Wolfsdorf Rosentahl LLP

USCIS Issues Q&A on Filing Instructions for E-2 CNMI Investors


The Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (CNRA) extends certain provisions of U.S. immigration law to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for the first time. The transition period for this change began on November 28, 2009. Under the CNRA, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is establishing an E-2 CNMI investor classification, to allow foreign nationals who were admitted as long-term investors under the CNMI immigration laws to remain in the CNMI through the transition period.

The E-2 CNMI investor rule has not been finalized, so USCIS is not yet accepting petitions. The program will be in effect only during the transition period, scheduled to expire on December 31, 2014. The E-2 CNMI investor classification and related visas will expire that day, although USCIS noted that the Department of Homeland Security may extend the transition period.

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