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TN Visa: Temporary Entry for Canadian or Mexican Nationals

The TN visa is only available to citizens of NAFTA countries: Canada and Mexico. Document requirements differ depending on whether you are from Canada or Mexico. Nonimmigrant intent is required, meaning that you must establish that your intended length of stay in the US will be temporary. If you have questions about the TN visa and would like to consult with an attorney, contact The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. We have over 50 years of combined legal experience in a wide variety of complex and immigration law matters.

Passport and identity document requirements

You must submit proof that you are either a Canadian or Mexican citizen. If you are a citizen of Canada, you do not need a passport unless you are coming from outside of the Western Hemisphere or you are coming through a port of entry via an airport. You will need to provide a document showing your citizenship (a birth certificate for example) and a document proving your identity (a driver's license for example). If you are a citizen of Mexico, you will need to show a valid passport. Your spouse and children would be eligible to come with you on the TD visa even if they are not citizens of Canada or Mexico.

Nonimmigrant intent required

The TN visa is a nonimmigrant visa meaning that it does not grant permanent US residence, but rather temporary stay in the US, just like the H-1B and L visas. But, unlike the H-1B and L visas, the TN visa requires that you have nonimmigrant intent. This means that in order to be eligible for the TN visa, you must establish that your intention is to remain in the US temporarily and then to return to your home country. In order to establish this, you can show ties to your home country such as residence, property, real estate, financial or other connections, and you can also show that your work assignment in the US will be for a limited length of time and should end at a definite date.

Periods of stay

Unlike the H-1B and L visas that have maximum limits on the period of stay, TN visa extensions are unlimited, and there is no maximum limit of the length of time you can stay in the US, provided that you do not have intention to remain permanently. Initial visa is for one to three years, as are extensions. However, if you have already been in the US with TN visa status for several years, any extensions of stay will be looked at by the USCIS with greater scrutiny to determine whether your intention is to be in the US temporarily or permanently. Therefore, it may be a good idea to consider changing status from TN to H-1B or L at some point to leave the door open for an immigrant visa (green card) down the road. If you would like further information about the TN visa or any other immigration matter, please contact our immigration attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA to schedule a consultation with an attorney at an office near you.

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