TN status is available only to citizens of Canada and Mexico. It allows businesspersons from these countries to work temporarily in the United States at a professional level. The procedures for Mexican professionals are quite different from those required for Canadian professionals. The following deals only with Canadians applying for TN status.

Qualifying Professions

TN applicants must demonstrate a job offer in one of 63 professions enumerated in Appendix 1603.d.1 of the North American Free Trade Agreement and reproduced in 8 CFR §214.6. The applicant must also have the appropriate degree and/or experience. It is important for a TN applicant to demonstrate that her job offer falls within one of the professions on the list.

For each profession listed, Appendix 1603.d.1 also states the education and/or experience requirements. Most of the professions require that the applicant possess a baccalaureate or equivalent degree. Notable exceptions include the Management Consultant category, for which someone can qualify based on 5 years of related experience, and the Scientific Technician/ Technologist category, for which no specific preparation is listed. For all classifications, however, a theoretical knowledge of the discipline and the ability to apply those principles to solving practical problems is required, and the applicant must be able to document how he acquired that knowledge and ability.

TN status may be approved for three years, and extensions are available indefinitely in three year increments, so long as the alien maintains the intention to depart the U.S. upon conclusion of his employment.

Canadian citizens may apply for admission to the US in TN status directly to U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers at the port of entry without first filing anything with USCIS. Alternatively, his US employer may opt to file an I-129 petition with the USCIS Vermont Service Center for pre-adjudication of TN eligibility so that he can appear at the border with an approval notice to be admitted to the country.

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