What is the I-385 Immigration Form and How to Properly Fill it Out?

In the realm of immigration processes, navigating through various forms and applications can be daunting. One such form, the I-385 Immigration Form, plays a significant role in certain immigration proceedings. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of Form I-385, understanding its purpose, eligibility criteria, and a comprehensive guide on how to properly fill it out.

Introduction to Form I-385

Form I-385, officially known as the “Application for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker,” is a crucial document for individuals seeking nonimmigrant status in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). It serves as a means for eligible individuals to apply for permission to reside and work temporarily in the CNMI under specific conditions.

Understanding the Purpose of Form I-385

The primary purpose of Form I-385 is to facilitate the application process for individuals intending to work in the CNMI under the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker (CW-1) program. This program allows foreign workers to fill temporary employment positions in the CNMI’s economy, addressing labor shortages and supporting the region’s economic growth.

Eligibility Criteria for Filing Form I-385

Before filling out Form I-385, it’s crucial to ensure eligibility for the CW-1 program. Eligible applicants must meet specific requirements, including:

  • Holding a valid job offer from an eligible CNMI employer.
  • Possessing the necessary qualifications and skills for the job.
  • Demonstrating compliance with CNMI immigration laws and regulations.

Gathering Required Documentation

To streamline the application process for Form I-385, applicants should gather essential documentation beforehand. Required documents may include:

  • Passport and other valid identification documents.
  • Employment contract or job offer letter from a CNMI employer.
  • Proof of qualifications and relevant experience.
  • Any additional supporting documents as specified by USCIS guidelines.
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Step-by-Step Guide to Filling Out Form I-385

Section 1: Personal Information

Begin by accurately providing personal details such as name, address, date of birth, and contact information.

Section 2: Reason for Filing

Specify the reason for filing Form I-385, indicating the intention to apply for CW-1 nonimmigrant status in the CNMI.

Section 3: Additional Information

Provide any additional information requested, ensuring completeness and accuracy to avoid delays in processing.

Section 4: Declaration of Applicant

Sign and date the declaration, affirming the truthfulness of the information provided in the application.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filling Out Form I-385

While completing Form I-385, applicants should be mindful of common errors that could lead to delays or denials. Some common mistakes include:

  • Providing inaccurate or incomplete information.
  • Failing to sign and date the application.
  • Neglecting to submit required supporting documentation.
  • Missing deadlines for submission.

Submitting Form I-385

Once the form is completed and all required documents are assembled, applicants can submit their application to the appropriate USCIS office.

Checking the Status of Your Application

After submitting Form I-385, applicants can monitor the status of their application online through the USCIS website using the provided receipt number.

Potential Delays and How to Handle Them

In some cases, applications for Form I-385 may encounter delays due to various factors. If faced with delays, applicants should promptly follow up with USCIS and provide any requested additional documentation or information to expedite the process.

Frequently Asked Questions about Form I-385

  1. What is the processing time for Form I-385?

    Processing times for Form I-385 may vary depending on USCIS workload and individual circumstances. Applicants can check current processing times on the USCIS website.

  2. Can I appeal a denial of my Form I-385 application?

    Yes, applicants have the right to appeal a denial of their Form I-385 application within the specified timeframe. Consult with an immigration attorney for guidance on the appeals process.

  3. Is there a fee for filing Form I-385?

    Yes, applicants are required to pay a filing fee for Form I-385. The current fee amount can be found on the USCIS website.

  4. Can I travel outside the CNMI while my Form I-385 application is pending?

    Travel restrictions may apply while Form I-385 application is pending. It’s advisable to consult with USCIS or an immigration attorney before making any travel arrangements.

  5. Is Form I-385 renewable?

    Yes, Form I-385 status may be renewable under certain conditions. Consult with USCIS or an immigration attorney for guidance on renewal procedures.


Navigating the immigration process can be complex, but understanding the nuances of essential forms like Form I-385 is crucial for a successful application. By following the guidelines outlined in this article and seeking appropriate legal counsel when needed, applicants can navigate the application process with confidence.







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