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USCIS Issues Form I-9 Guidelines for Citizens of Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau

Contributed by YokweOnline on Dec 10, 2011 - 10:27 AM
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Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Palau are eligible to work in the United States indefinitely.

The United States Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new Form I-9 guidance for employers who hire individuals from the FSM, RMI, and Palau. The new page, posted November 29, 2011, clarifies work status and informs those citizens of FSM, RMI and Palau applying for employment of documents needed to establish identity and work authorization.


Marshallese Advised of New Streamlined Naturalization for Members of US Military

Contributed by YokweOnline on Mar 07, 2010 - 09:25 AM
Marshallese Advised of New Streamlined Naturalization for Members of US Military



Information of a newly published amendment in U.S. naturalization procedures could be useful to both Marshallese on active U.S. Armed Forces military duty and for Marshallese veterans, especially those interested in U.S. citizenship. Released January 19, 2010, by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the final rule serves to expedite and streamline the citizenship process for men and women serving in America's armed forces.


USCIS Issues New Fact Sheet for RMI and FSM Citizens

Contributed by YokweOnline on Feb 17, 2008 - 01:25 AM
USCIS Issues New Fact Sheet for RMI and FSM Citizens



The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new Fact Sheet on February 13, 2008, which addresses the immigration provisions of the Compact of Free Association Amendments Act of 2003, which affect citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The previous Fact Sheet was issued in February of 2005.



Information regarding admission, travel, residence, social security, employment authorization, and adoption is included. It can be presented to schools, as well as local, state and federal offices, should FAS citizens run into any problems with the questioning of their status in the U.S.

New Marshallese Language Test Will Certify State Court Interpreters

Contributed by YokweOnline on Jan 14, 2008 - 08:33 PM
New Marshallese Language Test Will Certify State Court Interpreters



Courts in the Hawaii and Arkansas are gearing up to certify Marshallese interpreters. The out-migration of thousands, from the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) to the U.S. over the past fifteen years, has put pressure on state legal and social agencies to provide translation services.



On January 12-13, the Hawaii Judiciary held Language-Specific Introduction to Court Interpreting Workshops. There are presently no certified Marshall interpreters on the court registry.

Legal Aid Eligibility for FAS Citizens in U.S. to be Reinstated

Contributed by YokweOnline on Aug 05, 2007 - 03:30 PM
Legal Aid Eligibility for FAS Citizens in U.S. to be Reinstated



Legal Services Corporation has proposed a rulemaking, published August 2, 2007 in the U.S. Federal Register, to restore eligibility to receive legal assistance from LSC-funded programs to all citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and Republic of Palau, who are residing in the United States.



RMI Senator Alik Alik, who is the Legal Aid official in the Marshall Islands, reported the good news for Marshallese and Micronesians, who are residing in U.S., following notification of the LSC Board vote on July 28, which expedited the rulemaking. Help from LSC-funded legal services providers for this population may be available as soon as October of this year.

Letter Issued to Assist Citizens of the Marshall Islands in Obtaining SSN

Contributed by YokweOnline on Sep 28, 2006 - 10:03 AM
Letter Issued to Assist Citizens of the Marshall Islands in Obtaining SSN



  • President's Office: US SS Card Clarified for Marshallese Citizens - Marshall Islands Ambassador to the United States Banny deBrum received a letter from the US SS Assistant Deputy Commissioner Fredrick G. Streckewald, clarifying the status of the Marshall Islands’ citizens when applying for a US social security number. Foreign Minister Gerald M. Zackios said that the letter issued by Streckewald will alleviate the problems that citizens of the Marshall Islands face when applying for SSN cards.


  • Social Security Policy for Compact Country Workers - RM 00203.420: Evidence of Alien Status for an SSN Card for a Compact of Free Association Citizen Admitted as a Permanent Nonimmigrant (From Social Security Administration Policy Site: POMS Section RM 00203.420)


  • US Social Security Letter -(pdf) Newest (9/22/06) written to Marshall Islands Government from Assistant Deputy Commissioner Fredrick G. Streckewald for Marshallese to print out and use when applying for SSN at US Social Security Offices.

  • IMMIGRATION: Fact Sheet for clarifying the status of Freely Associated States citizens in the U.S

    Contributed by YokweOnline on Feb 15, 2005 - 10:24 PM
    New Fact Sheet for Freely Associated States Citizens in the US



    On February 11, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new fact sheet clarifying the status of citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). This fact sheet gives FAS citizens information regarding admission, travel, residence, social security, employment authorization, and adoption. It can be presented to schools, state and federal offices, should FAS citizens run into any problems with the questioning of their status in the U.S.

    STATUS OF THE CITIZENS OF THE FREELY ASSOCIATED STATES OF THE

    FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA AND THE REPUBLIC OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS


    Background: The Compact of Free Association Act of 1985 (Public Law 99-239) set forth a joint resolution between the United States and the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia (RMI/FSM) regarding the termination of the U.S. trusteeship over the former Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI). The resolution further established the FSM and the RMI as independent nations, and established a special relationship between the United States and these nations.

    IMMIGRATION: Letter Explaining New Procedures for SSN

    Contributed by YokweOnline on Jul 16, 2004 - 03:22 AM
    UPDATE: A new letter from US Social Security, dated 9/22/06, is available HERE.



    Use of Letter When Applying for Social Security Card



    Citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) may use the following letter, supplied by the RMI Embassy in Washington, DC, to assist in the obtaining of a US Social Security card to work in the United States. The letter, from US Social Security to RMI Ambassador Banny deBrum, is to be presented to SSA employees to ensure Marshallese applicants are issued an "unrestricted SSN card." RMI citizens are encouraged to take the letter with them when applying for a Social Security card. >>>

    IMMIGRATION NEWS: New Procedures for Working in United States

    Contributed by YokweOnline on Jul 14, 2004 - 12:54 PM
    New Procedures for Marshall Islands Workers in US



    The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 5 that citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) can use an unexpired RMI passport with unexpired documentation showing admission under the Compact of Free Association (CFA) as proof of permission to work in the United States. On June 5, 2004 a press release acknowledged that Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) citizens no longer need an EAD for employment purposes, also.



    In a letter to RMI Ambassador Banny de Brum, the Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Program Policy, Mr.Frederick G. Streckewald, stated that reminders of the new policy and procedures have been sent to all Social Security Administration offices across the US. Presently, Marshallese applying for SSN may obtain a copy of the letter from the RMI's Embassy in Washington, D.C., the Honolulu Consulate Office, or Foreign Affairs in Majuro to ensure issuance of unrestricted SSN cards to work in the US. >>more>>

    IMMIGRATION: New Marshalls-US Compact Agreement to Include Worker Recruitment Regulation, says Newspaper

    Contributed by YokweOnline on Apr 03, 2003 - 09:17 AM
    The Marshall Islands government has been adamant in its resolve to protect citizen rights to live and work in the US under the relationship of Free Association. On Monday, the RMI and US initialed an agreement to preserve basic immigration benefits. Work authorization problems experienced by Marshallese in the United States were also resolved, according to a RMI Compact Office release.



    The Orlando Sentinel and Baltimore Sun, reported today that the Marshall Islands government, during the Compact negotiations, also agreed to a Labor Department proposal to regulate "body brokers who induced island residents to sign contracts relegating them to menial jobs in the U.S."



    Walter F. Roche Jr., who authored a three-part series on body-brokering last fall, quoted unidentified sources, including top US officials, and Labor memos in giving details of the agreement. "They [the Marshall Islands negotiators] pretty much agreed to everything," stated one official according to Roche.

    RMI Adoption Update: INS Probe and New Visa Procedure

    Contributed by YokweOnline on Aug 22, 2002 - 03:54 AM
  • US Probes Marshall Islands Adoption


  • A joint U.S. State Department and Immigration and Naturalization Service team was here to discuss concerns and problems in the handling adoptions of Marshall Islands children to Americans."The issue is not the numbers of children but the manner in which they are removed from the Marshall Islands," said Tim Smith of the State Department’s visa office in Washington, D.C. "As long as children leave without going through the adoption procedures of the high court and the (U.S.) Immigration and Naturalization Act there is no guarantee of adequate controls on the adoptions." Smith also made it clear that the joint State Department and INS team was not in Majuro to discuss the terms of the Compact of Free Association that allow visa-free travel by Marshall Islanders to the U.S. "We’re not using this to chip away at travel rights (of Marshall Islanders to the U.S.)," Smith said.


  • New Procedure Established in Obtaining Visas for RMI Adoptees


  • In years past, Americans were required to travel to Manila, the Philippines to process an immigrant visa through the U.S. Embassy there. The new regulation allows the U.S. Embassy in Majuro to review and verify high court adoption documents and then to forward the immigrant visa application to Manila for processing. While the visa will still be issued in Manila, it would then be transmitted to back to Majuro so that the Americans do not need to travel to Manila. This is expected to significantly reduce the time of processing, and reduce travel expenses to the American families, the officials said.


  • More from the Adoption Forum

  • Current U.S. Proposals Also Amend Nonexpiring Immigration Provisions

    Contributed by YokweOnline on Jul 17, 2002 - 10:14 PM
    The new INS proposals, which are supported by the US State Department's Negotiation team concerning Freely Associated States citizens future access to any US border, include:


    1) Necessity for FAS visitors to carry a machine readable pasport;


    2) FAS citizens must declare a specific purpose for their term of stay;


    3) FAS children entering US for adoption would not be eligible to enter as non-immigrants;


    4) Naturalized FAS citizens would not be eligible except with eligible spouse or as dependent;


    5) The US Attorney General could limit FAS citizens stay in the US of beyond 6 months.


    During the July 17, 2002 House Committee on Resources Hearing on the Compact of Free Association, Panel I, which included representatives from the Department of Defense, Office of Insular Affairs, the General Accounting Office as well as the US Compact Negotiator, was asked how the new INS proposed rules for FAS citizens would be applied. The Panel considered the new rules draft resolution and said that the INS had not published it yet. Whether or not the question was misunderstood or passed on without begin clarified, the question of the proposed legislation was answered in GAO's Managing Director International Affairs and Trade, Susan Westin, official written testimony.

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