Tuesday, May 20, 2008

USCIS Proposes Extension of TN Visas

USCIS announced in May that it was proposing a change in the regulations to permit TN professionals to stay in the U.S. for as long as three years on each visit. Under current rules the TN visa is valid for a maximum period of one year and the foreign national must then leave the U.S. and re-enter with a new visa. The TN visa is issued in accordance with the NAFTA trade agreements with Canada and Mexico and permits certain professionals to enter the U.S. to work. The decision extending the authorized stay takes on increased importance because of the scarcity of H-1B visas (see above story). Citizens of Canada and Mexico who might otherwise qualify for H-1B professional visas will usually qualify for the TN.

Some employers however have been reluctant to utilize the TN because of the shorter approval period.

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