Grace for CNMI permit applicants

3:31 pm on 14 January 2016

The United States has agreed to give a grace period to some foreigners in the Northern Marianas seeking to get new work permits.

Homeland Security has ruled that those who applied for a new permit before the old one expired and who are still awaiting approval can stay for another 240 days.

Saipan, CNMI

Saipan in the CNMI Photo: Supplied

Almost 3,000 foreigners found themselves with expired permits on New Year's Day after the authorities failed to process them before the December the 31st expiration deadline.

This caused the closing down or cutting of operational hours of CNMI businesses, such as restaurants, hotels, wholesalers and automobile service shops.

The CNMI, with a population of 54,000, has more than 12,000 foreigners in its workforce.