Your TN Visa status has been approved, Congratulations! You are now authorized to legally work and live in the United States. As you commence your employment in the United States under TN visa status there are a few key points you should keep in mind. We cover some key points here.
1) Print your electronic CBP Form I-94
When you are admitted to the United States under TN Visa status, you will receive a corresponding I-94, either physically stapled in your passport, or electronically. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has now transitioned primarily to issuing electronic I-94 arrival and departure records. The I-94 serves as proof of your lawful admission under a TN Visa, and also indicates the duration of your TN Visa. You will be authorized to work and live in the US for the duration of your TN Visa as indicated on your I-94 admission record. You should print your I-94 record to verify it was issued correctly and to provide it to your employer as proof of employment authorization.
2) Pay attention to your TN Visa validity Period
You are only authorized to work for the time period listed on your CBP Form I-94. Upon issuance of your TN visa verify the start and end date and make sure you make necessary plans to obtain a new TN visa or depart the United States on or before your visa expiration date. Overstaying your visa can have serious immigration consequences. There are grace periods that apply to the TN visa that you should be aware of in the event that your circumstances suddenly change. It is your responsibility to maintain legal work authorization while inside the United States.
3) TN Visa Status is Employer/Client specific
When TN Visa status is issued it is tied to a specific employer/client. You are ONLY authorized to work for the employer/client that is indicated on the TN visa. You can however hold multiple TN visas at a time. Make sure you obtain a new TN visa prior to commencing employment for an employer/client not listed on your TN Visa.
4) TN Visa Status is position/job specific
When TN Visa status is issued it is tied to a specific TN Visa profession/job. You are ONLY authorized to perform duties in the United States consistent with the TN Visa profession/job you were approved for. If there is a significant change in your position due to a promotion or job change, you may need to obtain a new TN visa specific to the position. Before making a change in your employment, make sure it will not have a negative impact on your TN visa status.
5) TN Visa Status authorizes a US Social Security Number (SSN)
Once you have been issued TN visa status, you will be able to obtain a US Social Security Number (SSN). It typically takes 10 business days for the US Department of Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to provide the required information to the Social Security Administration for them to verify your work authorization and issue an SSN. The SSN is typically required by employers for employment purposes and can also be used to open a US bank account and obtain credit in the United States.
6) Complete Form I-9
ALL employees hired to work in the United States must complete USCIS Form I-9 prior to commencing employment under TN visa status. The purpose of USCIS Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is to verify both the identity and employment authorization of employees hired to work in the United States. Employers are required to complete Form I-9 for all employees. You should complete Form I-9 prior to commencing work in the United States under TN visa status.
7) TD Visa Status for Dependents (Spouse and Children)
Your qualifying dependents can obtain TD status at the same time you obtain your TN status, or anytime thereafter. Any accompanying or “following to join” spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible for TD visa status.
8) Traveling under TN Visa Status
TN visa status can be approved for as little as 1 day and up to 3 years at a time and can be renewed indefinitely with no limits on renewals or extensions. A TN visa is also a multiple entry visa. This means that during the validity of your TN Visa status you are able to travel as much as needed inside or outside the United States without limit. Whether you need to travel for personal or employment reasons, TN visa status is flexible allowing you to spend as little or as much time as you need inside the United States as long as you maintain your status.
9) Bringing your Pet to the USA
Most healthy domestic pets can be brought to the United States with the proper paperwork. (CBP highly recommends contacting the anticipated port of arrival before importing a pet or other animal for expeditious processing and to reduce the possibility of unnecessary delays.) If you are bringing a pet to the United States, you need to make sure you are following the required regulations for traveling with a pet.
10) Bringing your Vehicle to the USA
Under agreements between the United States and Canada, Canadians are permitted to tour in the USA without USA license plates or USA driver’s permits. For Canadians working in the USA on a TN Visa or an L-1 Visa, you may have a vehicle that you would like to bring with you. Here’s how to comply with the importation requirements with US Customs & Border Protection (CBP).
11) Bringing your household belongings to the USA
After you have been approved for an immigrant or non-immigrant visa allowing you to work and live in the United States, you might have household belongings you wish to bring with you. Prior to moving any belongings to the United States, there are procedures you need to be aware of before moving your belongings. Find out about the process of bringing your belongings to the United States here.
12) Transition to US Permanent Residence (Green Card)
The TN Visa under USMCA (NAFTA) makes it easier for Canadian and Mexican citizens to legally work and live in the United States. The TN Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that is valid for up to three (3) years at a time and can be renewed indefinitely. Technically, anyone with a nonimmigrant visa that meets the permanent residency requirements may apply for a green card. However, the “intent to stay,” can create problems for a TN Visa holder. We can assist you with the TN Visa to Green card process.
We Can Help!
The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law have more than 20 years of experience helping people to live and work in the United States. Contact us today for a free assessment of your legal situation.