The nonimmigrant USMCA Professional (TN) visa permits citizens of Canada and Mexico to work temporarily in the United States in certain occupations. At Yale, the most typical use of the TN visa is for salaried employees doing teaching or research. For academic appointments (postdoctoral researcher, instructor, etc…) the basic steps are as follows:
- The host department at Yale contacts their OISS adviser.
- Once OISS confirms TN eligibility the department sets up an OISS Connect record by completing the New Sponsorship Request (NSR).
- The department sends the OISS adviser a draft TN support letter (see details below).
- The final letter is sent to the scholar with instructions.
- At the appointed date, the Canadian scholar presents at the U.S. port of entry evidence of citizenship, degree (in the relevant field listed on the TN list), the Yale offer letter, and pays $50.00 (Canadians). If successful the individual enters the U.S. in TN status.
- The Mexican scholar must apply for a TN visa at a U.S. embassy, and when the visa is issued, then enter the U.S.
TN status is granted when the scholar enters the U.S. for up to a three year period based on the actual dates of employment. TN status is valid for the time the scholar is employed, up to the expiration of the I-94 record. TN can be extended beyond the orignal appointment dates (see below), but when the employment is concluded, there is only a ten-day grace period of additional time to remain in the U.S.
Spouses and dependent children of persons in TN status hold TD status.
The letter should contain the following information:
- State that it is an offer of employment and name the scholar
- Be addressed to “U.S. Customs and Border Protection”
- Contain a thorough description of the job duties and dates of employment; from-to not exceed three years and list the salary
- Ask OISS what the correct USMCA occupation category is, and include this in the letter
- Conclude with contact information, work site location address and phone number
Download a sample TN letter here.
Once the host department has updated OISS Connect and issued a new TN letter to the scholar the scholar can re-enter the U.S. (from Canada) by traveling and repeating steps 4 and 5 above. It is rarely worth the expense of paying for a TN extension within the U.S., but it is possible following the steps below at least 6 months prior to the expiration of the current TN.
- The department updates OISS Connect
- The department creates a new TN support letter including the dates of extension (not to exceed 3 years.)
- The department orders a $460 check request (please refer to the following chart - the fees are the same as H-1B and O-1)
- Optional: The scholar or department orders a I-907 Premium Processing an additional $2500 check
- The department provides a pre-paid Yale e-Global shipping label to one of the offices below
Premium Processing Service
USCIS Vermont Service Center
30 River Road
Essex Junction, VT 05452-3808
USCIS Vermont Service Center
38 River Road
Essex Junction, VT 05479-0001
Materials from the Scholar
- A copy of the current I-94 record
- Family members must complete Form I-539
- The filing fee for Form I-539 is $370
- Current I-94 record for each family member