TN Status Information

Who is Eligible for TN Status?

The TN classification is available to Canadian and Mexican citizens who seek to enter the United States on a temporary basis to work in a professional-level job under provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The procedures and information outlined in this section apply only to Canadian citizens. The process for Mexican citizens to apply for TN status involves additional steps not described here. For any questions about TN status for a citizen of Mexico, contact the Office of International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS) for assistance.

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

How to Sponsor a TN Applicant

What the department does

Provides a letter from the employer on departmental letterhead with an original signature.   Please be sure to provide a copy to ISSS for our records. The letter should include:

  • The profession of the applicant, as listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 (see lists of qualifying professions.)
  • A description of the professional activities, including a brief summary of daily job duties the applicant will engage in for Florida Tech.
  • The applicant ‘s educational qualifications or appropriate credentials, which demonstrate that he/she has the professional level status and qualifications needed for the position
  • The anticipated length of appointment /employment  is not to exceed 3 years (though possible “reapplication” for TN status if appointment is extended may be indicated).
  • The specific arrangements for remuneration during the time period requested (annual salary from Florida Tech.)

What the TN beneficiary does

  • Consult the TN NAFTA Professionals for details about admission to the United States in TN status.
  • Enter the United States in TN status no more than 10 days prior to the employment start date indicated in the employer’s letter.
  • Enter the United States in TN status, rather than as a visitor or in some other nonimmigrant status.
  • Provide a copy of the supporting  letter, as well as proof of the degree, to the immigration official.
  • The U.S. immigration officer issues Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record and either places a paper copy in your passport or scans your passport & generates an electronic arrival record with elements previously found on a paper Form I-94.  The I-94 must indicate “TN” status and reflect the validity dates requested in the employer’s letter (up to one year), the TN occupation, and the employer’s name. The I-94 is evidence of the eligibility to work in the United States and will be used by the department to complete the I-9 employment eligibility verification form. The beneficiary retains the I-94 if a paper copy was placed in the passport and presents it as evidence of TN status when re-entering the United States from Canada during the period of authorized stay.  If the CBP instead generates an electronic I-94 record, the traveler may wish to visit the official I-94 website and print their electronic card.
  • Check in with International Student and Scholar Services upon arrival at Florida Tech.

What ISSS does

ISSS office is generally not involved with the initial sponsorship of a TN beneficiary. Instead, the hiring Florida Tech department provides all documentation necessary for the beneficiary to enter the United States to begin TN status.

Change in Employment Status

Resignations and terminations

Upon separation from Florida Tech, the TN beneficiary is expected to depart the United States immediately. The TN classification does NOT grant any grace period following conclusion of employment.

Change of title and/or academic department

The TN classification is “job-specific” and cannot generally be “transferred” to another position or department on campus.

It is possible for a TN to change employers or even work with multiple employers simultaneously. However, all employment must be authorized in advance by USCIS.

On-leave status

A TN maintains lawful visa status in the United States only when maintaining paid employment. Before approving an unpaid leave for an employee in TN status, contact ISSS.

Outside professional activities

Florida Tech employees in TN status may on occasion have to lecture at other institutions or conferences. TN employees cannot receive honorarium or other monetary or material gain for such activities, although reimbursement for travel and reasonable expenses is allowed.

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