U.S. Increases Period of Stay for Trade-NAFTA Professionals From Canada and Mexico
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 U.S. before seeking readmission or obtaining an extension of stay. The final rule changes the initial period of admission for TN workers from one to three years, making it equal to the initial period of admission for H-1B professional workers.
Eligible TN nonimmigrants now may be allowed to receive extensions of stay in increments of up to three years instead of the previous maximum period of stay of one year. Spouses and unmarried minor children of TN nonimmigrants in their corresponding nonimmigrant classifications will also benefit from the new regulation.
The TN nonimmigrant visa classification is available to eligible Mexicans and Canadians with at least a bachelor’s degree or appropriate professional credentials who work in certain qualified fields pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Qualified professions identified within NAFTA include, but are not limited to, accountants, engineers, attorneys, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers.
The announcement, issued on October 14, 2008, is available as a PDF.