Mark A Ivener, A Law Corporation

DHS Announces VWP for Guam-Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an interim final rule that replaces the current Guam Visa Waiver Program (VWP) with a new Visa Waiver Program for Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), to be implemented June 1, 2009. The rule also authorizes the department’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to establish as many as six new ports of entry in the region to administer and enforce the Guam-CNMI VWP and to allow for immigration inspections.

The revised Guam-CNMI VWP allows visa-free entry for nonimmigrant visitors from eligible countries to Guam and the CNMI for business or leisure travel, and extends visiting time from 15 to 45 days. The current Guam VWP and CNMI immigration laws will continue to apply until June 1, 2009.

Travelers seeking admission to Guam under the new program must possess a valid, unexpired machine-readable passport and present valid and completed CBP Forms I-94 and I-736, and must not have previously violated the terms of any admission to the U.S.

According to the interim final rule, current members of the Guam-CNMI VWP include Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Vanuatu, and Western Samoa.

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Mark A. Ivener, A Law Corporation, a nationally recognized law firm, has successfully assisted hundreds of clients in immigration matters.