Canadian TN Nonimmigrants
On Oct. 1, 2012, USCIS will begin accepting the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, filed on behalf of Canadian citizens who are outside the United States and seeking classification as a TN nonimmigrant.
With respect to the TN classification, USCIS currently only accepts Form I-129 in connection with a request to extend a TN nonimmigrant’s stay or to change a nonimmigrant’s status to TN.
TN visas are available to Canadian and Mexican nationals (“alien”) who enter the US to perform professional services in certain designated professions and who possess the necessary qualification credentials to be considered a professional in one of the fields on Schedule 2 of NAFTA. As discussed below, the TN category has several distinct advantages over other visas (H-1: Temporary Professional Workers and L-1: Intra company Transferees) most commonly used to retain professional alien workers.
I got my first TN in 07/96 and was content working with that until the Pigeon River point of entry decided that the TN for health care worker was good only for 6 months with the second one at no charge. Back then, dual intent was either ignored or didn't exist for TNs so I started the immigration process. I was in Kansas, so my labor cert took 2 years because there was only one person in Topeka working on them. If I lived in New Jersey, it would have been approved in a month. Once it was approved, I filed the I-140 and after that was approved, the I-485. There was no H1B involved.
I've been in the US for 13 of the last 14 years and over the years I've obtained 6 different TN's and I've been on an H1b for a total of 8 years. I was voluntarily out of the country for 1 year about 5 years ago, which reset my H1b clock.
The last status I had was a TN and that was after I was married to a USC (we were still deciding what country we'd live in) and finally I filed for my GC. My EAD was approved 2 weeks prior to my TN expiring and now I am just waiting for my GC Interview in 4 weeks.
We went to US Consulate, Ottawa and got my wife's TD visa stamped in her passport.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it is clarifying policy guidance (PDF, 71 KB) on the specific work activities its officers should consider when determining whether an individual qualifies for TN nonimmigrant status as an economist.