I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker

Purpose of Form

An employer uses this form to petition U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a foreign national who is ineligible for another employment-based nonimmigrant classification to work as a nonimmigrant in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) temporarily as a CW-1, CNMI-Only Transitional Worker.

Number of Pages

Form 11; instructions 10.

Edition Date

08/01/18.  Starting 10/01/2018, we will only accept the 08/01/18 edition. Until then, you can use the 05/09/18 edition. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

Where to File

Mailing Instructions

All filings for employment or services in the CNMI, regardless of classification, are filed with:

California Service Center
P.O. Box 10698
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1098

For courier or express deliveries:

California Service Center
24000 Avila Road
2nd Floor, Room 2312
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

When completing Form I-129CW, please list your CNMI Post Office Box when asked for a street or physical address.

See the filing instructions for further information.

Don’t forget to sign your form! We will reject any unsigned form.

Filing Fee

$460 (base filing fee).

Additionally, employers filing CW-1 petitions must submit a $200 CNMI education funding fee per beneficiary, per year.

UPDATE: Effective July 25, 2018, employers filing CW-1 petitions must submit a $50 fraud prevention and detection fee with each petition.

A biometric service fee of $85 per beneficiary is required if the beneficiary is present in the CNMI when filing for initial grant of CW-1 status.

Special Instructions

Duplicate Copies:

The beneficiary may need a visa from the U.S. Department of State if they are found ineligible for a grant of status, a change of status or an extension of stay, or if they travel outside the CNMI.

Please provide a duplicate copy of Form I-129CW and all supporting documentation at the time of filing. Additionally, please provide duplicate copies of all documents sent to USCIS in response to a Request for Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny. The duplicate copies will be sent to the U.S. Department of State. USCIS will not make a duplicate copy if one is not provided.

Please note: Failure to submit duplicate copies may cause a delay in the U.S. Department of State issuing a visa abroad, if one is needed.

Form I-94 Validity:

When a foreign national employee with an approved Form I-129CW petition is admitted to the CNMI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection grants the foreign national employee a period of stay documented on Form I-94 or as noted in the passport or travel document. 

If the expiration date on the granted Form I-94 ends before the end of Form I-129CW’s validity period (as shown on Form I-797, Notice of Action) one of the following must occur before the expiration date on Form I-94 or as noted in the passport or travel document:

  • A request for an extension of stay must be filed on behalf of the foreign national employee using Form I-129CW; or
  • An application for some other immigration benefit that would allow the foreign national employee to remain in the CNMI must be filed; or
  • The foreign national employee must depart from the CNMI.

If the foreign national employee’s stay is limited as described above, any dependent family members who accompanied or followed to join the foreign national employee must also:

  • Request an extension of stay using Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status;
  • Apply for some other immigration benefit that would allow them to remain in the CNMI; or
  • Depart the CNMI before the expiration date on their Form I-94 or the date noted in their passport or travel document.

Please note: Premium Processing Service is not available for Form I-129CW filings.

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