Local labor office collects data on CW non-renewals


The CNMI Department of Labor is requesting the assistance of businesses to report data on recent CW-1 visa non-renewals. 

Labor Secretary Vicky Benavente said that data on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services non-renewals that have been misclassified or put into general occupational categories, including mitigation efforts, is currently being compiled.

“The focus is on getting information from the businesses who have received denials for their CW permit applications. We would like the information to get to DOL via telephone or email, at the earliest time. We are compiling the data to demonstrate the impact of the CW permit denials, in terms of how the business revenue is affected, what the businesses are doing to mitigate the loss of their CW employees, and any other information having to do with the CW program,” Benavente said.

With the recent passing of H.R. 339, or the Northern Mariana Islands Economic Expansion Act, Benavente said that CW-1 visas will generally no longer be available to workers who will be performing jobs classified as construction and extraction occupations in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Standard Occupational Classification system.

According to USCIS, the CNMI Department of Labor will generally identify the SOC group on the required job vacancy announcement. While USCIS will consider the job classification identified on the JVA, USCIS is not bound by this determination and may make a separate and independent judgment based on a preponderance of the evidence in each case.

Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres said that data collected will help evaluate the mitigation of private sector workforce and better address petitions that have been misclassified on a case-by-case basis.

“I encourage the private sector to compile their CW workforce data as it relates to USCIS permit non-renewals. This data will serve to illustrate the further impact of the drop in workforce, as well as the issues with the permitting process,” Torres said.

For more information call 664-3190, 322-0996, 322-9935 or email Elaine Rosario at elainerosario.dol@gmail.com. (PR)

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