Delayed receipt notices for CW-1 petitions
WASHINGTON—On May 26, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it had received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the maximum possible numerical limit (the “cap”) of workers who may be issued CNMI-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) visas or otherwise provided with CW-1 status for fiscal year 2018.
The CW-1 visa classification allows employers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to apply for temporary permission to employ foreign (nonimmigrant) workers who are otherwise ineligible to work under other nonimmigrant worker categories.
Although the fiscal year 2018 cap has not yet been set, it is required by statute to be less than the 12,998 workers set for fiscal year 2017.
Because the fiscal year 2018 cap has not been set yet, it is possible that USCIS will not accept all of the petitions received on or before May 25, 2017. If a petition was accepted for processing, the petitioner should have received a receipt notice.
Once a final cap determination has been made, the remainder of these petitions will either be issued a receipt notice or rejected.
If USCIS rejects the petition, the petition and filing fee will be returned to the petitioner.
USCIS is currently holding petitions received after April 10, but on or before May 25, 2017, until the fiscal year 2018 cap is set. It is the current intent of USCIS to neither reject, nor accept, such petitions until the fiscal year 2018 cap is set.
USCIS will issue subsequent guidance once the fiscal year 2018 cap is set and when it is able to announce the final receipt date. (USCIS)