U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reportedly accepted over 900 CW-1 extension petitions as of Sept. 9, 2019 according to Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP), covering a total of 1,485 workers.
In his weekly newsletter, Sablan said that USCIS reports that 911 CW-1 extension petitions have been received and accepted as of Sept. 9, 2019.
He added that USCIS also reported on the status of 9,923 CW-1 workers whose permits will expire this Sept. 30, though no clarification was provided.
“Employers can file an extension of stay application before the current CW-1 status expires to allow their CW-1 workers to continue working for up to 240 days or until the application is adjudicated, whichever is earlier,” Sablan noted as a reminder.
He further emphasized that USCIS will only accept the Aug. 1, 2018, version of the form I-129CW, adding that the agency will reject earlier versions of the form that are submitted.
“Employers should be sure to review the agency’s Form I-129CW webpage for the latest updates and information prior to filing their petitions,” he said.
There are 12,500 CW slots available for fiscal year 2020.
However, with the additional paperwork requiring employers to secure Temporary Labor Certifications from the U.S. Department of Labor, several employers are fearful that a large number of CW workers will have to leave the island because of delays in the issuance of the documents.
A recent Saipan Chamber of Commerce internal survey noted that a total of 332 CW-1 renewal applications are not expected to make it to the Sept. 30, 2019, deadline.
That would result in these employees having to exit the CNMI.