Qualifications for TN non-immigrant status

The North American Free Trade Agreement allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to work legally in the United States without applying for immigrant status. If you have a prearranged job in New Jersey, you may qualify for the TN non-immigrant classification if you meet specific conditions.

The TN classification is a professional designation

This immigration classification allows qualified professionals to temporarily enter the United States and work here for three years. To be eligible for this designation, you must be a professional with the education and qualifications to practice in your field. Among the types of professionals eligible are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists and teachers. In addition to having a prearranged job, you must also provide documentation showing your qualifications.

Canadian citizens do not need a visa, but they should provide proof of Canadian citizenship and an approval notice from USCIS for Form I-129. On the other hand, Mexican citizens must apply for a visa for TN classification and then apply for admission into the country at a designated U.S. port of entry or a designated inspection station.

Spouses and families may also live in the U.S. with TN workers during the work period. Your dependents may not work while in the United States, but they may attend school.

Extending your TN classification

As a TN immigrant, you are initially restricted to three years in the United States. You may be able to extend your TN classification beyond the original three years if you still have employment.

Workers with a TN classification may be able to petition to change their status to another immigration status if they desire to stay in the United States. However, if you are considering doing so, note that the process can be complicated and may take a long time.

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