Faqs

 Q: What is the meaning of immigration status in the U.S.?

A: Immigration status in the U.S. means the basis of your presence in the U.S. It could be having U.S. citizenship; by having lawful permanent residence (green card); by having a valid unexpired nonimmigrant visa (B-1/ B-2, E-2, F-1, H-1, L-1, R-1. Etc.) without any violation and authorization to stay in the U.S.  (I-94 or I-797); by having been Paroled into the U.S.; by having refugee or asylee status, etc.

Q: Does having a valid I-94 or its extension means a person is in a valid status?

A: Not necessarily. It is true that an unexpired I-94 is required for a valid status, one can become out of status by violating the terms of the underlying nonimmigrant visa.

Examples: A B-1/B-2 visitor working or going to school while in the U.S. An H-1B not working for the petitioning company or organization or working for any employer other than the petitioning organization. 

TN VISA STATUS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q: What is the TN nonimmigrant classification?

A:  The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. The TN classification was created following Congressional approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on December 8, 1993.

Q:  What professional activities may a TN worker engage in?

A:  Generally, eligible professional activities are activities that require at least a bachelor’s degree or appropriate credentials demonstrating status as a professional. The specific occupations that qualify for the TN nonimmigrant classification are listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 to Annex 1603 of the NAFTA and are reproduced in DHS regulations at 8 CFR 214.6(c). Among the types of professionals who are eligible to seek admission as TN nonimmigrants are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. 

Q:  Is there an annual cap or limit on the number of TN visas?

A:  There is no annual limit on the number of TN admissions to the United States

Q:  How do Canadian citizens obtain the TN nonimmigrant classification?

A:  Canadian citizens are not required to apply for a visa with a U.S. consulate or file a petition with USCIS. When requesting admission as TN workers at a U.S. port-of entry, however, they must provide proof of citizenship, a letter from their prospective employer detailing items such as professional capacity, purpose, length of stay, and educational qualifications. They may also need to provide credential evaluations. Following inspection by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer, an eligible Canadian citizen will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant.

Q:  How do Mexican citizens obtain the TN nonimmigrant classification?

A:  Mexican citizens seeking TN nonimmigrant classification do not need to file a petition with USCIS. However, a visa is required for Mexican citizens to enter the United States in the TN nonimmigrant classification. Therefore, Mexican citizens should apply for a TN visa directly at a U.S. consulate in Mexico and present proof of citizenship, a letter from their prospective employer detailing items such as the professional capacity in which they will work in the U.S., the purpose of their employment, their length of stay, and their educational qualifications. They may also need to provide credential evaluations. TN visa holders then may apply for admission at a U.S. port-of-entry, and if found qualified by a CBP inspector, will be issued, as in the case of qualified Canadian citizens, a “multiple entry” Form I-94, indicating that the person has been admitted as a TN nonimmigrant. 

 

Q:  For how long is a person granted TN classification admitted? 

A:  TN employee is granted a period of three years.

Q: How many times can a person apply for TN visas?

A: There is no limit on the number of times a person can apply for a TN visa or seek admission in TN status. 

Q:  Are spouses and children of TN nonimmigrants allowed to enter the U.S.?

 

A:  Yes. Spouses and children may be granted nonimmigrant status as a NAFTA dependent (TD) and may be admitted to the U.S. but may not work. Dependents’ maximum period of stay is three years.