TN Trade NAFTA

Overview

The non-immigrant TN status as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to work temporarily in the United States in certain occupations. For complete information about TN status, visit the U.S. Department of State site  The TN classification is essentially a modified version of the H-1B program that does away with (for Canadians) the complicated preliminaries of the H-1B for employees in occupations that were included in the Treaty.  Employers seeking TN status for Mexican employees must still complete all the preliminary paperwork as with H-1B status.

  • Dependents are classified as “TD” and are not eligible for employment authorization.

  • Unlike H-1B or O-1 status, TN status is not "dual intent," and to be admitted as a TN, the candidate or employee must be able to establish that they plan to return to their home country at some point in the future.
  • Any Cedars-Sinai employees or candidates from Canada or Mexico who holds the appropriate degree and/or certification and practices a discipline listed on the Schedule of Occupations may be eligible for the TN program.    

  • Routine re-entries during the validity of a TN approval are made with the "multiple entry" I-94 card issued by an Immigration Inspector or the I-797 Approval Notice from USCIS.

  • TN authorization may be granted for a maximum of three years, but can be extended indefinitely as long as the employee maintains nonimmigrant (temporary) intent.

  • Healthcare professionals i.e. nurses will also need to present the Visa Screen Certificates at the port of entry. Additional information can be found at CGFNS VisaScreen Information.

     

Canadian Citizens

TN status is typically acquired by Canadians at a US Port of Entry (border or Pre-Flight Inspection counters at Canadian airports).  TN applicants may seek entry at the Pre-flight inspection counters/borders by completing an application and submitting processing fees, including the I-94 card.  Additional information available at Homeland Security's CBP travel web pages.

 It is also possible to change to TN status, extend one's stay or add employers by filing a petition through U.S. Citizenships and Immigration Services (USCIS). Petitions are not needed for TN applications at airport Pre-Flight Inspection Counters and Ports of Entry along the US-Canada border.  Filing a petition through USCIS may not be the best option as the processing time may take up to 4 months and incur additional filing fees.

TN status is usually extended for Canadian workers by reentering the US from Canada with a new letter or by filing with USCIS.
 

 

Mexican Citizens

The TN process for Mexican nationals is complex and similar to the processing of the H-1B.  Contact the Visa & International Services Administration (VISA) office for further assistance.

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