Contract worker program ending soon

Tourism and construction are clear casualties

Saipan—Expect a mad scramble for CW1 slots for the last two fiscal years of the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker Program as the federal government prepares to end the five-year extension of the Commonwealth-only visa.

After a delay, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced the reduction of the CW1 cap for FY 2018 by 3,000, bringing down the number from 12,998 for FY 2017 to 9,998 to the

current fiscal year. They also revealed the caps for FY 2019 and 2020 (until Dec. 31, 2019) to 4,999 and 2,499, respectively.

The CW1 program aims to zero out the number of personnel under the CW1 visa classification, while at the same time giving employers five years to transition their non-immigrant workers to other U.S.-eligible work visa categories.

The significant reduc