What is the I-385 Immigration Form and How to Properly Fill it Out? - criminalimmigrationlaw.com (2024)

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.

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.

See also Tips for a Successful I-601 Waiver for Crimes Involving Controlled Substances

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 circ*mstances. 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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What is the I-385 Immigration Form and How to Properly Fill it Out? - criminalimmigrationlaw.com (2024)


What is the I-385 immigration form? ›

Form I-385, Alien Booking Record. Noncitizens apprehended and then released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sometimes have a copy of Form I-385, Alien Booking Record. This is a record related to apprehension and not an identity document.

How to fill out USCIS forms online? ›

Tips for Filing Forms Online
  1. Step 1: Create a USCIS online account if you don't already have one. ...
  2. Step 2: Select “File a Form Online.”
  3. Step 3: Complete all sections of your form. ...
  4. Step 4: Upload evidence. ...
  5. Step 5: Review and digitally sign your form. ...
  6. Step 6: Pay the filing fee. ...
  7. Step 7: View appointment notices.
Apr 1, 2024

What forms do I fill out for immigration? ›

There are two online immigrant visa forms:
  • DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application.
  • DS-261, Online Choice of Address and agent.

What is the order of release on Recognizance form? ›

An "Order of Release on Recognizance" is a document issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that releases someone from ICE custody provided that the person complies with all listed conditions of release.

How do I get my immigration waiver approved? ›

Form I-601

This can be done by mail or online. USCIS will then adjudicate your application and inform both you and the consular officer of the decision. When you submit your form, you must provide supporting evidence and details for the waiver.

How do I know if I am in removal proceedings? ›

How do I know if I am in removal proceedings? If you have been given a paper to go to immigration court, then you are in removal proceedings. To check on your immigration court case, call 1-800-898-7180 and enter your "A-number." Your A-number is the "alien registration number" on the court notice.

Can you fill out immigration forms by hand? ›

You can download forms from our website, complete them electronically, and then print your forms to submit by mail. If you need help downloading and printing forms, read our instructions. Do not mail a form that you have already submitted online. If you hand write your answers, use black ink.

Can I help someone fill out immigration forms? ›

Can anyone serve as an Immigration Forms Specialist? According to the USCIS, anyone may provide limited, non-legal help with immigration forms and charge for those services. However, the states determine the qualifications required, including whether or not you need to be an attorney.

How long does it take for USCIS to approve? ›

After filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, the approval process can take anywhere from 10 to 14 months for immediate relatives and could take several years for family preference categories.

Can I fill immigration form online? ›

Some are in PDF format and will need to be filled in by hand. Others can be filled in online and then printed to be signed. Find the form you are looking for by searching in the PDF forms and Online forms tabs.

What type offender would most likely be released on his or her recognizance? ›

Anyone who has been charged with a minor crime or non-violent misdemeanor are frequently released OR, while felony charges will normally require bail. Judges have the discretion to either set a bail or allow a defendant to be released with no bail with a promise to return to court and make all future court appearances.

What happens when a defendant is released on their own recognizance? ›

Release on your own recognizance means you don't have to pay bail. Simply put, OR release is no-cost bail. Defendants released on their own recognizance need only sign a written promise to appear in court as required. No bail has to be paid, either to the court or to a bail bond seller.

What is an order of release on recognizance? ›

A “release on one's one recognizance” is a court's decision to allow a person charged with a crime to remain at liberty pending the trial, without having to post bail.

Is I 485 an immigrant petition? ›

The Form I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status is the designation of an immigrant visa to the beneficiary. To adjudicate an I-485, USCIS examines the beneficiary as an individual to determine whether he or she is worthy of permanent status in the United States.

What is i 956 form immigration? ›

Use Form I-956 to request U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) designation as a regional center under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 203(b)(5)(E), or to request an amendment to an approved regional center designated under INA 203(b)(5)(E).

How long can immigration hold your passport? ›

If ICE took your passport, they usually keep it until the end of your immigration court case.

What happens if ICE shows up? ›

If they want to enter, ask to see a warrant.

An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person listed is inside. A warrant of removal/deportation (ICE warrant) does not allow officers to enter a home without consent.

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