Foreign Worker News

September 28, 2012

Renewal of Parole Documents Required

Only 7,128 foreign workers have been granted CW permits under the CNMI-Only Guest Worker Program. Almost a year since the applications were submitted over 5,183 foreign workers are still waiting for CW permits.  The ridiculously slow process has caused suffering and uncertainty for the affected foreign workers and their families and headaches for their employers.

This week USCIS announced that every foreign worker who has parole in place that will expire on September 30, 2012 must apply for an extension of the parole. The following instructions and requirements apply:
Applicants must submit –
  • A letter or affidavit signed by the applicant requesting the extension. Include your complete P.O. Box mailing address and telephone number;   
  • A copy of a valid identity document, such as your passport biographic page (with photo, date of birth and expiration date);   
  • A copy of your I-94 (front and back); A copy of your umbrella permit (if you have one);   
  • A letter from your employer verifying his or her intention to continue your employment (if currently employed). 
  • Seal all these items in one envelope and clearly write on the outside of the envelope: Your name “PAROLE EXTENSION” The expiration date of your parole USCIS recommends that that applicant keep a copy of all documents for himself. 
    This should be mailed to: DHS-USCIS Sirena Plaza, Suite 100 108 Hernan Cortez Avenue Hagatna, Guam 96910 ATTN: PAROLE EXTENSION - CNMI For those dropping off their extension request at the USCIS office on Saipan, the same instructions for marking the envelopes apply.
    I cannot find up to date information on the USCIS website. There are broken links in two places and a lack of information for concerned parties. From the site:
    Parole in the CNMI 
    The term "parole," when used by immigration officials, means "permission to be in the United States." Parole allows people living and working in the CNMI with a valid CNMI permit to continue to live and work in the CNMI after returning from Guam or other parts of the United States. There is no fee for this request. 
    The following groups in CNMI may be eligible for a grant of parole: 
    • CNMI permanent residents 
    • Immediate relatives of CNMI permanent residents 
    • Immediate relatives of citizens of the Compacts of Free Association States (FAS): 
    • Children of CW-1 workers  (BROKEN LINK) who are 18 years old or are 17 years old and will be turning 18 THIS (2011/2012) school year, who are studying in a secondary or high school in the CNMI 
    • Individuals Waiting for a Decision  (BROKEN LINK) on a Nonimmigrant Employment-Based Petition, such as an H-1B 
    • Certain Stateless Individuals
     Go to the ‘Requesting Parole for the First Time in the CNMI’ (BROKEN LINK) or ‘Extending Parole in the CNMI’ (BROKEN LINK) Web pages for more guidance about how to apply for parole.
    The only working links are the ones for "Caregiver of Critical Medical Special Need Individuals" and "Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens. The page is useless to most of the affected CNMI foreign workers because of the broken links. 

    Another search reaches an outdated USCIS website page. The USCIS website page states:
    Extending Parole in the CNMI 
    It is critical that foreign workers maintain a lawful status in order for employers to petition for them to obtain CW Transitional Worker status or another status under the Immigration Nationality Act (INA). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) advises all people who were paroled into the CNMI and whose Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94, has expired or is expiring to apply for an extension of their parole to Sept. 30, 2012. (OUTDATED)
    People who were paroled due to an expired permit must keep parole current in order to maintain a legal presence in the United States. Anyone who would like to be sponsored for a grant of CW status in the CNMI must have a lawful status in the CNMI when the employer files the Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker, Form I-129CW.
    Judging by the broken links and outdated information on their pages, it is clear that the CNMI-Only Guest Worker Program is not a USCIS priority and does not receive the attention that it deserves.

    At the end of January 2012 the USCIS automatically extended parole for foreign workers who had a parole that expired on January 31, 2012, filed for their parole in October 2011 or later, had one of the following applications pending with USCIS: a I-129, I-129CW, or I -539 as the dependent of a CW-1.
    This time, however, parole holders are required to extend their parole through application.


    Anonymous said...

    USCIS put the CNMI program low, low on their list. You're right. I checked the links and they are broken. Whoever is responsible for updating the CNMI website isn't doing his job. Bet that wouldn't go unnoticed or unattended on the websites regulating the state-side programs. Tsk, tsk, tsk.