Star Marianas still waiting for pilots’ advance parole

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STAR Marianas is asking the CNMI government to help expedite the approval of advance parole for its three pilots who are employed through the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker Visa program.

In his letter to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, Star Marianas president Shaun R. Christian said three of their senior captains are Japanese nationals.

Although they are fully authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct scheduled and non-scheduled flights in the U.S., Christian said they are restricted from conducting flights to Guam because of their CW status.

Christian said the pilots had been granted parole on a multiple entry basis before January 2020.

But it was brought to their attention that the parole into Guam policy was undergoing some changes, so the pilots were advised to apply for advance parole instead.

The pilots applied for advance parole on Nov. 22, 2019.

On Jan. 10, 2020, Christian said the pilots’ parole expired and they have been unable to operate flights between the CNMI and Guam since Jan. 11.

Several follow-ups had been made, Christian said, but the last they heard from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was that the application was under review by its Honolulu office.

To date, he said, they do not know when or if the advance parole will be granted.

“Without the ability to utilize these captains on flights into Guam, the company will be unable to maintain the existing level of flexibility in providing medical referral patient transfers and other on-demand charters between the CNMI and Guam. We are seeking assistance from the leadership in determining how to move this process forward to an expeditious resolution and to avoid a disruption to our operations,” Christian said.

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