Individuals Waiting for a Decision on a Nonimmigrant Employment-Based Petition
Foreign workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) may apply for parole and an employment authorization document (EAD) to remain in the CNMI and continue working while awaiting a decision on their employer’s Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129 requesting a grant of status for them in the CNMI.
Parole and work authorization must be current for you to remain legally in the CNMI and continue working while awaiting a decision on your Form I-129 (such as an H-1B). Without parole and work authorization, a foreign worker is unable to work and must leave the CNMI and wait for a decision outside the United States.
Who is Eligible?
Workers whose employers are filing a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, requesting a grant of status in the CNMI can apply for parole and an employment authorization document (EAD). This includes the following groups whose nonimmigrant employment-based petitions are filed before November 28, 2011:
- H-1B Specialty Occupations
- E-1 Treaty Traders
- E-2 Investors
- L-1 Intra-Company Transferees
- R Religious Workers
To eligible for continuing employment, a foreign worker must:
- Be legally present in the CNMI
- Have been working prior to November 28, 2011 with a valid permit, and
- Have an employer who files an I-129 for him/her prior to November 28, 2011
This option is not available for:
- Foreign workers who intend to obtain a visa abroad based upon an approved petition
- Russian and Chinese visitors who have been paroled into the United States solely as tourists
Prepare the Following Items
You, as the worker, must submit the following information to request parole and an EAD:
- A letter or affidavit signed by you and your employer requesting parole. Include your complete P.O. Box mailing address and telephone number
- A copy of a valid identity document, such as your passport biographic page (with photo, date of birth and expiration date)
- A copy of your Arrival-Departure Record, I-94, front and back (if you have one)
- A copy of your umbrella permit or other document evidencing your lawful presence and work authorization (if you have one)
- A letter from your employer verifying his or her intention to continue your employment, indicating the U.S. immigration law category for which he/she intends to file the Form I-129 on your behalf on or before Nov. 28, 2011, or a copy of the filed I-129 if available
- Completed Application for Employment Authorization, Form I-765
- Check for $380 made out to the Department of Homeland Security or a Request for Fee Waiver, Form I-912
Seal all these items in one envelope with the following information written on the front:
- Your name, P.O. Box and telephone number
- “I-129 Parole, EAD and Waiver Request”
We recommend that you keep a copy of all documents for yourself.
There is no filing fee to obtain parole in this situation. There is a $380 filing fee for the Request for Employment Authorization, Form I-765. Either you or the employer may pay this fee.
You may submit a Request for Fee Waiver, Form I-912, along with your I-765 request if you are unable to pay the filing fee.
How to Submit a Parole and Work Authorization Request
Please see the table below for instructions on how to submit your request.
|If you are in Saipan||If you are in Rota or Tinian|
|You can drop off your request for parole, EAD and fee waiver at the USCIS Office in Saipan. These requests will be accepted only on a drop-off basis. When you drop off your request at the USCIS Office, no one will be available to answer questions about it unless you have an InfoPass appointment.||
You must mail your request to:
When to Submit
You need to submit your package as soon as possible. We strongly suggest that the package be sent by October 14, 2011. USCIS is committed to processing them requests as quickly as possible, and has made arrangements to input the applications in Guam and process as a special group at our National Benefits Center in order to address the unique situation in the CNMI.
Parole and Work Authorization Validity
USCIS will grant parole and EADs in these instances for a period of 120 days.
When You Can Start Working
You can continue to work under your current umbrella or other work permit until November 27, 2011 (or the expiration date of that authorization, if earlier). Once you have been issued parole and your EAD is granted, you may continue to work in your current position until a decision is made on your petition.
You may only work for the employer filing the Form I-129 on your behalf, until that petition is adjudicated by USCIS.
If you are a worker eligible for parole under this guidance, you may also request parole for your spouse and dependent children (under the age of 21) who are lawfully present in the CNMI. You must submit the following information regarding any family member requesting parole along with you:
- A letter or affidavit signed by the family member requesting parole, or signed by you if the family member is a child under 18
- A copy of a valid identity document, such as a passport biographic page (with photo, date of birth and expiration date)
- A copy of any Form I-94 (front and back), umbrella permit, and/or other document showing current lawful presence in the CNMI.
This parole will allow your family member to remain with the worker lawfully in the CNMI after Nov. 27, 2011, but does not authorize employment. Work authorization will not be granted to paroled family members. If you and your spouse are both eligible for parole and work authorization as workers under this guidance, you should file separate requests as such.
You may not travel to any other part of the United States. If you need to travel, you should provide necessary details when requesting your parole, and USCIS will consider whether to authorize this travel as part of your parole.
On Oct. 5, 2011, USCIS announced that parole will be made available for individuals waiting for a decision on a nonimmigrant employment-based petition. The decision to provide parole for this particular group came in response to input received from the public during USCIS outreach sessions from September 20-30. Employers and workers were concerned that businesses would have to close if the benefiting employees had to leave the CNMI to await decisions on their employer’s I-129 petitions. There was particular concern about a negative impact on schools and hospitals. USCIS made this decision based on the importance of supporting movement into regular employment-based nonimmigrant categories under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). All USCIS parole decisions are made on a case by case basis based on urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.