The U.S. State Department would only say that “CW visa holders may apply for and hold B1/B2 visas,” without going into the reasons for the recent cancellations of valid U.S. tourist visas of at least two individuals who applied for and were granted CW visas by the U.S. Embassy in Manila.
“I wish there’s a clearer policy statement as to why a valid B1/B2 visa could be cancelled. This is not reassuring enough. I still would like to have my B1/B2 visa reinstated. Hopefully something could still be done about my cancelled tourist visa,” Elmer Pineda, 47, told Saipan Tribune.
Pineda’s U.S. tourist visa was canceled on Aug. 15 on the day he applied for a CW visa. He needs a CW visa to be able to re-enter the CNMI as a foreign worker.
As far as Pineda is concerned, anyone like him can have both a B1/B2 or U.S. tourist and a CW visa, similar to many others whose tourist visas were not cancelled when they applied for and were given CW visas.
His B1/B2 visa’s expiration date was in 2017.
When asked about these recent cancellations of valid B1/B2 visas, a U.S. State Department official only told Saipan Tribune: “CW visa holders may apply for and hold B1/B2 visas. We cannot comment on specific cases as visa records are confidential under U.S. law. Applicants are advised to check our website for more information and refer to questions to the embassy or consulate processing their cases.”
Pineda has since returned to the CNMI but another one is still waiting for her CW visa after her B1/B2 visa was cancelled at the U.S. Embassy in Manila.
Moreover, one of Pineda’s acquaintances who also applied for a CW visa on the same day didn’t have his B1/B2 cancelled.
“It’s still confusing and disappointing. Why would someone with a valid B1/B2 risk losing that visa when they know it could be cancelled?” Pineda asked.
Other B1/B2 visa holders in the CNMI are now having second thoughts about going home and applying for a CW visa to re-enter the CNMI, afraid that their U.S. tourist visas will be cancelled.
“Because there is no guarantee that my B1/B2 visa will not be cancelled, I will forego my vacation in the Philippines. It seems the consuls at the Embassy have different understanding about the CW and B1/B2 visas,” a CW permit holder planning a vacation in Manila said.
Pineda and others in the same situation, however, may bring their specific issue to the attention of Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan’s (Ind-MP) office, which might be able to help them.
Information about the CW visa application is available at the U.S. Embassy’s website at http://manila.usembassy.gov/cnmi-visas.html.