Press Release from USCIS on Final Rule

The following press release clearly summarizes key points of the CW status under the final rule that was published today.

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:
  • Ineligible for a nonimmigrant or immigrant classification under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA);
  • Entering or staying in the CNMI to work as a needed foreign national worker to supplement the resident workforce;
  • The beneficiary of a petition filed by a legitimate employer who is doing business in the CNMI;
  • Not present in the United States, other than the CNMI;
  • Lawfully present in the CNMI or, if not present, intending to enter the CNMI with a visa; and
  • Admissible to the United States or is granted any necessary waiver of a ground of inadmissibility.
An employer may be eligible to petition for a CW worker if the employer:
  • Is conducting a legitimate business, as defined in the final rule;
  • Has considered all available U.S. workers for the position;
  • Offers terms and conditions of employment consistent with the nature of the employer’s business in the CNMI;
  • Is complying with federal and CNMI employment requirements;
  • Files a Form I-129CW, Petition for CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker, and a CW-1 Classification Supplement with USCIS; and
  • Submits the appropriate filing fees.
In most cases, employers may file for multiple beneficiaries on the same form. The filing fees needed to obtain CW status include:
  • A $325 fee for the Form I-129CW;
  • A mandatory CNMI education funding fee of $150 per beneficiary per year; and
  • A biometric fee of $85 if the worker is located in the CNMI.
  • 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 For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

Read the final rule:


Anonymous said...

The filing fee is $325.00 for the form and we can file for multiple beneficiaries per form.
So if I want to apply for 6 workers on one form it will be $325.00 for all 6 plus $85.00 (6) $510.00 plus $150.00 (6) $900.00
For a total of $1735.00.
Would this be correct?

Wendy Doromal said...

Yes, that sounds right, because the filing fee covers all workers, but the others are for each individual employees. BUT please ask someone at USCIS to be sure.

Anonymous said...

selfish federal law makers.thanks for rule out so all workers can leave from this black hole country and they have good life to survive them family insted of having hope on bad US politics. viva all foreign workers. lets leave USA abusing country/soil.never ever go.....their. may GOD BLESS all poor foreign workers.

Anonymous said...

the cw visa is renewable yearly but the employers will have to certify that there are no us citizens available each time. DHS will question that as we get closer to 2015. by 2015 it is over.....right now if you are not gainfully employed you are not eligible. 20000 umbrella permit holders but many do not have a job currently and they won't be eligible. No fake employers allowed. the DHS will be looking closely to make sure there are not ghost companies and employees and belive me they do not tolerate fraud like the CNMI did,,, ask those who have already been denied or put into deportation hearings........make a plan prepared to leave. waiting for congress to wave a wand between now and 2015 is not going to be an excuse when you are out of status.......DHS will not care and you will be put into threats just how it is.......right or wrong it is what it ready

the profit said...

People are planning to pay their own fees but it doesn't work or add up any more and is a federal felony. The regs are the same as the proposal...oh yea, I forgot transit through Guam so we can get Burger King to go.

It is near impossible to get work in Manila if you are over 25 unless you are management or highly skilled. Waitresses specifically are done at 25 throughout all the upscale establishments. And ownership doesn't even translate to long time workers there. This is a sad day for many people here, truly sad.

Anonymous said...

We were waiting for status. None for us no thanks to kilili. Good luck mom on your trip please help us!

Anonymous said...

CNMI/USA has to pay off to those innocent foreign workers by karma it will not be tolerate as a mistake.all workers got upset even americans who trust in god/them system.they are totally failed.they have to pay back automatically by GOD there will be their country/people suffer lot then guest workers.its very bad that they just hold them on hope by umbrella permit for two years and showing them dream about to have better life in day by day.i thank to also all news paper who play them role to fake news about hope and selling them news paper its so amazing.i totally lost believe in USA getting by bad people(GOD we trust)i also can not forget amricans who helping people for them better life such as ms.wendy and others.i am agree if they do earlier when they take over but now no more.i am sorry to say that whoever involve to do this kind of abuse they will face bad life.i must say its an communist rules by democratic country.after this how people will trust in US human rights/discrimination laws.USA has to face it by GOD everyone will see how its failed.i sorry to say that its by all poor guest workers who lost them life here on beautiful island between bad islanders(SATAN)politics/people who doesnt wanna see people have good life by them to stay and improve them island/business.its shameful for saipan chambers of commerce that they abused them.their will be more abuse of foreign workers 100%.better all workers together to ask them deport by nov,28.let locals take over them island.i hope workers must do this to go now better then abuse/discriminate by locals/employer.i hope all pilipino support to do this.never mind today or tomorrow all has to out by this abused system so do it now i urge to all workers of CNMI to think about it.hope you guys will.have a gud luck if u do this or not u will see how u lost ur life here.think about it.GOD BLESS poor CNMI workers.we need you.