Obtaining TN Status at Texas A&M University San Antonio

You can obtain TN status through the Office of International Affairs (OIA). The sponsoring department will initiate the request to obtain TN status with the Office of International Affairs. The OIA will determine if TN status is appropriate for an international faculty member.

TN Status for Canadian and Mexican Employees

The TN classification is available to Canadian and Mexican citizens who seek to enter the U.S. on a temporary basis to work in a professional-level job under provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). TN status was created by NAFTA for the purpose of easing the entry of Canadian and Mexican citizens who come to the U.S. to work temporarily. The procedures for Canadian and Mexican citizens are similar. However, Mexican citizens must apply for a TN visa at a U.S. consulate prior to entering the U.S. in TN status.

Eligibility

In order to apply for TN status, you must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico and must engage in activities at a professional level. “Professional level” refers to occupations that require the individual to have at least a baccalaureate degree or appropriate credentials in a profession set forth in Appendix 1603.D.1 of the NAFTA.

Additionally, you can only enter the U.S. on a temporary basis. Temporary entry, as defined in NAFTA, means entry without the intent to establish permanent residence. You must demonstrate to the U.S. consular officer or inspecting immigration officer that the proposed stay is temporary. A temporary period has a reasonable, finite end that does not equate to permanent residence. For this reason, TN status is not appropriate for employees holding a tenure-track appointment.

Finally, you can only work for the petitioner while only performing the duties described in the offer letter.

Duration

TN status may be requested for up to three years, and may be renewed in three-year increments. Although the regulations do not limit the number of years that the TN may be used, TN is a nonimmigrant status. You must establish to the satisfaction of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that the employment opportunity is both temporary and short-term. You must not have the intent to establish permanent residence in the U.S. 

Dependents

Dependents of TN status holders are granted TD status. TD status holders are not allowed to accept employment or receive payment of any kind. 

Port-of-Entry

Canadian Applicants: At the port-of-entry (by land or by air), Canadian TN applicants must present the documents listed below to the U.S. immigration inspector for adjudication. 

Mexican Applicants: Mexican applicants must first apply for a TN visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad providing the documents listed below as a part of the visa application. Presentation of these documents is not a guarantee of a TN visa (for Mexicans only), nor is it a guarantee that TN status and entry to the U.S. will be granted.  The U.S. consular official or immigration officer will evaluate each case on its own merits, and according to the federal rules governing TN status.

At the U.S. port-of-entry, the TN status will be granted. The TN status will be marked on your Form I-94 and in the passport.  It may be valid for a period of up to three years from the date of entry, and can be extended for up to three years at a time (there must be an approved appointment and guaranteed funding for the requested TN period).

Changes to TN Status and Extensions of Stay in TN Status

Changes from one nonimmigrant status to TN status as well as extensions of TN status may be accomplished either by filing a petition with USCIS or by exiting and reentering the U.S. Citizens of Mexico must have or obtain a valid TN visa before applying for entry to the U.S. Please inform the OIA staff if a change of status to TN will be required and additional guidance will be provided.

 Check-In Procedures at A&M-SA

Upon your entry into the U.S. as a TN status holder, you must contact the OIA and present original copies of your I-94 card and any other immigration documents.