USCIS announced today that it will automatically extend parole, and employment authorization if applicable, for certain aliens present in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). This specific extension of parole will apply only to current parolees whose parole status will expire on June 29, 2020. To ensure that all eligible aliens, including parolees, will have the full opportunity to apply for CNMI long-term resident status without interruption to their parole status, USCIS will automatically extend parole (and employment authorization, if applicable) for these aliens without interruption through Aug. 17, 2020.

The CNMI long-term resident status was created by the Northern Mariana Islands Long-Term Legal Residents Relief Act (Public Law 116-24), signed into law on June 25, 2019. The new law specifically gave the Department of Homeland Security the discretion to authorize parole, with work authorization, for these aliens during the time period needed to implement the new law.

On Feb. 19, USCIS https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-opens-application-period-new-status-long-term-residents-cnmi">announced the procedures to apply for CNMI long-term resident status. The 180-day application period for this status will end on Aug. 17.

For parolees with an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) expiring on or before June 29, 2020, the following documentation will serve as evidence of identity and work authorization for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, purposes until Aug. 17:

  • A copy of this web alert; and
  • Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document, bearing category code “C-11” with an expiration date on or before June 29, 2020.

The purpose of this temporary extension of parole and employment authorization is to encourage all eligible parolees to apply for CNMI long-term resident status within the application period. For parolees who file https://www.uscis.gov/i-955">Form I-955, Application for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Long-Term Resident Status, and https://www.uscis.gov/i-765">Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, by Aug. 17, USCIS will separately announce additional relief while their applications for CNMI long-term resident status remain pending.

If a parolee does not file Form I-955 and Form I-765 by Aug. 17, their parole status (and employment authorization, if applicable) will end, and they should depart the CNMI or seek another lawful status before Aug. 17.