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

An employer uses this form to petition for a noncitizen employee 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.

What This Form Can Help You Do

Forms and Document Downloads

Form Details

Edition Date

09/03/21. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.

Dates are listed in mm/dd/yy format.

Where to File

U.S. Postal Service (USPS):

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

FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:

California Service Center
24000 Avila Rd.
2nd Floor, Rm. 2312
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

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

See the filing instructions for more information.

Filing Tips: Go to our Form Filing Tips page for information on how to help ensure we will accept your form.

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; and
  • $50 Fraud Prevention and Detection 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.

When you send a payment, you agree to pay for a government service. Filing and biometric service fees are final and non-refundable, regardless of any action we take on your application, petition, or request, or if you withdraw your request.

Checklist of Required Initial Evidence (for informational purposes only)

Please do not submit this checklist with your Form I-129CW. It is an optional tool to use as you prepare your form, but does not replace statutory, regulatory, and form instruction requirements. We recommend that you review these requirements before completing and submitting your form. Do not send original documents unless specifically requested in the form instructions or applicable regulations.

If you submit any documents (copies or original documents, if requested) in a foreign language, you must include a full English translation along with a certification from the translator verifying that the translation is complete and accurate, and that they are competent to translate from the foreign language to English.

Did you provide the following?

  • A complete CW Classification Supplement to Form I-129CW per beneficiary/employee with the required attestation and evidence that supports the elements in the attestation (to the extent available);
  • A single, valid temporary labor certification approved by the U.S. Department of Labor;
  • Evidence demonstrating you meet the definition of an employer;
  • Evidence showing that each beneficiary meets the minimum job requirements stated in the temporary labor certification at the time the certification application was filed (if applicable);
  • A copy of the commonwealth or local license for each beneficiary/employee to fully perform or practice the duties of the occupation (if required);
  • Evidence you have posted a job vacancy announcement for the position on the CNMI Department of Labor website;
  • A copy of each beneficiary/employee’s Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, if seeking change of status or extension of stay;
  • A copy of the worker’s last two pay stubs and most recent W-2, if applicable, if seeking a change of status or extension of stay;
  • If requesting long-term CW-1 workers, evidence each beneficiary was admitted as a CW-1 during fiscal year 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014 - Sept. 30, 2015), and during every subsequent fiscal year through fiscal year 2018;
  • Evidence each beneficiary/employee maintained status if seeking change of status or extension of stay;
  • Evidence each beneficiary/employee remains admissible if seeking extension of stay; and
  • Evidence each beneficiary/employee remains eligible for CW-1 classification, if seeking extension of stay.
Special Instructions

Semiannual Report Requirement for CW-1 Employers

All employers who petitioned for the CW-1 worker, and whose petition has been approved for a validity period of six months or more, must file a Form I-129CWR, Semiannual Report for CW-1 Employers, to certify the continued employment and payment of each worker under the terms and conditions of the approved petition. For more information, please see our I-129CWR, Semiannual Report for CW-1 Employers page.  

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 or 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. We will not make duplicate copies.

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 noncitizen employee with an approved Form I-129CW petition is admitted to the CNMI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection grants the employee a period of stay documented on their Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, 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 their 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 noncitizen employee using Form I-129CW;
  • An application for some other immigration benefit that would allow the noncitizen employee to remain in the CNMI must be filed; or
  • The noncitizen employee must depart from the CNMI.

If the noncitizen employee’s stay is limited as described above, any dependent family members who accompanied or followed to join the 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
  • Leave the CNMI before the expiration date on their Form I-94 or the date noted in their passport or travel document.

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

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