Qualified citizens of Canada and Mexico with an offer for employment in a NAFTA approved occupation* may apply for TN status, which authorizes full time employment with the employer whose offer is used to secure TN status.
*TN Status may NOT be used by Medical Residents/Physicians to engage in employment that requires regular patient care, treatment or contact under a medical license. TN Physicians are limited to research and teaching ONLY.
Obtaining TN Status
Persons with an offer of employment in NAFTA approved occupation may obtain TN status by seeking admission at a Port of Entry as TN worker or, if already in the U.S. in another status, by asking the proposed employer to submit a Form I-129 Petition on their behalf requesting a change of status to TN status or change of employer, and receiving an approval.
Certain healthcare workers (Registered Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists) may need additional certification even if their training/license was received in the United States. For further details see forms and instructions below.
Instructions for TN/TD Entry Visa Application (Non-Canadian citizens ONLY.)
Persons applying for TN status using Form I-129:
Extending Employment with the same Employer
It is not necessary to wait for an approval when extending existing TN employment with the same employer. The extension request must be filed and received by USCIS prior to the expiration of the current TN period of validity/admission. Following, a timely filed extension request and expiration of the current TN validity period, a grace period of 240 days is permitted during which the TN beneficiary may continue to engage in their previously approved employment. If the 240 day grace period is exceeded without receipt of an approval or the extension petition is denied by USCIS, employment must immediately cease.
Persons granted TN status who wish to change positions/job duties with the same employer without exiting and re-entering the U.S. must have their employer file a petition with USCIS using the new position/job duties information and receive an approval of the petition prior to beginning new duties or moving to a new position.
Persons granted TN status who wish to change employers without exiting and re-entering the U.S. must have their proposed (new) employer file a petition with USCIS using the new employer/position information and receive approval prior to beginning new employment. New employment may NOT begin before the start date on the newly approved I-129 petition.
TN status is tied to employment. If employment with the sponsoring TN employer ends, the TN beneficiary is considered immediately out of status unless other steps to maintain status are/have been taken. TN beneficiaries should be extremely careful about maintaining their status when leaving a position and/or changing employers!
There is no specific limitation set by USCIS on how long a beneficiary may remain in/renew TN status. However, the beneficiary must demonstrate the required non-immigrant intent each time they apply for admission, extension or change in employer/employment as a TN worker. This status is NOT recommended for tenure-track positions due to the non-immigrant intent requirement.
Study in TN status: TN status holders are permitted to study, provided they continue to maintain their TN status through employment, if the study is incidental to their TN employment and does not become the primary purpose of their stay in the U.S.
Pursuant to LSU System Policy, PM-31, TN/TD status holders may be eligible to establish Louisiana residency in order to receive in-state tuition at LSUHSC-New Orleans.