New biometrics ACS office opening in Saipan in March 2009

A new Application Support Center (ASC) is scheduled to start operations March 2, 2009 in Garapan, Saipan in the Common Wealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), according to a USCIS press release.

The new center will allow the people to provide their fingerprints and other biometrics without having to travel to Guam or the United States.

In addition to the traditional function of fingerprinting services, people will be able to make appointments through the USCIS website (www.uscis.gov) to see an Information Officer at the ASC for general immigration questions.

The customer service line (800) 375- 5283 is also now accessible toll-free from the Commonwealth.

In CNMI, U.S. immigration law currently only applies to immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens. Come June 1, 2009, when the transition period is scheduled to being, U.S. immigration law in general will be applied to the CNMI, according to USCIS.

On May 8, 2008, President Bush signed into law Public Law 110-229, the Consolidated Natural Resources Act (CNRA) of 2008.  Title VII of this law amended P.L. 94-241, the Act approving the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States.  Title VII extends certain provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to the CNMI for the first time in history, according to USCIS.

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