Can I turn my Visitor Visa into a TN Visa? - Resources Blog - US Immigration FAQs - Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law - Buffalo NY

If you are a Canadian or Mexican citizen that was lawfully admitted to the US as a visitor visa holder, you might be able to change your visa to a TN Visa while remaining inside the US. Here’s who can do it, and how it’s done.

Who is allowed to change from a visitor visa to a TN Visa?

You might be able to remain inside the US and change from a visitor visa to a TN Visa if all of the following conditions are met:

  • You are a Canadian or Mexican Citizen
  • You are lawfully admitted as a visitor (as a visa-exempt or on a B-1 Visitor Visa)
  • You have maintained your visa
  • You have a valid offer of employment from a US entity under a TN Visa profession
  • You meet the minimum requirements for that TN profession

About TN Visas About B-1 Visitor Visas

Who is NOT allowed to change from a visitor visa to a TN Visa?

You may not be able to change from a visitor visa to a TN Visa if any of the following conditions apply:

  • You have overstayed your visit inside the US by 10 days or more
  • You have otherwise violated your visa by working unauthorized
  • You have committed a crime

How do I change my visitor visa to a TN Visa?

You can change from a visitor visa to a TN Visa while remaining inside the US by applying for a TN Visa using USCIS Form I-129. You cannot self-petition or be self-employed on a TN Visa, so your employer must file a Form I-129 on your behalf. A petition to change from a visitor visa to a TN visa must include the following supporting evidence:

  • Proof of Canadian or Mexican citizenship
  • Proof of lawful entry to the United States, typically through CBP Form I-94
  • A job offer for a qualifying TN profession
  • Proof of qualifications for the TN profession
  • Proof that you have maintained your lawful status in the US

TN Visa Professions How to Apply for a TN Visa TN Visa Requirements

Other Considerations

If you are considering changing from a visitor visa to a TN Visa, keep the following in mind:

  • You can file up to 6 months in advance of the intended start date.
  • You cannot depart the US while the petition is pending with USCIS. If you depart prior to approval, your petition will be considered “abandoned” and you will be denied.
  • You cannot start working for your employer until the petition has been approved by USCIS. For this reason, many opt for 15-day premium processing through USCIS Form I-907.
  • If you have dependents, you must also file Form I-539 with USCIS to change their status to TD dependant status.

Additional Outside Resources

We Can Help!

Don’t know where to start? The TN Visa lawyers at Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law have hundreds of 5-star client reviews and more than 20 years of experience helping TN Visa holders with all aspects of the TN Visa process. We always start with a free case assessment, and offer several levels of TN Visa legal services to fit your needs.

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