USCIS Will Begin Accepting CW-1 Petitions for Fiscal Year 2019 on April 2, 2018

On April 2, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting petitions under the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) program subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2019 cap. Employers in the CNMI use the CW-1 program to employ foreign workers who are ineligible for other nonimmigrant worker categories. The cap for CW-1 visas for FY 2019 is 4,999.

For the FY 2019 cap, USCIS encourages employers to file a petition for a CW-1 nonimmigrant worker up to six months in advance of the proposed start date of employment and as early as possible within that timeframe. USCIS will reject a petition if it is filed more than six months in advance. An extension petition may request a start date of Oct. 1, 2018, even if that worker’s current status will not expire by that date.

Since USCIS expects to receive more petitions than the number of CW-1 visas available for FY 2019, USCIS may conduct a lottery to randomly select petitions and associated beneficiaries so that the cap is not exceeded. The lottery would give employers the fairest opportunity to request workers, particularly with the possibility of mail delays from the CNMI.

USCIS will count the total number of beneficiaries in the petitions received after 10 business days to determine if a lottery is needed. If the cap is met after those initial 10 days, a lottery may still need to be conducted with only the petitions received on the last day before the cap was met. USCIS will announce when the cap is met and whether a lottery has been conducted.

Employers must submit the most recent version of Form I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker, along with:

  • The $200 mandatory CNMI education funding fee; and
  • The $460 filing fee for each CW-1 petition.

USCIS will reject any petition that includes an incorrect or insufficient fee payment. 

For more information on the CW-1 cap, visit the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) Cap page.

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USA U-Visa System Requires a Lot of Changes to Lower Crime Rate

Every year, the US government has 10,000 visas as a part of its criminal reforms. The visa is for immigrants that report crime and want to cooperate with law enforcement. Recently, Trump expressed his views about deporting immigrant criminals. But instead of that, the government should take off the cap from U visa.

The U visa is given to immigrants who come forward when they realize a crime against the constitution has taken place. Many illegal immigrants are living in the US and reporting a crime can get them permanent residency. This initiative was started by Congress in 2000 as a part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act to encourage illegal immigrants to report crime and cooperate with the law. In return, a four-year U Visa issued to them. But it didn’t work out as planned by the Congress because these illegal immigrants feared they would be deported instead of getting the visa.

But getting the visa isn’t as easy as it sounds. To be eligible for the visa, the immigrant must have support from prosecutor, judge, or police to certify their helpfulness in investigation and prosecution of the crime. If the law enforcement doesn’t think the immigrant was helpful, they won’t receive the certificate of cooperation. At the same time, the immigrant needs to prove that they were a victim of some serious crime and suffered from mental or physical damage. The U visa system requires a lot of improvement. As of 2017, 110,511 cases are still waiting for a verdict.

Removing the cap

Gail Pendleton, ASISTA, feels that there’s no need to limit the number of U visas issued every year. When immigrant victims hear that there are only 10,000 visas allocated yearly, they don’t come forward. Removing the cap is the only solution to helping them because most of the times, they are the sole providers for their US citizen children.

State Bar warns immigrants to watch out for fraudulent legal help

"Everyone in California deserves access to legal services. The recent federal immigration actions in California, uncertainty for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, and the ongoing concerns faced by our immigrant communities increases the potential that unscrupulous people will seek to take advantage of those in the most dire need of legal help,” said Steven Moawad, chief trial counsel of the State Bar of California. “We want to be sure that all Californians know how to access the legal services they need and how to avoid and report fraud."





TPS under Syria's designation must re-register between March 5 and May 4, 2018

Work permits expiring March 31 are automatically extended through Sept. 27

WASHINGTON—Current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Syria’s designation who want to maintain their status through Sept. 30, 2019, must re-register between March 5, and May 4, 2018. Re-registration procedures, including how to renew employment authorization documentation, have been published in the Federal Registerand on the USCIS website.

All applicants must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Applicants may also request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by submitting a completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, when they file Form I-821, or separately at a later date. Both forms are free on USCIS’ website at

USCIS will issue new EADs with a Sept. 30, 2019, expiration date to eligible Syrian TPS beneficiaries who timely re-register and apply for EADs. However, given the timeframes involved with processing TPS re-registration applications, USCIS is automatically extending the validity of EADs with an expiration date of March 31 for 180 days, through Sept. 27.

To be eligible for TPS under Syria’s current designation, individuals must have continuously resided in the United States since Aug. 1, 2016, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since Oct. 1, 2016, along with meeting the other eligibility requirements.

On Jan. 31, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced her determination that the conditions supporting Syria’s TPS designation continue. The secretary made her decision after reviewing country conditions and consulting with appropriate U.S. government agencies. Before the 18-month extension ends, the secretary will review conditions in Syria to determine whether its TPS designation should be extended again or terminated.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), and Facebook (/uscis).

Working In the US

Many people want to come to the United States to work. To work in the United States, you must have one of the following:

Each of the documents listed above has different application requirements. To apply for one of the documents above, you must meet different requirements. If your application is approved, the conditions you must meet and how long you can work in the United States will depend on whether you receive a Green Card, work permit, or visa. It is important that you adhere to all the conditions of your particular work authorization. If you violate any of the conditions, you could be removed from or denied reentry into the United States.

Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Worker

A temporary worker is an individual seeking to enter the United States temporarily for a specific purpose. Nonimmigrants enter the United States for a temporary period of time, and once in the United States, are restricted to the activity or reason for which their nonimmigrant visa was issued.

Permanent (Immigrant) Worker

A permanent worker is an individual who is authorized to live and work permanently in the United States.

Students and Exchange Visitors

Students and exchange visitors may, under certain circumstances, be allowed to work in the United States. They must obtain permission from an authorized official at their school. The authorized official is known as a Designed School Official (DSO) for students and the Responsible Officer (RO) for exchange visitors.

Temporary Visitors For Business

To visit the United States for business purposes you will need to obtain a visa as a temporary visitor for business (B-1 visa), unless you qualify for admission without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. For more information on the topics above, select the category related to your situation to the left.

Information for Employers & Employees

Employers must verify that an individual whom they plan to employ or continue to employ in the United States is authorized to accept employment in the United States. Individuals, such as those who have been admitted as permanent residents, granted asylum or refugee status, or admitted in work-related nonimmigrant classifications, may have employment authorization as a direct result of their immigration status. Other aliens may need to apply individually for employment authorization.

    No mothers, no Muslims: The new US immigration system

    The consequence for current US citizens who have family members (parents and siblings) whom they would like to sponsor for an immigrant visa are grave. If the White House proposal is followed, they will no longer be able to do so for anyone except spouses and children under 18. It is imperative, therefore, that those US citizens and legal permanent residents (green card holders) who are intending to file immigrant petitions for parents and siblings do so immediately. Forms filed prior to the passage of any reform bill (even a day before) will be evaluated and processed under the old rules. The required forms are all available on the website for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and can be filed without the assistance of a lawyer. An incompletely filed petition is better than none at all. 

    USCIS to Take Action to Address Asylum Backlog


    USCIS to Take Action to Address Asylum Backlog

    Versión en español

    Release Date: Jan. 31, 2018

    Agency Will Focus on Processing Recently Filed Applications

    WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the agency will schedule asylum interviews for recent applications ahead of older filings, in an attempt to stem the growth of the agency’s asylum backlog.

    USCIS is responsible for overseeing the nation’s legal immigration system, which includes adjudicating asylum claims. The agency currently faces a crisis-level backlog of 311,000 pending asylum cases as of Jan. 21, 2018, making the asylum system increasingly vulnerable to fraud and abuse. This backlog has grown by more than 1750 percent over the last five years, and the rate of new asylum applications has more than tripled.

    To address this problem, USCIS will follow these priorities when scheduling affirmative asylum interviews:

    1. Applications that were scheduled for an interview, but the interview had to be rescheduled at the applicant’s request or the needs of USCIS;
    2. Applications pending 21 days or less since filing; and
    3. All other pending applications, starting with newer filings and working back toward older filings.

    Additionally, the Affirmative Asylum Bulletin issued by USCIS has been discontinued.

    “Delays in the timely processing of asylum applications are detrimental to legitimate asylum seekers,” said USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna. “Lingering backlogs can be exploited and used to undermine national security and the integrity of the asylum system.”

    This priority approach, first established by the asylum reforms of 1995 and used for 20 years until 2014, seeks to deter those who might try to use the existing backlog as a means to obtain employment authorization. Returning to a “last in, first out” interview schedule will allow USCIS to identify frivolous, fraudulent or otherwise non-meritorious asylum claims earlier and place those individuals into removal proceedings.

    For details on how we will schedule interviews, go to our Affirmative Asylum Interview Scheduling page.

    For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis), and Facebook (/uscis).

    - USCIS -

      Last Reviewed/Updated: 02/02/2018

      Know Your Rights When It Comes To Your Immigration Court Case

      You have the right to legal help with your immigration case. A lawyer can help you understand the law and your options so that you can make the best decision for yourself and your family. Beware of notarios or immigration “consultants”—they cannot provide legal advice or represent you in immigration court.