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USCIS Extends Transitional Parole for CNMI Long-Term Resident Status Applicants

December 31, 2020

USCIS announced today that it will automatically extend parole, and employment authorization, if applicable, for parolees who timely applied for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) long-term resident status.

This specific extension of parole applies only to current parolees who timely filed Form I-955, Application for CNMI Long-Term Resident Status, and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and whose applications remain pending on Dec. 31, 2020. USCIS will automatically extend their parole (and employment authorization, if applicable) without interruption through June 30, 2021, or the date that USCIS makes a final decision on the parolee’s Form I955 and Form I-765, whichever is earlier.

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. USCIS has previously extended this parole twice, once on June 17, and then again on Aug. 11.

For eligible parolees whose timely filed Form I-955 and Form I-765 remain pending on Dec. 31, and who have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), if applicable, expiring on or before Dec. 31, the following documentation will serve as evidence of identity and work authorization for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, purposes until June 30, 2021, (or the date that USCIS makes a final decision on their long-term resident status application, whichever is earlier):

  • A copy of this web alert;
  • Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document, bearing category code “C-11” with an expiration date on or before June 29, 2020; and
  • Evidence that the alien filed Form I-955 and Form I-765 on or before Aug. 17, 2020. This may be a copy of Form I-797C, Notice of Action, reflecting that the parolee has filed Form I765 requesting the classification (“class”) code of (c)(37), or if unavailable, a copy of the alien’s Form I-955 and Form I-765 with a mail receipt.

Eligible aliens had 180 days, until Aug. 17, 2020, to apply for CNMI long-term resident status. USCIS announced the Aug. 17 deadline when it opened the application period on Feb. 19, 2020. If USCIS denies a parolee’s Form I-955 and Form I-765, their parole status (and employment authorization, if applicable) will end and they must depart the CNMI.