“I was shocked and disappointed,” said a 41-year-old holder of a CW-2 permit whose valid U.S. tourist visa was “cancelled” while she was applying for a CW visa at the U.S. Embassy in Manila for her return to the CNMI. She laments that this is contrary to earlier federal assurances that valid U.S. tourist visas won’t be cancelled while applying for or upon approval of a CW visa.
In a phone interview from Manila, Philippines yesterday, the CW-2 permit holder said it was surprising that her still valid B1/B2 visa in her old passport was stamped “cancelled” when she applied for a CW visa at the embassy on Sept. 25.
“I was disappointed and shocked because USCIS mentioned before that B1/B2 will not be cancelled when you apply for CW visa,” she told Saipan Tribune.
Her 10-year, multiple-entry U.S. tourist visa was supposed to be valid until 2019.
Others who applied for CW visas did not have their valid B1/B2 visas stamped “cancelled,” adding to her anxiety and disappointment.
The interviewee, a former accountant on Saipan, requested that her name not be published at this time, fearing that the U.S. State Department would delay the release of her CW visa.
The mother of one has a CW-2 permit, which is for dependents of CW-1 workers.
On the day of her appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Manila on Sept. 25, she said she was helped by a female consul.
Her U.S. tourist visa was in her old passport, which also needs to be presented when applying for another visa at the embassy.
“When the consul returned my old passport, I didn’t check it. She took my new passport and that’s an indication I will be granted a CW visa, which will be placed in that new passport. When I reached home, that’s when I opened my old passport and saw that my B1/B2 visa was cancelled,” she said.
She said she has not sent the U.S. Embassy any letter yet because she fears that doing so “might cause a problem on my CW application since my passport is still with them.”
The applicant said she hopes that the U.S. Embassy or the U.S. State Department could reinstate her still valid B1/B2 visa “while I am still here in the Philippines.”
“I was supposed to come back [to Saipan] last Friday but my CW visa/passport is not with me yet,” she added.
CW visas may be issued only after CW petitions have been filed with and are approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Information about the CW visa application is available at the U.S. Embassy’s website at http://manila.usembassy.gov/cnmi-visas.html.