U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on October 18, 2022, that it will consider certain CW-1 petitions seeking an extension of status for temporary workers present in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to be filed on time, even if USCIS receives them after the worker’s current period of CW-1 petition validity expires.

USCIS said it is providing this limited accommodation to address current temporary labor certification (TLC) processing delays at the Department of Labor (DOL). USCIS is exercising its discretionary authority to excuse late filings of CW-1 petitions (petitions USCIS receives after the current CW-1 status expires) by employers in the CNMI, only if:

  • The TLC application was filed with DOL at least 60 days before the requested start date;
  • The petition is otherwise properly filed and includes an approved TLC; and
  • USCIS receives the petition no later than 30 days after the date of TLC approval, or by November 15, 2022, whichever is earlier.

If an employer files an extension petition meeting these requirements, the CW-1 worker may continue employment with the same employer for up to 240 days beginning on the expiration of the authorized period of stay, pending adjudication of the petition (or, in the case of a non-frivolous petition for extension of stay with change of employer, until USCIS adjudicates the petition).

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