TN Employment Status and Work Permit for Canadian and Mexican Citizens in the US

by David H. Nachman, Esq., Ludka Zimovcak, Esq., Snehal Batra, Esq. and Samantha Chasworth, Esq.

According to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), Canadian and Mexican Citizens can gain the opportunity to work in the United States in a wide range of positions that come under the USMCA TN classification. While the TN classification certainly comes with some limitations, there are many cases in which it can provide US employers with a very efficient process for bringing “professional” labor from Canada and Mexico.

This article will outline the TN status or classification under which Canadian and Mexican Citizens can work in the U.S.

Who Qualifies for TN Status?

The TN category or classification was created under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was eventually replaced by the currently named USMCA. Notably, the TN category is only available for Canadian and Mexican Citizens who are those holding a Canadian and/or Mexican passport. In order to qualify, the Mexican or Canadian Citizen must be coming to the United States to perform work for a U.S company (sponsored).

Moreover, the proposed beneficiary must be qualified to work in any one of the 63 professions listed in the USMCA. This wide range of professions includes graphic designers, computer systems analysts, hotel managers, beekeepers, and many more. The minimum education, licensing, and experience requirements of the candidate for each of the 63 professions are also outlined in the USMCA.

Speedy Adjudication via Unusual Filing Procedures

In most cases, TN cases are filed using special procedures that allow for streamlined processes. However, in some cases, a standard I-129 petition may be filed by the relevant employer on behalf of the proposed TN worker. Further, a Canadian Citizen does not need to obtain a visa stamp in order to enter the U.S in the TN category. Moreover, the applicant is allowed to file a TN application in person, either at a port of entry (POE) or at a pre-flight inspection station (preflight clearance).

If the filed application is approved then the Canadian beneficiary may enter the U.S immediately in the TN category. On the other hand, it is necessary for a Mexican citizen to obtain a visa stamp at a US Consulate before being allowed to enter the US in TN status. Nevertheless, thanks to a procedural change in 2014, Mexican citizens can now file their TN applications directly at a consulate, rather than filing the petition with the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Immigrant Intent not Permitted for TN Status

TN status is initially granted for up to 3 years and, as long as the beneficiary continues to meet the TN requirements, it can be indefinitely renewed. Unlike H-1B and L-1 nonimmigrant classifications, dual intent is specifically not allowed under TN status.

Therefore, if the beneficiary encounters a need or desire to pursue permanent residence status in the US or abandon ties to their home country, the TN worker and employer must obtain appropriate immigration advice and should contact their immigration legal counselor.

TD Status for Dependents

Dependents of TN workers, which includes spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, are eligible for a trade-dependent or TD status. While a TD status does not allow the beneficiary any authorization to work, they are permitted to remain in the US and to attend school.

Conclusion

TN status allows Canadian and Mexican citizens to work in the United States in a wide range of professions. Moreover, TN status provides employers with a flexible and streamlined options to employ professional workers on a temporary basis.

If you have questions or want to access additional information about US or Canadian Immigration and Nationality Laws, please feel free to get in touch with the immigration and nationality lawyers at the NPZ Law Group. If you have more questions about how these laws in the US may impact you or your family, contact the lawyers specialized in US Immigration and Nationality laws at our law firm. You can also send us an email at info@visaserve.com, or you can call us at 201-670-0006 (x104). In addition to that, we invite you to find more information on our website at www.visaserve.com


About The Author

David H. Nachman, Esq. is one of the Managing Attorneys at the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C., a pre-eminent International Immigration and Nationality Law Firm dedicated to providing a wide array of business and family immigration law services for skilled U.S.-and Canada-bound workers. The Attorneys in our Law Firm assist clients with waivers, marriage cases, citizenship applications, I-130 sponsorship for family, etc.


Ludka Zimovcak, Esq. is a Managing Attorney at NPZ Law Group, PC. Mrs. Zimovcak's passion for excellence in immigration law derives from her own family's first-hand immigration experiences. She is fully licensed to practice as an Attorney in Slovakia and New York.


Snehal Batra, Esq. is Managing Attorney of our Raritan, NJ office at the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C., a pre-eminent International Immigration and Nationality Law Firm dedicated to providing a wide array of business and family immigration law services for skilled U.S.-and Canada-bound workers. Ms. Batra is an Indian-American attorney with a passion for immigration law which derives from being an immigrant herself. Having been born in India and raised in New Jersey, Ms. Batra understands firsthand the many difficulties and challenges that immigrants commonly experience while engaged in the U.S. immigration process. As such, she is eager to help families, businesses and individual immigrants to realize the American dream.


Samantha Chasworth, Esq. is Counsel at the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C., a pre-eminent International Immigration and Nationality Law Firm dedicated to providing a wide array of business and family immigration law services for skilled U.S.-and Canada-bound workers. Ms. Chasworth earned a Juris Doctorate (JD) from the St. John's University School of Law in Queens, New York, where she was an editor on the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development and participated in numerous immigration and family law clinics and internships including time at the US-Mexico Border at the Karnes County Civil Detention Center.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.