The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently announced a limit of 14,000 nonimmigrants for fiscal year (FY) 2014 for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) program.
The numerical limit applies only to CW-1 principals. It does not directly affect persons currently holding CW-2 status, which is for spouses and minor children of CW-1 nonimmigrants.
Approved petitions that request a work-start date in FY 2014 will count toward the 14,000 limit. Status of current CW-1 workers will not be affected unless their employer files for an extension of their current authorized period of stay or they seek to change CW-1 employer.
About CW-1 Program
The CW-1 program allows employers in the CNMI to apply for temporary permission to employ foreign nationals who are ineligible for any existing employment-based nonimmigrant category under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The CW classification provides a method for transition from the former CNMI foreign worker permit system to the U.S. immigration system. The CW program is in effect until December 31, 2014 and will end on that date unless extended by the U.S. Secretary of Labor.