Federal Immigration News

April 16, 2008

GAO Report - CNMI Immigration Law and Most CNMI Labor Statutes to be Superseded by Federal Law

The Marianas Variety reports that the General Accountability Office (GAO), confirms that once S. 2739 is signed into law all CNMI immigration and some CNMI labor laws will be superseded by federal laws. The GAO recently released its 111-page report. Most of P.L. 15-108 will no longer apply including the provision that requires foreign contract workers to exit every three years.

The report summary states:

"During the transition period, foreign workers may be admitted to the CNMI through exemptions from caps that restrict the number of U.S. visas for nonimmigrant workers. Workers not otherwise eligible under federal law may be admitted through a CNMI-only permit program, which may be extended indefinitely for up to 5 years at a time. Current workers who do not obtain U.S. immigration status may continue to live and work in the CNMI for a limited time. During and after the transition period, CNMI employers also can petition for nonimmigrant and employment-based permanent immigration status for workers under the same procedures as other U.S. employers. However, access to foreign workers in low-skill jobs will be limited after the end of the transition period in 2013 or 2014 and after any extensions of the CNMI-only permit program, because the demand for certain U.S. nonimmigrant worker visas recently has exceeded the supply and because no nonimmigrant visas are available for workers in continuous low-skill positions. "

Read more in this Saipan Tribune article!