USCIS Increases Period of Stay for TN Canadians and Mexicans

October 27th, 2008

USCIS has increased the maximum period of stay for citizens of Canada and Mexico who work in the US as professionals pursuant to Trade-NAFTA (TN status).  The initial period and any extensions have been increased from one year to three years.

TN nonimmigrant status is for citizens of Mexico and Canada with at least a bachelor’s degree or appropriate professional credentials who work in certain fields pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Such professions include, but are not limited to, accountants, engineers, attorneys, pharmacists, some scientists and teachers.  The list is far more restrictive than that for the H-1B visa, since the latter is based on the position being a professional or specialty occupation.  This is defined as a position requiring the application of theoretical and practical knowledge that can only be gained through a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a particular field.