Wednesday, November 05, 2008

CNMI drafts some new immigration regulations

By Ferdie de la Torre

The CNMI government has drafted some new immigration regulations for the Commonwealth, according to Immigration Director Melvin Grey.

Grey told Saipan Tribune that the proposed new immigration regulations are expected to be published any time for public comment.

“There are a number of things we've changed. Some are minor details and some are major,” he said.

Under the proposed regulations, the director said, they want to remove from Immigration the responsibility of inspecting school facilities where foreign workers want to study.

“We want to let the other authorities, the educational authorities, to say 'yeah this is an adequate classroom set up,'” Grey said.

Other regulations include the requirements for unaccompanied minors traveling to the Commonwealth.

“I had this as a policy for a little over a year now. And we cited it in the regulations to make it more formal. This is to protect the kids from any harm,” he said.

Under the current CNMI immigration rules, all visitor's entry permit applications for unaccompanied juveniles must have accompanying documents to explain why the juveniles are traveling without their parents.

A lot of documentations are also needed from the home government of the visitors to prove that it is fine for that child to travel.

Local labor and immigration laws still apply to the CNMI until June 2009. The transition program under the federalization law will take effect June 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2014.

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