October 14, 2008

The long awaited 3 year NAFTA TN visa

This interesting tidbit comes to me via an immigration lawyer who provides loads of goodies... Joe Grasmick (See grasmick.com). Joe has followed the NAFTA TN visa for years now and apparently has the scoop on the long awaited 3 year NAFTA TN visa, apparently now a reality!

From Grasmick... "the long-awaited regulation giving TN professionals 3 years of status at a time. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has increased the maximum period of time a Trade-NAFTA (TN) professional worker from Canada or Mexico may remain in the United States before seeking readmission or an extension of stay. This final rule changes the initial period of admission for TN workers from one to three years. This makes TN periods equal to the initial period of admission for H-1B professional workers. Eligible TN nonimmigrants can receive extensions of stay in increments of up to three years instead of the prior maximum one year period.

This is huge for US employers of Canadian workers or Canadian companies that hire US workers as the TN visa is now good for 3 yrs at a time and more important, this enables companies to by-pass the dreaded H1B application process.. what many call a total nightmare! This is very huge for workers too... as a former TN visa holder I can tell you that working in a country with a permit only valid for one year increments is a total pain in the arse and leads to endless immigration dealings and head-aches! See more on immigration dealings at http://www.uscis.gov

Disclaimer: please do not use this information as legal advice and always verify immigration and visa related information with UCIS


devin said...

That is great news!! It’s actually kind of funny because the past weekend I was doing a little research (in b/w Turkey dinners!!) on my options as a Canadian to gain employment in the US. I have known the options (TN, H1B) but really didn’t know how to go about it. I read your post indicating that the USCIS had been looking into extending the TN to 3 years…and it’s now here! Thanks for the update.

Glenn The GISuser said...

Far as I can tell its not official yet (re USCIS) but Grasmick is a very reliable source) No details yet on how extensions will be handled etc... definitely a nice change though as living on a TN is no way for anyone to live. there's so many safeqguards in place now post-911 that its simply too much hassle to try and stay in the US on a TN - you will forever be dealing with extensions and hassles - and then there's the DMV.. I won't even go there!