Instructions for Hiring Departments Regarding TN Status
Our Department wishes to hire a new employee as a TN. What does this mean?
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) established a non-immigrant visa classification for Canadian and Mexican citizens to work in the U.S. in professional positions. To qualify a position must be on the "position list" published, as part of NAFTA and an individual must meet the standard qualifications for such a position. This list includes several medical health professional, scientist and university teaching positions.
- This category does not allow for dual intent (i.e. an individual should not use this category if they intend to apply for permanent residency/green card).
- Dependents of a TN receive TD status and cannot work.
How do I sponsor someone on a TN?
One advantage of the TN is that it is very simple and quick. The department must first verify the position is on the list ofTN Qualifying Professions on the last page of this instruction sheet. A letter of support should then be completed and signed by the Hiring Department and forwarded to the foreign national.
How long can I sponsor the TN for?
The TN is issued in up to three-year increments. There is no limit to the number of extensions possible, however, it is not recommended to use this status for a long term as the foreign national's intent not to immigrate may be brought into question.
What is involved in the application process?
- Department extends offer to foreign national and determines appropriateness of TN status
- Department completes the TN Letter of Support and forwards original to the Canadian or Mexican national and a copy to the International Services office
- Canadian or Mexican national applies for TN status directly at the Canadian/Mexican border (Mexican TN will need a visa first from the US Embassy) and enters the United States in TN status
What does the foreign national need to apply?
Canadians may apply for TN status at the point of entry into the U.S as no prior pre-approved application or visa is needed. Mexican nationals must obtain a US TN visa before proceeding to the border. Both must supply the following at the port of entry:
- Proof of Canadian/Mexican citizenship (i.e., passport, birth certificates, etc.)
- Job Offer/Appointment Letter
- Separate Letter from the employer that outlines:
- Job description
- Anticipated length of stay (TNs are issued for up to 3 years, depending on offer letter)
- Qualifications needed for the job
- Terms of employment (i.e. salary, hours, etc.)
- Explanation of how the Canadian meets the requirements for the position
- Documentation of professional qualifications (i.e. diplomas, license, etc.) Note: if the diploma/license is not from a Canadian or U.S. educational institution, a credentialing institution will need to certify that it is equivalent
- TN application fee $50 (there is no fee for admission of dependents in TD status except the I-94 fee)
- I-94 fee of $6
When creating your letter of offer to the potential TN, be sure to use both the TU title and the Qualifying Profession Title (i.e. Biochemist and Postdoctoral Fellow) so the immigration official can clearly understand where your applicant falls on the Qualifying Professions List.
For further information, please visit the US State Department online.