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Tn status

The meaning of «tn status»

TN status or TN visa (Trade NAFTA) is a special non-immigrant classification in the United States that offers expedited work authorization to a citizen of Canada or a national of Mexico, created as a result of provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement that mandate simplified entry and employment permission for certain professionals from each of the three NAFTA member states in the other member states.[1][2]

A Canadian citizen or Mexican national with a job offer in certain defined professions and who meets the minimal education requirements for each defined profession can work in the United States, for up to three years.[3] The permit potentially may be renewed indefinitely.

Canada's corresponding NAFTA work permit for US citizens and Mexican nationals is sometimes unofficially also referred to as a TN status or TN visa,[4] although this name is technically only a creation of US law.[2]

It bears a similarity, in some ways, to the US H-1B visa, but also has many unique features. Most notably, the H-1B visa allows for dual intent to obtain permanent residency in the United States, whereas TN status holders are not permitted to seek permanent residency in the US and can be denied entry or deported should they apply for or express interest in obtaining permanent residency.

The governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States negotiated a regional free trade agreement, which came to be known as NAFTA, during the 1980s.[5] The leaders of the three nations signed the agreement in their respective capitals on December 17, 1992.[6]

NAFTA included an Appendix 1603.D.1 that required each of the member-states to institute laws and regulations for the free temporary movement of certain professionals among the three member-states with special simplified immigration procedures.[7]

NAFTA was implemented in US federal law in 1993 through the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, H.R. 3450, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057.[8][9][10]

After approval of the measure by the US House and US Senate, President Bill Clinton signed the law on December 8, 1993, placing NAFTA into effect on January 1, 1994.[11]

The measure inserted a new sub-paragraph into section 214 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, codified at United States Code, title 8, section 1184, that states:[10]

An alien who is a citizen of Canada or Mexico, and the spouse and children of any such alien if accompanying or following to join such alien, who seeks to enter the United States under and pursuant to the provisions of Section D of Annex 1603 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (in this subsection referred to as 'NAFTA') to engage in business activities at a professional level as provided for in such Annex, may be admitted for such purpose under regulations of the Attorney General promulgated after consultation with the Secretaries of State and Labor, for purposes of this Act, including the issuance of entry documents and the application of subsection (b), such alien shall be treated as if seeking classification, or classifiable, as a nonimmigrant under section 101(a}(15).

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