TNs Can Now Receive 3 Years At A Time

October 16, 2008

On October 16 the Department of Homeland Security amended its regulations to increase the period of admission for TN nonimmigrants. The final rule increases the period of admission from one year to three years, and also allows TN nonimmigrants to be granted an extension of stay in increments of up to three years instead of the current one-year period. The extended period of admission is also applicable to the spouses and unmarried minor children of TN nonimmigrants, who are granted TD classification.

The TN nonimmigrant classification is available to Canadian and Mexican citizens who have an offer of employment in the U.S. in one of the professional occupations listed in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Examples include, but are not limited to, accountants, engineers, scientists, computer systems analysts, and architects. In most cases, the TN applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree relevant to the occupation.

The DHS expects that increasing the period of admission for TN nonimmigrants will reduce the agency’s administrative burden as well as the employer’s. It is intended to make the TN classification more flexible and attractive to Canadian and Mexican professionals, and to U.S. employers. There is no limit on the number of times a person can apply for TN status.

Employers should take note that the increased period of TN classification does not change any other aspects of this nonimmigrant status. For example, if a TN nonimmigrant seeks to change employers, or if the U.S. employer wishes to place the TN worker into a different job, a new application for TN classification must be approved prior to the change.