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

Purpose of Form

This form is used by an employer 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 6.

Edition Date

12/23/16. No previous editions accepted. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the Form and Instructions.

Where to File

See filing instructions. 

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

Complete all sections of the form.

Sign the form in Part 6, Signature of Petitioner. The fillable version of Form I-129CW now includes a “Don’t forget to sign!” message and an arrow pointing to the signature box as a reminder for when you print the completed form for mailing. If there is no signature in Part 6, USCIS will reject the form and return it for correction and re-filing.

Filing Fee

$460 (base filing fee), effective 12 a.m. Eastern U.S. time, December 23, 2016.

Additionally, employers filing CW-1 petitions must submit a $150 CNMI education funding fee per beneficiary, per year. (Public Law 110-229)

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

Mailing Instructions:

When completing Form I-129CW, please list your CNMI Post Office Box when asked for a street or physical address. All filings for employment or services in the CNMI, regardless of classification, are filed with the California Service Center at: P.O. Box 10698, Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1098. All courier or express deliveries should be forwarded to 24000 Avila Road, 2nd Floor, Room 2312, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677.

Duplicate Copies:

A visa from the U.S. Department of State may be needed if the beneficiary is found ineligible for a grant of status, a change of status or an extension of stay or if the beneficiary travels 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 approval notice) 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 the family member to remain in the CNMI; or
  • Depart the CNMI, before the expiration date on the family member’s Form I-94 or the date noted in the family member’s passport or travel document.

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

Last Reviewed/Updated:

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION