A: TN was created under the North American Free Trade Agreement and it is available for professionals in certain occupations that are nationals of Canada or Mexico. The main advantage of the TN for Canadian nationals is that this status can be acquired very quickly. Canadians can apply at a U.S. Port of Entry and generally have the application decided on the same day. The TN process for Mexican nationals, however, is similar to that of an H-1B petition, in which case the petition must be filed with the INS prior to entry.
TN status may be approved for no more than a one-year period, though it may be renewed indefinitely after the initial entry. Please see TN Occupations below for a list of the occupations allowed and the requirements for each occupation.
Appendix 1603.D.1 (Annotated)
B/L Degree = Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Cert. = Certificate
P/S = Post Secondary
s/p license = state/provincial license
Accountant - B/L Degree; or C.P.A., C A., C.G.A., or C.M.A.
Architect - B/L Degree; or s/p license
Computer Systems Analyst - B/L Degree; or P/S Diploma or P/S Cert. and three years' experience.
Economist - B/L Degree
Engineer - B/L Degree; or s/p license
Forester - B/L Degree; or s/p license
Graphic Designer - B/L Degree; or P/S Diploma or P/S Cert., and three years experience.
Hotel Manager - B/L Degree in hotel/restaurant management; or P/S Diploma or P/S Cert. in hotel/restaurant management, and three years experience in hotel/restaurant management.
Industrial Designer - B/L Degree; or P/S Diploma or P/S Cert., and three years experience.
Interior Designer - B/L Degree or P/S Diploma or P/S Cert., and three years experience.
Land Surveyor - B/L Degree or s/p/federal license.
Landscape Architect - B/L Degree
Lawyer (including Notary in the Province of Quebec) - LL.B., J.D., L.L.L., B.C.L., or Lic. Degree (five years); or membership in a st/pr. bar.
Librarian - M.L S. or B.L.S. (for which another B/L Degree was a prerequisite).
Management Consultant - B/L Degree; or equivalent professional experience as established by statement or professional credential, attesting to five years experience as a management consultant, or five years experience in a field of specialty related to the consulting agreement.
Mathematician (including Statistician) - B/L Degree
Range Manager/Range Conservationist - B/L Degree
Research Assistant (working in a P/S educational institution) - B/L Degree
Scientific Technician/Technologist- Possession of (a) theoretical knowledge of any of the following disciplines: agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology, or physics; and (b) the ability to solve practical problems in any of those disciplines, or the ability to apply principles of any of those disciplines to basic or applied research.
Social Worker - B/L Degree
Sylviculturist (including Forestry Specialist) - B/L Degree
Technical Publications Writer - B/L Degree, or P/S Diploma or P/S Cert., and three years experience.
Urban Planner (including Geographer) - B/L Degree
Vocational Counsellor - B/L Degree
Dentist - D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental; or s/p license
Dietician - B/L Degree; or s/p license
Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)/Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States) - B/L Degree; or P/S Diploma or P/S Cert., and three years experience.
Nutritionist - B/L Degree
Occupational Therapist - B/L Degree; or s/p license
Pharmacist - B/L Degree; or s/p license
Physician (teaching or research only) - M.D., Doctor en Medicina; or s/p license
Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist - B/L Degree; or s/p license
Psychologist - S/p license; or Lic. Degree.
Recreational Therapist - B/L Degree
Registered Nurse - S/p license or Lic. Degree.
Veterinarian - D.V.M., D.M.V., or Doctor en Veterinaria; or s/p license
Agriculturist (including Agronomist) - B/L Degree
Animal Breeder - B/L Degree
Animal Scientist - B/L Degree
Apiculturist - B/L Degree
Astronomer - B/L Degree
Biochemist- B/L Degree
Biologist- B/L Degree
Chemist - B/L Degree
Dairy Scientist - B/L Degree
Entomologist - B/L Degree
Epidemiologist - B/L Degree
Geneticist - B/L Degree
Geochemist - B/L Degree
Geologist - B/L Degree
Geophysicist (including Oceanographer in Mexico and the United States) - B/L Degree
Horticulturist - B/L Degree
Meteorologist - B/L Degree
Pharmacologist - B/L Degree
Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada) - B/L Degree
Plant Breeder - B/L Degree
Poultry Scientist - B/L Degree
Soil Scientist - B/L Degree
Zoologist - B/L Degree
College - B/L Degree
Seminary - B/L Degree
University - B/L Degree
A: Yes, one can start the PR status while in TN status. However, we recommend that you change your status over to H-1 at this time because TN status does require non-immigrant intent. Thus, the USCIS is likely to deny re-entry to the U.S. or deny a TN extension if they learn that you have shown an intent to immigrant.
A: Yes. However, by leaving the U.S. while the petition is pending, the H-1 change of status request on your behalf is voided out and the new I-94 USCIS issues with the I-797 reflecting H-1 status is not valid. The new I-94 received upon re-entering the U.S., while the H-1B was pending, is controlling. To effectuate the H-1, you will be required to depart the U.S., apply for the H-1B visa, and return in H-1 status. This must be done before the TN expires.
A: Technically, the TN status is renewable indefinitely. However, since TN status does require non-immigrant intent, USCIS could eventually ask you what your true intentions are and perhaps deny you re-entry to the U.S.
A: Mexican nationals do need visas to enter the U.S. in TN status. Canadians are visa exempt and do not need a visa to enter the U.S.
A: Yes, accompanying family members need visas unless they are Canadian nationals.
A: No, your spouse is not allowed to work in an accompany family member status (TD, H-4, L-2) unless they can secure their own work authorization.
A: Yes, however, your spouse cannot work on campus.
A: Yes, but typically it is often hard for a non-immigrant to secure a home loan.
A: Varies depending on current USCIS processing time and current USCIS priorities. See the USCIS processing reports at https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do.
A: No. This can be done by filing an extension petition with the USCIS prior to the expiration date.