The TN category was created under NAFTA to facilitate the entry of qualified citizens from Canada and Mexico to engage in professional business activities on a temporary basis. The category allows for admission of individuals for the purposes of:
Occupations listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 qualify for employment under NAFTA and must meet the minimum qualification for each profession as listed in Appendix 1603.D.1.
Requests must be submitted to the IO one month prior to the begin date for Canadian citizens and two months for citizens of Mexico.
The letter should contain the following:
A Canadian applicant must present the following documents to an immigration officer at the border (if driving) or to an officer at the pre-flight inspection facility located at any of the three major Canadian airports (Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto):
Documents will be reviewed by a U.S. immigration officer for accuracy and authenticity; if the officer is satisfied, the applicant will be give an I-94 card with date of entry; classification in the YN category; an expiration date (one year); and the name of the employer noted on the card.
REMEMBER: Canadian citizens are visa exempt and need not apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate.
Since citizens of Mexico are not visa exempt, an applicant will require the same documentation (see above), but will have to present these items to a consular officer at a U.S. consulate in Mexico at the time of the visa application. They are exempt from the $50 fee and will be inspected and admitted at the U.S. port of entry.
A dependent of a TN enters as a TD and is not eligible for employment; however, he or she may study full-time or part-time.
A TN can be extended by departing and re-entering the U.S. to process an extension. If the beneficiary does not plan to travel, then an extension can be processed within the U.S.
All requests for extension within the US must be made to the IO four months prior to the current expiration date of the TN. Departments must provide all supporting documents (listed in the initial request) with the appropriate petition fee for the form I-129.
Once the IO files an extension and gets a receipt notice, the beneficiary is eligible to continue employment without a gap.
A Canadian TN may travel and be readmitted to the U.S. as long as the period noted on the I-94 is valid. A Mexican TN will have to make sure that the TN visa stamp in their passport is valid for readmission.
Travel outside the U.S. while an extension is pending with the USCIS is not considered abandoning the application, but does present some difficulties. The IO must be notified so that a request can be made to USCIC to send an electronic approval notification to the nearest U.S. consulate post (Mexican TNs only) or a pre-flight inspection/border crossing (for Canadian TNs). Mexican TNs must apply for a visa at the U.S. consulate before they can reenter the U.S.
Dependents must file for an extension with the principle TN in order to maintain status in the U.S. by filing form I-539 with the Form I-129 petition. The same travel restrictions apply as stated above.