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Administration drastically reduces transitional worker visa allotments for Northern Mariana Islands for FY 2017-2019

  1. Date Announced

    Nov. 22, 2017

    CNMI-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) visas allow employers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to apply for permission to employ foreign (nonimmigrant) workers who are otherwise ineligible to work under other nonimmigrant worker categories. The statute creating this transition program requires annual reductions in the numerical cap. In some years, the Obama Administration had reduced the cap by just one. In this regulatory action, the Trump Administration announced larger reductions. The new caps are 9,998 for FY 2018; 4,999 for FY 2019; and 2,499 until Dec. 2019 when the program expires. [ID #490]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    Oct. 1, 2017
  3. Subsequent Action

    In 2018 Congress passed and President Trump signed the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018, extending the CW-1 program through Dec. 31, 2029, and increasing the CW-1 cap for FY 2019 from 4,999 to 13,000. In April 2019, DOL published an interim final rule implementing provisions of the Act.

    Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018
Status: Final/Actual
Type of Action: Agency Directive
Agencies Affected: USCIS

Prior Policies

  • The cap for FY 2017 had been 12,998, and for FY 2016 it was 12,999.

    Cap for FY17

Subsequent Action

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