SAIPAN, 20 FEBRUARY 2020 (USCIS/MARIANAS VARIETY) — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Thursday announced that the application period for those seeking the new Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands long-term resident status will open on 19 February, 2020.
Eligible aliens will have 180 days to apply for the new status, which was created by the Northern Mariana Islands Long-Term Legal Residents Relief Act (48 U.S.C. 1806(e)(6)), signed by President Trump on 25 June, 2019.
CNMI long-term resident status is not the same thing as lawful permanent residence and does not lead to lawful permanent resident status.
To be eligible for the CNMI long-term resident status, an alien must fall into one or more of the following categories:
- Certain “stateless” individuals: Foreign nationals born in the CNMI between 01 January, 1974, and 09 January, 1978.
- Immediate relatives of qualifying “stateless” individuals: Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of foreign nationals born in the CNMI between 01 January, 1974, and 09 January, 1978.
- CNMI permanent residents under CNMI immigration law: Individuals who were permanent residents of the CNMI on 27 November 2009.
- Immediate relatives of qualifying CNMI permanent residents: Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of an individual who was a permanent resident of the CNMI on 27 November 2009.
- Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens: Individuals who, on 27 November, 2011, were either a spouse, child or parent of a U.S. citizen, and continue to have such family relationship with the citizen.
- In-home caregivers: Caregivers of critical medical or special needs individuals in the CNMI who on Dec. 31, 2018, had a grant of parole under the former USCIS parole program for certain in-home caregivers.
Additionally, they must:
- Have been lawfully present in the CNMI on 31 December, 2018, or 25 June, 2019, under the immigration laws of the United States, including under a grant of parole under section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)) or deferred action;
- Be admissible as an immigrant to the United States under the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), except that no immigrant visa is required;
- Have resided continuously and lawfully in the CNMI from Nov. 28, 2009, through 25 June, 2019; and
- Not be a citizen of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia or the Republic of Palau….PACNEWS