27 Jul 2012

$360 parole for Guam travel draws concern

2:15 pm on 27 July 2012

A 360 US dollar fee being charged to non-residents of the Northern Mariana Islands to travel to Guam is causing an uproar.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is charging the fee to non-CNMI immigrants who hold Transitional Worker permits, when they apply for parole to travel to Guam or the US mainland for humanitarian reasons.

Without the parole, they cannot enter.

At least three badminton players from Saipan have indicated they cannot compete in a tournament in Guam next month because of the costly application fee.

The president of the union, United Workers Movement, Rabby Syed, says it is absolutely unacceptable to ask people to pay 360 dollars for an application to travel to Guam.

He says the Citizenship and Immigration Services changed its policy without consulting those affected.