The United States immigration authorities are looking at using a lottery system for issuing foreign worker permits in the Northern Marianas.
Employers in the CNMI can make use of a special visa system, known as the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker programme, to employ foreign workers.
The number of permits allowed in the 2019 fiscal year is capped at 4,999.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services said it may conduct a lottery for the visas because it was expecting more people to apply than permits available.
It said the lottery would give employers the fairest opportunity to request workers, particularly with the possibility of mail delays from the CNMI.
The service is accepting applications for the permits from 2 April until 12 April.