The Department of Interior released this statement:
"During the period from Nov. 28, 2009 (the transition program effective date), until the date of publication of the final Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program (VWP) rule (or other date that the Secretary of Homeland Security may determine), the Secretary of Homeland Security will exercise her authority to parole into the CNMI, in the Secretary’s discretion on a case-by-case basis, visitors for business or pleasure who are nationals of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China who present valid passports and who are not inadmissible except for the lack of a valid U.S. visitor visa. Parole, if granted, will be permitted for a period generally not to exceed 45 days and may be revoked or terminated upon notice. Parole will be authorized only for entry into the CNMI and will not extend to other areas of the United States. Visitors who are paroled under this authority may not engage in local employment or labor for hire."
"Under U.S. immigration laws, the Secretary may grant parole to applicants for admission “under such conditions as [she] may prescribe only on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit," according to Interior.
With CBP assuming immigration functions in the CNMI, new security features including:
· notice of entry via Advance Passenger Information data transmissions to CBP prior to flight take-off;
· clearance of security watchlist vetting prior to entry; and
· compliance with strict exit controls upon departure from the CNMI
will be in placed for all travelers entering the CNMI from outside the United States, including Chinese and Russian visitors.
DHS will continue to evaluate the comments received regarding the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program interim final rule and will work toward issuance of a final rule, according to the Interior Department.