USCIS to Conduct Lottery for CNMI-Only Transitional Worker (CW1) Petitions Subject to FY-2019 Cap

Wendy Barlow's picture

On April 11, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received more petitions for visas under the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW1) program than the number of available CW1 visas for fiscal year 2019 [PDF version]. The CW1 cap for fiscal year 2019 is set at 4,999. Accordingly, the USCIS will conduct a CW1 lottery, as it stated it would do in the event that it received more CW1 petitions than there were available CW1 visas for the fiscal year [see blog].

During the CW1 lottery, the USCIS will randomly select CW1 petitions received between April 2, 2018 and April 13, 2018. The USCIS will reject any CW1 petitions received after April 13, 2018.

The CW1 program is a special nonimmigrant work visa program for individuals in the Northern Mariana Islands who are ineligible for other nonimmigrant work visa categories. The CW1 visa program is slated to expire on December 31, 2019 [see blog]. Individuals in the Northern Mariana Islands who are currently on CW1 status should begin preparing for the eventual termination of the CW1 program. Such CW1 workers may consult with an experienced immigration attorney for guidance on whether there may be other options under the U.S. immigration laws available to them once the CW1 program expires.

Picture: 
USCIS to Conduct Lottery for CNMI-Only Transitional Worker (CW1) Petitions Subject to FY-2019 Cap