The Department of Homeland Security announced today a limit of 14,000 non-immigrants for fiscal year 2014 for the transitional CNMI-only worker program, a number close to Gov. Eloy S. Inos’s request of 14,100 compared to the current 15,000 cap to meet the demands of a tourism growth that the U.S. labor pool still cannot provide at this time.
The CW program expires on Dec. 31, 2014, unless extended by the U.S. Labor Secretary.
Without an extension, the CNMI loses immediate access to an estimated 12,000 foreign workers currently on the islands, many of which do not qualify for H visas or other employment-based nonimmigrant category under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Today’s announcement from DHS does not affect the status of current CW-1 workers unless their employer files for an extension of their current authorized period of stay or they seek to change CW-1 employer.
DHS has set the publication of this notice in the Sept. 25 Federal Register.
However, the pre-publication PDF version can now be accessed at https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2013-23289.pdf.
Full story in Thursday’s paper.