CW-1 Employers: 8 New and Important Rules

By: Salma Benkabbou, Esq.

The Millennial Business Lawyer®

CW-1 Employers

New visa requirements have been announced for CW-1 employers in an effort to protect American workers from displacement or disadvantages against non-U.S. workers. 

While the U.S. allows thousands of foreign employees to work in America every year, all foreign workers must have the permission to work legally in the United States and in the CNMI, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).  

Many temporary workers of CNMI, however, do not qualify under traditional temporary worker categories under the Immigration and Nationality Act. These individuals are then eligible for the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker classification, or the CW Visa.  

Here at the Benkabbou Law Firm, we prioritize keeping our clients informed of business immigration law changes that may affect our clients. We have compiled a list of the changed requirements for you:  


The IFR requires new steps for CW-1 employers when hiring:  

  • Employers must enroll in the federal government’s online employment verification system, E-Verify, for all of their hiring sites in the CNMI;   
  • They must also be in good standing within the E-Verify program; 
  • CW-1 filings for FY 2020 must include an approved temporary labor certification (TLC) from the U.S. Department of Labor; 
  • CW-1 employers must file a semiannual report verifying the continued employment and payment of the CW-1 worker; 
  • USCIS is implementing this new statutory requirement through a new form, Form I-129CWR, Semiannual Report for CW-1 Employers.

Other updates in the IFR include:  

  • Establishing minimum wage requirements for CW-1 employers; 
  • Establishing procedures for revoking an employer’s CW-1 petition; 
  • Incorporating the definition of a legitimate business as set forth in the Workforce Act.  


Business immigration law allow companies to utilize people with the specialized skills, knowledge, and investment capital they need to thrive. However, navigating these laws and determining the appropriate course of action while protecting yourself against enforcement efforts can prove to be a daunting and complex task.

With so much on the line, it is important to have a sophisticated Tampa business immigration lawyer with expertise in this area of law on your side. At the Benkabbou Law Firm, PLLC, we provide you with legal counsel you can trust to guide you through these processes, offering a range of business immigration services to meet your every need. 

If you need help paying for a business immigration attorney, please read our blog post on Covering the Cost of Immigration Fees here.


Are you one of the many CW-1 employers that need help navigating these new changes? We can assist with filing the new forms required by the IFR.  

Or, if you are a business owner who would not like to follow the new guidelines, please connect with us so that we can help you file a petition before the deadline.  


The Benkabbou Law Firm, PLLC, is a boutique law firm located in Tampa, Florida. Our firm focuses on business law, immigration law, business immigration law, and intellectual property law. At our firm, we treat our clients like family and treat their interests and dreams as our own.  


At the Benkabbou Law Firm, PLLC, we value keeping our clients informed of all possible problems they may face. We provide proactive legal solutions to help our clients avoid the possibility of liability, which saves our clients money, time, and resources. In uncertain times like these, we are prioritizing the long-term interests of our clients and their livelihoods.  

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