Employers in the Northern Mariana Islands are facing a delay in finding out whether they can keep their long-term non-resident workers.
Despite filing petitions for over 11,000 foreign workers before the November deadline, the federal government is yet to announce a decision.
The Unites States Citizenship and Immigration Services reported that from March the 20th there were 417 Contract Workers or CW petitions approved covering 591 beneficiaries.
The 591 with CW permits is only 5 percent of the 11,677 workers petitioned for CW status.
A Representative Tony Sablan, a former CNMI immigration director, says the current CW programme places all the businesses and employees at the mercy of the Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Since last year he has asked for an alternative CW permit processing that is easier and more convenient for employers and employees.