Lawyer tells good news, bad news about passage of CW bill


Janet H. King, a known immigration lawyer, said yesterday that there are good news and bad news about the U.S. Senate’s passing of House Resolution 5956, the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018.

King said the good news is obvious: the number of CW1 permits in fiscal year 2019—the current fiscal year—would now be up to, but not exceed 13,000.

King said the other details employers want to know about is when they can submit the I-129CW1 petitions for their foreign workers.

The lawyer said employers may submit the I-129CW1 petitions no earlier than 120 days before the date on which the prospective employer needs the beneficiary’s services; or if the petition is for the renewal of an existing permit, not earlier than 180 days before the expiration of such permit.

She said the Department of Homeland Security Secretary must publish in the Federal Register an interim final rule on how to implement a system for allocating and determining terms and conditions of the CW1 permits.

The bad news is, King pointed out, the DHS secretary has up to 180 days after the law is enacted to do this, and the secretary may delay the effective date of the law until the effective date of the interim final rule.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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