Our CNMI immigration is scheduled to be federalized effective June 1, 2009.
Now is a good time to take care of establishing your U.S. citizenship under the Covenant. I'll be posting about the requirements for each category of U.S. citizen listed in Covenant section 301 in another installment.
But here I just want to remind people that birth records are needed for passport applications. And those records can present new, unexpected problems.
If you were born in the CNMI, there's a fair chance that the name on your birth record is different than the name you're using! If you were born in Chuuk, the probability of this occuring is even greater. We see this problem all of the time--people using the names given on their baptismal records, when their official birth records have a very different name. People use names on school records and employment records, even on their marriage records, driver's licenses, and birth records of their children--using the name they've "always" used--only to find out when they get a copy of their birth certificate that they were given a different name at birth.
Birth records can be corrected or changed, but the process takes a little bit of time (from 1 to 3 months, on average). So NOW IS THE TIME to get a copy of your birth record. Check it out.
And if it has a different name than the name you're using, get legal help to correct the situation now.