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TN Visa

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created relationships between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In 2020, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) replaced NAFTA. Despite the change, the criteria for TN admission under USMCA remained the same.

Under the USMCA, individuals may enter the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. Individuals seeking TN status must be seeking to fulfill a position that qualifies under the regulations. The position must be a pre-arranged, full-time, or part-time job with a U.S. Employer. The individuals must establish that they have the requisite qualifications to practice in the profession.

Citizens of Canada and Mexico may seek TN status. Lawful permanent residents of Canada and Mexico do not qualify for TN status.

The TN visa is not ‘dual-intent,’ meaning that individuals seeking TN status do not intend to move to the United States permanently. TN visa holders should maintain ties to their home countries. TN visa holders who apply for permanent resident status may encounter issues when traveling outside of the United States or renewing their status.

Period of Stay

TN status may be granted to individuals for three years or less. Certain professional positions may receive a shorter duration of status. It is important for TN visa holders to check their electronic I-94 after entry to understand and comply with their authorized period of stay.

TN-1 Canada

Canadian citizens are generally eligible for admission in TN status without a visa. However, a Canadian citizen who resides in a third country with a non-Canadian spouse or children will generally need a TN visa stamp in order for family members to be eligible for the TD-dependent visa.

TN-2 Mexico

Mexican citizens are required to obtain a visa prior to entry into the United States. Mexican citizens seeking TN status must apply directly at the U.S. consulate in Mexico. After receiving a TN visa, individuals may apply for admission at certain CBP-designated U.S. ports of entry or pre-clearance inspection stations. 

TN Visa Status versus TN Visa Stamp

The TN visa stamp can be found in the TN worker’s passport. It permits the TN worker to apply for admission to the United States and provides authorization to travel in or out of the United States. It does not provide the TN worker with legal status.

TN Transfer

The TN visa is employer-specific. In that way, an individual may only work for the TN Employer named on the TN visa. If an individual seeks to change employers, a new TN work authorization will be required in advance. 

Concurrent TN Employment

Concurrent employment refers to a situation where the TN Employee works for more than one employer at a time. The second TN Employer will need to file a TN application.

TN Grace Period

The 60-day grace period is a discretionary regulatory provision that allows certain workers, including those on H-1B, E-3, E-2, O-1, TN, H-1B1, L-1, and E-1, who have been terminated or voluntarily left their employment to remain in the United States for up to 60 days or until the end of the authorized validity period. A non-immigrant visa holder is in valid status during the grace period.

TD Dependents

Legal spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be eligible for TD-dependent status. While spouses and children may study in the United States, they are not permitted to work on TD status. Dependents are eligible for TD status for no longer than the period of time granted to the TN Employee. Any eligible TD family member must also maintain lawful status in the United States by ensuring the proper extensions are timely filed. 


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