USCIS* seems to be plodding away at regulations to begin the transition to U.S. immigration control in the CNMI as (re)scheduled beginning Nov. 28, 2009.
According to Immigration Daily, USCIS will publish proposed rules for nonimmigrant investors in the Sept. 14, 2009 Federal Register. The questions and answers on their website (It's a PDF) certainly look like an official document. I roamed about the USCIS site for a bit, but couldn't find it. That doesn't mean much; it's 1:00 a.m. and I gave up easily.
Expect some howling. Evidently the "E-2 CNMI nonimmigrant Investor" category will grandfather "eligible long-term foreign investors" who have that status before Nov. 28. They get two years initially, renewable until Dec. 31, 2014. After that they have to find another status under U.S. Immigration law.
As proposed, the E-2 visa is CNMI-only; travel elsewhere in the United States would have to be under another status. And... anybody with this status who leaves the Commonwealth would have to get an E-2 visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before re-entering.
The document estimates about 500 long-term investors would be affected. In a recent story the Marianas Variety reported "514 long-term business permit holders and 92 foreign investment certificate holders". As proposed, retiree investors and "Short- and Regular-Term Business Entry Permit" holders would not be eligible.
They're coming, aren't they?
This whole transition to federal control has had a somewhat surreal quality, like a community theater production of Waiting for Godot under the palms. Endless debates about What It All Means while the main character never appears onstage.
Washington Delegate Gregorio C. Sablan got so frustrated that he's suggesting yet another delay because nothing seems to be happening. This is something, I suppose, though it seems like short notice. Comments can be made until October 14, 2009.
Oh, note the date on the PDF: 9/11
* (That's "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services")
Duly chastised, I blog. I used to write letters infrequently, and when I did they were multi-page productions because I had so much *stuff* backed up. Similar situation, this.