USCIS Publishes CNMI Transitional Worker Final Rule
Released Sept. 7, 2011
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule in today’s Federal Register that establishes a Transitional Worker (CW) classification for workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The CW classification allows employers in the CNMI to hire nonimmigrant workers who are otherwise ineligible to work.
A foreign worker may be eligible for CW status if he or she is:
An employer may be eligible to petition for a CW worker if the employer:
In most cases, employers may file for multiple beneficiaries on the same form. The filing fees needed to obtain CW status include:
A limited number of CW visas are available each fiscal year, based on the CNMI government’s estimate of nonresident workers. The numerical limitation for fiscal year (FY) 2011 is 22,417 and for FY 2012 will be 22,416. The final rule mandates that the limitation must drop annually and that the Department of Homeland Security determine the fiscal-year limitation for CW workers for subsequent fiscal years beginning in FY 2013.
The CW visa classification is valid only in the CNMI and provides no basis for travel or work in any other part of the United States, except for nationals of the Philippines who may travel between the Philippines and the CNMI through the Guam airport. The final rule also provides for the grant of derivative CW status to spouses and minor children of CW workers.
USCIS is the agency within the Department of Homeland Security responsible for immigration benefits. For more information and announcements on immigration benefits specific to the CNMI, please visit the agency’s CNMI Web page at www.uscis.gov/cnmi. For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.