen field, and heightened her determination to contribute to the growth of the organization. The interviewers were captivated by Maria’s enthusiasm and drive, and within a few days, she received the coveted job offered.

With this job offer in hand, Maria began the processing of adjusting her status from nonimmigrant to immigrant. Though there were paperwork and legalities to navigate, Maria remained steadfast and optimistic. She sought the guidance of the immigration attorney Norka M. Schell who helped her to understand and navigate the intricacies of the adjustment of status process from non-immigrant to immigrant. With each completed form, and every document submitted, Maria felt closer to achieving her dreams.

Months rolled by, and Maria’s excitement turned to anticipation as she received news that her application for adjustment of status had been approved. She did a happy dance, joyous tears streaming down her face. Finally, her dream of calling America her home was becoming reality.

Maria’s story is just one example of countless individuals who immigration attorney Norka M. Schell helped to navigate the complex path of adjusting their status in the United States. It requires determination, resilience, and optimism in the face of uncertainty. But for those who dare to dream and believe, the American Dream can become a tangible reality.
The story of Maria reminds us that with the right mindset, any obstacle can be conquered, and dreams can be transformed into beautiful realities.


Refugee law may be the world’s most powerful international human rights mechanism. Not only do millions of people invoke its protections every year in countries spanning globe, but they do so on the basis of a self-actuating mechanism of international law that, quite literally, allows at-risk persons to vote with their feet. This is because, as the United Nations High Commissioners of Refugees (“UNHR”) has insisted, refugee status is not a status that is granted by states; it is rather simply recognized by them:
“A person is a refugee within the meaning of the 1951 Convention as soon as he fulfills the criteria contained in the definition. This would necessarily occur prior to the time at which his refugee status is formally determined. Recognition of his refugee status does not therefore make him a refugee but declares him to be one. He does not become a refugee because of recognition but is recognized because he a refugee.” See UNHCR, Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, UN Doc. HCR/IP/4/Eng/REV.3 (2011).


O direito dos refugiados pode ser o mecanismo internacional de direitos humanos mais poderoso do mundo. Não só milhões de pessoas invocam as suas protecções todos os anos em países do mundo, como o fazem com base num mecanismo de auto-actuação do direito internacional que, literalmente, permite que pessoas em risco votem com os pés. Isso porque, como insistiu o Alto Comissariado das Nações Unidas para os Refugiados (“UNHR”), o status de refugiado não é um status concedido pelos Estados; é simplesmente reconhecido por eles:

“Uma pessoa é refugiada na acepção da Convenção de 1951 logo que preencha os critérios contidos na definição. Isso ocorreria necessariamente antes do momento em que seu status de refugiado é formalmente determinado. O reconhecimento do seu estatuto de refugiado não o torna portanto um refugiado, mas declara-o como tal. Ele não se torna refugiado por reconhecimento, mas é reconhecido porque é refugiado.” Ver ACNUR, Estatuto dos Refugiados ao abrigo da Convenção de 1951 e do Protocolo de 1967 relativo ao Estatuto dos Refugiados, Documento das Nações Unidas

El derecho de los refugiados puede ser el mecanismo internacional de derechos humanos más poderoso del mundo. Millones de personas no solo invocan sus protecciones cada año en países de todo el mundo, sino que lo hacen sobre la base de un mecanismo de derecho internacional que, literalmente, permite a las personas en riesgo votar con los pies. Esto se debe a que, como ha insistido el Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (“ACNUR”), la condición de refugiado no es una condición otorgada por los Estados; Es más bien simplemente reconocido por ellos: “Una persona es refugiada en el sentido de la Convención de 1951 tan pronto como cumple los criterios contenidos en la definición. Esto ocurriría necesariamente antes del momento en que se determine formalmente su condición de refugiado. Por lo tanto, el reconocimiento de su condición de refugiado no lo convierte en refugiado, sino que lo declara como tal. No se convierte en refugiado por el reconocimiento, sino que es reconocido por ser refugiado”. Véase ACNUR.

难民法可能是世界上最强大的国际人权机制。不仅每年在世界各国有数百万人援引其保护,而且他们这样做的基础是国际法的自我驱动机制,从字面上看,允许处于危险之中的人用脚投票。这是因为,正如联合国难民事务高级专员(“UNHR”)所坚持的那样,难民地位不是国家授予的身份;他们相当简单地认识到: “一个人只要符合1951年《公约》的定义所载标准,即为该公约所指的难民。这必然发生在正式确定他的难民地位之前。因此,承认他的难民地位并不使他成为难民,而是宣布他为难民。他不是因为被承认而成为难民,而是因为他是难民而被承认。见难民署,《1951年公约》和1967年《关于难民地位的议定书》规定的难民地位,联合国文件HCR/IP/4/Eng/REV.3(2011年)。

শরণার্থী আইন বিশ্বের সবচেয়ে শক্তিশালী আন্তর্জাতিক মানবাধিকার ব্যবস্থা হতে পারে। বিশ্বজুড়ে ছড়িয়ে থাকা দেশগুলিতে প্রতি বছর লক্ষ লক্ষ মানুষ কেবল এর সুরক্ষাই প্রয়োগ করে না, তবে তারা আন্তর্জাতিক আইনের একটি স্ব-কার্যকর প্রক্রিয়ার ভিত্তিতে এটি করে যা আক্ষরিক অর্থে ঝুঁকিপূর্ণ ব্যক্তিদের তাদের পা দিয়ে ভোট দেওয়ার অনুমতি দেয়। এর কারণ, জাতিসংঘের শরণার্থী বিষয়ক হাইকমিশনাররা (“ইউএনএইচআর”) যেমন জোর দিয়ে বলেছেন, শরণার্থী মর্যাদা এমন একটি মর্যাদা নয় যা রাষ্ট্রগুলি দ্বারা প্রদত্ত হয়; এটি বরং তাদের দ্বারা স্বীকৃত: “একজন ব্যক্তি ১৯৫১ সালের কনভেনশনের অর্থের মধ্যে শরণার্থী হন যখনই তিনি সংজ্ঞায় অন্তর্ভুক্ত মানদণ্ডগুলি পূরণ করেন। এটি অবশ্যই তার শরণার্থী অবস্থা আনুষ্ঠানিকভাবে নির্ধারিত সময়ের আগে ঘটবে। তার শরণার্থী মর্যাদার স্বীকৃতি তাই তাকে শরণার্থী করে তোলে না বরং তাকে একজন হিসাবে ঘোষণা করে। স্বীকৃতির কারণে তিনি শরণার্থী হন না, বরং শরণার্থী হওয়ার কারণে তিনি স্বীকৃতি পান। দেখুন ইউএনএইচসিআর, ১৯৫১ সালের কনভেনশনের অধীনে শরণার্থী অবস্থা এবং শরণার্থীদের অবস্থা সম্পর্কিত ১৯৬৭ সালের প্রোটোকল, ইউএন ডক এইচসিআর / আইপি / ৪ / ইং / আরইভি .৩ (২০১১)

Ligji për refugjatët mund të jetë mekanizmi më i fuqishëm ndërkombëtar i të drejtave të njeriut në botë. Jo vetëm që miliona njerëz i përdorin mbrojtjet e saj çdo vit në vendet që shtrihen në glob, por e bëjnë këtë në bazë të një mekanizmi vetë-aktivizues të së drejtës ndërkombëtare që, fjalë për fjalë, lejon personat në rrezik të votojnë me këmbët e tyre. Kjo sepse, siç kanë këmbëngulur Komisionerët e Lartë të Kombeve të Bashkuara për Refugjatët (“UNHR”), statusi i refugjatit nuk është një status që jepet nga shtetet; Ajo është mjaft thjesht e njohur prej tyre: “Një person është refugjat në kuptimin e Konventës së vitit 1951 sapo plotëson kriteret e përmbajtura në përkufizim. Kjo do të ndodhte domosdoshmërisht përpara kohës në të cilën statusi i tij i refugjatit përcaktohet zyrtarisht. Njohja e statusit të tij të refugjatit nuk e bën atë një refugjat, por e deklaron atë të jetë një. Ai nuk bëhet refugjat për shkak të

Das Flüchtlingsrecht ist vielleicht der mächtigste internationale Menschenrechtsmechanismus der Welt. Nicht nur, dass sich jedes Jahr Millionen von Menschen in Ländern auf der ganzen Welt auf ihren Schutz berufen, sie tun dies auch auf der Grundlage eines selbsttätigen Mechanismus des Völkerrechts, der es gefährdeten Personen buchstäblich erlaubt, mit den Füßen abzustimmen. Dies liegt daran, dass, wie der Hohe Flüchtlingskommissar der Vereinten Nationen (“UNHR”) betont hat, der Flüchtlingsstatus kein Status ist, der von Staaten gewährt wird; Es wird von ihnen eher einfach erkannt: “Flüchtling im Sinne der Konvention von 1951 ist, wer die in der Definition enthaltenen Kriterien erfüllt. Dies würde notwendigerweise vor dem Zeitpunkt.‘
Le droit des réfugiés est peut-être le mécanisme international des droits de l’homme le plus puissant au monde. Non seulement des millions de personnes invoquent ses protections chaque année dans des pays du monde entier, mais elles le font sur la
base d’un mécanisme de droit international qui s’active automatiquement et qui, littéralement, permet aux personnes à risque de voter avec leurs pieds. En effet, comme l’a insisté le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (UNHR), le statut de réfugié n’est pas un statut accordé par les États ; c’est plutôt simplement reconnu par eux : « Une personne est considérée comme réfugiée au sens de la Convention de 1951 dès lors qu’elle remplit les critères contenus dans la définition. Cela se.


On October 19, 2023, the White House H-2B Worker Protection Taskforce report, the U.S. Department of Labor joined the Department of Homeland Security, Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development to announce new efforts to strengthen protections for workers in the H-2B program, who are vulnerable to exploitation by their employers.

Each agency involved in the task force is committed to key actions aimed at improving the safety and security of all workers under the H-2B program and ensuring American workers are not disadvantaged when employers use the visa program. These actions include better protecting workers engaged in labor disputes, addressing exploitation during recruitment, sharing resources with workers to inform them of their rights, enhancing data sharing and participating in a new working group dedicated to H-2 workers’ rights.

The announcement is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s whole-of-government approach to ensuring our most vulnerable workers know their rights, are protected from abuse at the hands of their employers and can advocate for themselves at work.

“The H-2B program has been plagued by worker exploitation for too long,” said Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su. “The Biden-Harris administration is committed to protecting H2-B workers from abuse and with this report, we’re taking a whole-of-government approach to protecting these vulnerable workers, which will also help ensure they are not used to undercut labor standards for domestic workers. We look forward to working with our sister agencies across the federal government to implement these recommendations and work towards better protecting every worker in America.”

The White House Taskforce report announces more than a dozen action items to be taken across the federal government to advance protections for H-2B and, in select cases, H-2A workers. Partnering with the White House, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Labor will:

1. Reduce workers’ vulnerability to exploitation from labor recruiters and employers by using enhanced information collection from other agencies, making it easier to prevent and enforce against exploitation by recruiters.
2. Empower workers by identifying and developing resources designed to provide workers with information about their rights under H-2 programs and disseminating information widely, including through MigrantWorker.gov and through additional task force agency channels.
3. Leverage existing data to increase transparency and reduce the vulnerability of H-2 workers through interagency data sharing, which will improve outreach and streamline responses to labor law violations.
4. Participate in a new interagency H-2 Worker Protection Working Group to guide the implementation of deliverables described in the task force report.
Read the interagency report and learn more about the H-2B Worker Protection Taskforce.

Agency Employment and Training Administration
Date October 19, 2023
Release Number 23-2256-NAT



This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during November for: “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center.

Unless otherwise indicated on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website at www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo, individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS must use the “Final Action Dates” charts below for determining when they can file such applications. When USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for the fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, USCIS will state on its website that applicants may instead use the “Dates for Filing Visa Applications” charts in this Bulletin.

1. Procedures for determining dates. ConsVISA BULLETIN NOVEMBER 2023ular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; USCIS reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations in the charts below were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported priority dates, for demand received by October 3rd. If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed. The final action date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits. If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a final action date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new final action date announced in this bulletin. If at any time an annual limit were reached, it would be necessary to immediately make the preference category “unavailable”, and no further requests for numbers would be honored.

2. The fiscal year 2024 limit for family-sponsored preference immigrants determined in accordance with Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is 226,000. The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000. Section 202 prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620. The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.

3. INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed. Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal. The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa issuances will exceed the per-country limit. These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas: CHINA-mainland born, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

4. Section 203(a) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of Family-sponsored immigrant visas as follows:


First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:

A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

Click to access visabulletin_November2023.pdf


By: Norka M. Schell, Esq.

Immigration has always been a contentious issue that elicits emotions and stirs debates. One of the many significant global consequences of this phenomenon is its intricate connection to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza. While maintaining a cooperative mindset, I aim to shed light on the short-term outcomes and long-term implications arising from immigration in the context of the Israel-Gaza conflict.

To comprehensively examine the interplay between immigration and the Israel-Gaza conflict, it is crucial to understand the root causes of the conflict. The Israel-Palestine issue is primarily driven by historical, political, and territorial disputes. These complex issues lead to a polarized environment that has dire consequences not only for the involved nations but also for the region as a whole.

Immigration, often triggered by conflict and persecution, plays a distinct role in this complex web of consequences. The oppressed and marginalized population from Gaza seeks refuge in neighboring countries, including Israel. This influx of immigrants, seen as a threat to Israeli security by some, triggers harsh immigration policies and heightened tensions in the region. The short-term outcome of this is increased hostility and violence, resulting in a vicious cycle where both sides suffer.

The implications of immigration in the Israel-Gaza conflict extend far beyond the short-term consequences. As the number of immigrants grow, the socio-political dynamics of the region experience a significant shift. The demographic changes brought about by immigration challenge the existing power dynamics, raising questions of identity, national sovereignty, and human rights.
Moreover, the consequences of immigration are not confined to the physical borders of the region. The Israel-Gaza conflict has consequences that reverberate globally, as it fuels religious and political tensions worldwide. The influx of immigrants into the neighboring territories has the potential to destabilize the delicate balance of power in the Middle East and beyond. Additionally, the continued strife reinforces an “us versus them” mentality, which can lead to the marginalization and radicalization of individuals.

In order to navigate this web of consequences, a cooperative approach is essential. It is critical for all involved parties to recognize the interconnectedness of immigration and the Israel-Gaza conflict. Instead of viewing immigration as a threat, it should be seen as an opportunity for dialogue, understanding and empathy. Cooperation can pave the way for innovative solutions that address both the immediate challenges and the underlying factors causing the conflict.

Efforts towards conflict resolution must also involve comprehensive immigration policies that prioritize the safety and well-being of displaced individuals. Simultaneously, the international community must aid in supporting the host countries in managing the influx of immigrants, ensuring adequate resources for their integration and economic sustainability.

In conclusion, immigration and the Israel-Gaza conflict are inextricably linked, and understanding their interplay is crucial in effectively addressing the challenges they present. From short-term implications, such as increased violence and tensions, to long-term consequences, including demographic shifts and global tensions, the impact of immigration cannot be underestimated. By adopting a cooperative mindset and comprehending the complexities of immigration in the context of the Israel-Gaza conflict, we can work toward sustainable solutions that prioritize peace, justice, and equality for all involved.

H-2B Cap for Second Half of FY 2023 Has Been Reached

As per the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announcement on March 2, 2023. See below.

H-2B Cap for the Second Half of FY 2023

USCIS has received enough petitions to meet the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of FY 2023. Feb. 27, 2023, was the final receipt date for new cap-subject H-2B worker petitions requesting an employment start date on or after Apr. 1, 2023, and before Oct. 1, 2023. We will reject new cap-subject H-2B petitions received after Feb. 27, 2023, that request an employment start date on or after Apr. 1, 2023, and before Oct. 1, 2023.

On Feb. 27, 2023, the number of beneficiaries for whom USCIS received petitions surpassed the total number of remaining H-2B visas available for the H-2B cap for the second half of FY 2023. In accordance with regulations, we determined it was necessary to use a computer-generated selection process intended to ensure the fair and orderly allocation of H-2B visa cap numbers available, without exceeding the FY 2023 cap. On March 1, 2023, we conducted the selection process to randomly select petitions from those received on Feb. 27, 2023. Upon completion of this random selection process, we assigned all selected petitions a receipt date and began premium processing services.

We continue to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap. This includes petitions for:

Current H-2B workers in the United States who wish to extend their stay and, if applicable, change the terms of their employment or change their employers;
Fish roe processors, fish roe technicians, and/or supervisors of fish roe processing; and
Workers performing labor or services in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam (until Dec. 31, 2029).
Filing Dates for Second Half of FY 2023 Supplemental Visas

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) jointly published a temporary final rule on Dec. 15, 2022, increasing the numerical limit (or cap) on H-2B nonimmigrant visas by up to 64,716 additional visas for all of FY 2023. These supplemental visas are available only to U.S. businesses that are suffering irreparable harm or will suffer impending irreparable harm without the ability to employ all the H-2B workers requested in their petition, as attested by the employer on the DOL Form ETA 9142-B-CAA-7 (PDF). These supplemental H-2B visas are for U.S. employers seeking to petition for additional workers at certain periods of the fiscal year before Sept. 15, 2023. See www.uscis.com

USCIS Releases New Strategic Plan Highlighting Long-Term Goals

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released its FY 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, which provides a roadmap for the agency’s workforce to better strengthen its capabilities and help the country reach its highest ideals. The plan is grounded in USCIS’ longstanding purpose and core values in support of a meaningful commitment to make the United States a stronger, more inclusive, and welcoming nation…

The strategic plan highlights three long-term goals focused on increasing access to the nation’s immigration system; promoting and improving the naturalization process; attracting, recruiting, developing, and retaining an effective USCIS workforce; creating a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; ensuring fiscal solvency; and continuing modernization efforts that introduce additional online filing options.

Goal 1 – Strengthen the U.S. Immigration System: Ensure that immigration policies, regulations, strategies, processes, and communications support a strong immigration system with integrity that promotes integration, inclusion, and citizenship.

Goal 2 – Invest in Our Workforce: Attract, recruit, train, and retain a diverse, flexible, and resilient workforce that drives high-quality organizational performance and is representative of who we are as a nation.

Goal 3 – Promote Effective and Efficient Management and Stewardship: Enhance organizational capability for efficient and effective use, management, and sharing of resources entrusted to the agency, and to evaluate and balance competing demands and priorities to serve the agency’s mission….

For more information on the 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, visit https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/news-releases/uscis-releases-new-strategic-plan-highlighting-long-term-goals



USCIS is extending the validity of Permanent Resident Cards (also known as Green Cards) for petitioners who properly file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence or Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status for 48 months beyond the card’s expiration date. This change started on January 11, 2023, for Form I-829 and will start on January 25, 2023, for Form I-751.

We are making this change to accommodate current processing times for Form I-751 and Form I-829, which have increased over the past year.

USCIS has updated the language on Form I-751 and Form I-829 receipt notices to extend the validity of a Green Card for 48 months for individuals with a newly filed Form I-751 or Form I-829. We will issue new receipt notices to eligible conditional permanent residents who previously received notices with an extension shorter than 48 months and whose cases are still pending. These receipt notices can be presented with an expired Green Card as evidence of continued status, while the case remains pending with USCIS. By presenting your updated receipt notice with your expired Green Card, you remain authorized to work and travel for 48 months from the expiration date on the front of your expired Green Card.

As a reminder, conditional permanent residents who plan to be outside of the United States for a year or more should apply for a reentry permit by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, before leaving the United States. For more information, see our International Travel as a Permanent Resident webpage.


“Marriage fraud,” that is to enter into or endeavor to enter into a marriage for the sole purpose of procuring immigration benefits, is a very serious charge in the immigration context.

Attempting to procure or procuring immigration benefits through a sham marriage can lead to inadmissibility and/or deportation, depending on the alien’s situation.

In the case of Salas-Velazquez, the Petitioner who was a native and citizen of Mexico entered the United States as a visitor for pleasure. He purported to marry a citizen of the United States, and, on the basis of that alleged marriage, filed a petition to adjust his status to that of a permanent resident alien. That petition was denied in 1989 on the ground that the marriage was fraudulent, entered into for the purpose of evading the immigration laws. Almost two years later, in 1991, the Immigration and Naturalization Service served petitioner with an order to show cause, charging him with deportability.

A hearing was held before an immigration judge, during which petitioner made a motion for adjustment of status based on a second marriage, also to a United States citizen. There was no dispute as to the genuineness of the second marriage. The immigration judge denied this motion. Later, the judge found that petitioner’s first marriage was fraudulent, that petitioner and his first wife never lived together, and that petitioner contracted the marriage for the purpose of immigrating to the United States. On the basis of this evidence, the judge sustained the charges of deportability. Salas-Velazquez v. INS. 34 F. 3d 705 – Court of Appeals. 8th Circuit 1994.

Beside of the severity immigration consequences, a person who enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the INA can be prosecuted and if convicted, faces term of imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000.00, or both imprisonment and a fine. See 8 U.S.C. § 1325(c).