– Extends the transition period by 10 years, from 2019 to 2029.
– Resets the expiration of the CW program, E-2C visas for foreign investors, and the bar on asylum.
– Increases the CW cap for fiscal year 2019 to 13,000, with yearly cuts of 500 slots per fiscal year starting in 2020.
– CW workers will be entitled to pay that is higher than the CNMI minimum wage, the federal minimum, the prevailing wage in the Marianas for the job, or the actual wage paid to others in the same job.
– Department of Homeland Security would be provided the authority to revoke a CW permit if it is not used or if the employer violates the terms of employment.
– CW workers may be allowed to move to other employers without having to count against the annual cap.
– A new CW visa form, the CW-3, may be applied for employees who have been working as a CW-1 since 2014.
-CW-3 visas will be renewed three years but holders will be required to exit the CNMI for at least 30 days in between renewals and within the 180-day renewal period.
Saipan Tribune/Erwin Encinares