The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), previously the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), allows for expedited admission of citizens of Canada and Mexico to perform temporary services for U.S. employers. Canadian citizens who qualify for TN (Trade NAFTA) status may apply at a U.S. border or port-of-entry. Our immigration attorneys could help you through this process if you are looking to get this type of permit.
Mexican citizens who qualify for TN status may apply at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate for a visa which will be valid for one year. However, the individual may be admitted to the United States for three years if the employer requested three years notwithstanding the visa validity for only one year. An employer may also file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to classify a Mexican or Canadian citizen in TN status. A Canadian or Mexican professional qualifying for a TN visa must be engaged in a profession which is listed in USMCA Chapter 16, Appendix 2. This includes accountants, engineers, architects, librarians, computer systems analysts, lawyers, management consultants, medical and allied professionals, scientific technicians/technologists. The list of approved TN occupations is very specific as to the academic, experience, and/or license requirements. If an applicant does not possess those requirements, they may face denial of their TN petition. For instance, the TN visa does not allow for experience to equate to a bachelor’s degree if that degree is a requirement.
In most instances, for border processing, an applicant must present an offer letter detailing the terms and conditions of the proposed employment by the prospective employer, proof of citizenship, proof of educational or professional qualifications, and the appropriate filing fee. Processing by USCIS requires the employer to file a petition with all supporting documents and a filing fee. A person can be approved for TN status for more than one company. Generally, a foreign national is admitted with a TN visa for three years and may remain on this status indefinitely, provided they are readmitted or receive approval of an extension. However, the TN visa holder must have the intent to remain in the U.S. temporarily and maintain sufficient ties to their home country. A spouse and minor children may accompany the principal on TD (Trade Dependent) status but will not be eligible for employment authorization.
If you are a Canadian or Mexican citizen and wish to come to the United States for temporary employment, or an employer needing to hire such a person, you may wish to speak with a Michigan immigration lawyer. Our attorneys could explain the benefits of this immigration process and determine if you meet all of the requirements. For more information about how we could help you, feel free to contact an immigration attorney at our AV rated immigration law firm.