TN NAFTA Treaty
TN temporary worker
NAFTA established a non-immigrant status for Canadian and Mexican professionals to work in temporarily in the U.S. The classification is only available to qualified members of certain pre-determined occupations and allows for expedited entry of these professionals. TN is reserved for professional positions (normally non-tenure). Dependents of a TN are eligible for TD status which does not allow any employment in the U.S. although TD dependents may study. The processing for a TN status differs significantly from the H1B temporary worker process. The process to obtain a TN status also varies depending on the country of citizenship.
The benefits of a TN status are the relatively easy processing and change of status, costs involved, and ability to renew or extend the TN on an annual basis indefinitely although the employee must continue to document non-immigrant intent to the USCIS in order to be eligible to renew the TN status. In addition, an employer cannot sponsor an employee in TN status for employment based Permanent Residency. A consultation with an ISSO advisor will determine if a prospective employee is eligible for the TN status.
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