There are certain requirements that a Canadian citizen needs to meet first to qualify for TN status as specified by the North American Free Trade (NAFTA). Special trade and economic relationships were created by NAFTA for the United States, Canada and Mexico, which allow citizens of Canada and Mexico to seek temporary entry into the U.S. for engaging in business as non-immigrants in professional level.
To qualify for TN status, a Canadian citizen must meet the following requirements:
- Canadian citizenship
- A profession under the TN NAFTA regulations
- Qualifications for the TN profession applied for
- Position offered by a U.S. employer which requires a NAFTA professional to fill the position
- A prearranged part-time or full-time employment with a U.S. employer
Criteria of Eligibility for Canadian citizens
A Canadian citizen is not required to process the TN visa application through U.S. consulate or to file a petition through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The request for admission as TN non-immigrant can be done at a U.S. port of entry. The following documentation must be provided:
- Proof of Canadian Citizenship
- Offer letter from prospective employer in the U.S. which include detailed information such as employment purpose, professional capacity, educational qualifications and length of stay in the U.S.
- Credentials evaluation (if applicable)
If your application, along with supporting documentation is properly presented to the U.S. Customs and Border Officer and you’re eligible for TN status, you will be granted entry into the U.S. as TN non-immigrant. The evidence of your admission will be the Form I-94 and your Arrival/Departure Record.
Initial TN Application
Each initial TN visa application must be personally submitted at a U.S. port of entry or pre-flight inspection. Since the TN visa requires minimal fees and is issued on the spot, it has become the most preferred visa for both employees and employers.
Period of Stay
An initial one (1) to three (3) years period of stay is granted to TN status holders and the TN visa can be renewed as long as your services are required by your TN employer to whom the TN visa is tied.
Extension of Stay
Extension of stay requires the same process and documentation used at your initial entry to the U.S. While the initial TN application needs to be submitted in person, the extension of stay can be submitted to a U.S. service center. This process is preferred by TN status holders who want to avoid in-person processing for extension of stay in the U.S.