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Trade NAFTA (TN) Work Authorization for Canadian Citizens

Through specifications in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), TN status allows Canadian citizens to obtain work authorization for designated TN positions, and to enter the U.S. without a visa. 

Please note, for a Mexican citizen on TN, the process for entering the U.S. is different than the process for Canadian citizens which is described here. Additionally, if you are a Mexican citizen with an offer of employment from the University of Rochester, the University's practice is to obtain an H-1B instead of a TN in this case. Please contact ISO Scholar Services staff with any questions or concerns regarding this.

 

Travel Permissions and Required Documentation

Canadian citizens may apply for TN status at a Class A Port of entry or to the U.S. immigration office at the Canadian-based international airport (i.e. Toronto, Vancouver). TN candidates should expect a reasonable delay at the border crossing or the international airport during the inspection process; it is recommended to build in several extra hours to accommodate border and airport delays, which could stem from site delay, individual issues, or problems which may surface during an interview or inspection. The TN candidate will interview with the Trade Officer and go through a formal inspection. If the TN candidate is bringing along a dependent spouse and/or children, they should be present at the same time. Based on the face-to-face interview, the documentation, and the job being offered, the foreign national may be granted a period of stay up to 3 years. There is no current limit on the number of extensions that may be requested for TN status.

At the U.S. Consulate or port of entry, TN candidates and their dependents on TD should be prepared to show the following documentation for the initial application as well as for all subsequent travel. It is suggested that you take a photocopy with you as well.

  • Letter from University of Rochester hiring department, on letterhead, which states: name and address of hiring company, TN category, job title, job duties, annual salary, full-time or part-time designation (if part-time, hours per week), educational and experiential requirements, how the candidate meets the educational and experiential requirements of the job, hiring manager’s name and title, manager’s original signature
  • Valid passport- should have at least 6 months remaining validity on it 
  • Relevant diplomas, degrees (minimum is a Bachelor’s degree), certificates, licenses 
  • Marriage certificate, and translation if necessary, for those with dependent spouses 
  • Birth certificates (including names of both parents), and translations if necessary, for all accompanying children 
  • Valid I-94 card 
  • Last two months' pay statements from the University of Rochester

Please note:

  • There is a $50.00 filing fee (subject to change)
  • There is a $10.00 port of entry fee, per person (subject to change)
  • TN Letter Template   
  • TN Appendix 1603.D.1
  • A TN or TD nonimmigrant should not travel outside the U.S. while an extension or change of status is pending with USCIS.

TN Dependents

A TN's dependent spouse and children may accompany the TN on TD status; whereas the TN principle must be a Canadian citizen, dependents are not required to hold Canadian citizenship in order to obtain TD. The dependent status is based directly on the principle TN's valid status, and dependents receive the identical amount of time in TD status as the principle TN. There are important restrictions on study and work for TD dependents. For more general information, please visit our section for Dependent Spouses & Children. When traveling, TD dependents should have the following documents:

  • Passport, valid 6 months into the future
  • Valid I-94 card
  • Proof of dependent relationship (marriage or birth certificates) 
  • Copies of primary TN documents, if traveling alone (see above)

 

Additional Information & Resources