TN status provides employment authorization for certain Canadian and Mexican citizens who are entering the US for temporary professional work. The following is a summary of the requirements and procedures.
Requirements & Benefits
Canadian and Mexican citizens may enter the US in TN status for work in a certain professional occupations appearing on an official list. Work in an occupation not on the TN list does not qualify. The TN worker must meet the education and or experience requirements stated on the TN list. TN admission will be denied if the employee does not meet the specific education and experience requirements stated on the TN list. Normally, the employee will be permitted to work only for a specific employer under the terms of employment stated in the TN application package. The employee’s spouse or minor children are eligible for “TD” status, which allows them to stay in the US for the duration of the employee’s TN status and to go to school, but does not allow them to work.
TN status is only granted in increments of up to three years in duration. It is extremely important that the employer and employee understand that TN employment is temporary, and that TN status requires nonimmigrant intent. This means that TN status can be denied if the USCIS believes that the employee may not return to the home country or apply for US permanent resident status. The employee must give truthful answers to all questions. The USCIS official must understand that the employee has an un-abandoned residence in the home country, and that he or she intends to remain in the U.S. only as long as legally permitted, (up to three years from the date of admission), unless the employer and employee decide to apply for an additional period of TN status.
Procedures for Canadians
The TN package may be adjudicated in two ways: (1) The TN package may be submitted by the employee to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) inspector at the US port of entry at the Canada border or airport. (2) If the Canadian is present in the US in legal status, the US employer files the TN package by mail with the Nebraska USCIS office. The processing time for TN status at a port of entry is a few hours while the processing time by the Nebraska USCIS office is 2-3 months. For an additional fee of $1000, the Nebraska USCIS office can process the TN petition within 10 days.
Procedures for Mexicans
The TN package may be adjudicated in two ways: (1) The TN package may be submitted by the employee to an American Consulate outside the US. After receiving the TN visa stamp, the employee will apply for admission to a USCIS inspector at the US port of entry. (2) If the Mexican is present in the US in legal status, the US employer files the TN package by mail with the Nebraska USCIS office. The processing time for TN visa at an American Consulate outside the US may be estimated at this link. The processing time by the Nebraska USCIS office is 2-3 months. For an additional fee of $1000, the Nebraska USCIS office can process the TN petition within 10 days.
Click here to view the Eligible TN Occupations List.
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