TN status is available for Canadian or Mexican citizens who are coming to the U.S. to work in a professional position. The regulations specify various categories under Chapter 16, Appendix 2 of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Such positions normally require a bachelor’s degree. The applicant must have an employment offer, and the status can be valid for up to three-year increments.
Please contact the International Employment Manager at 919-515-4518 immediately if you are trying to sponsor someone for an SHRA position, before you begin to prepare any paperwork. There are some SHRA positions that do not qualify for TN status, and we will not be able to provide immigration sponsorship for those positions, regardless of the educational and experience credentials of the candidate.
Filing for TN status for Canadians is done either at a port of entry or with USCIS. Mexican citizens who are outside of the U.S. must apply for a TN Visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy; if they are already in the U.S., then a TN petition can be filed with USCIS. Documentation that accompanies the request for TN status must include:
- Proof of citizenship, and
- A letter from the prospective hiring unit describing in detail the duties to be performed to show that they are professional in nature. IE will draft this letter for the department/unit.
TN status can be approved for up to 3 years at a time. Extensions are possible, but multiple requests for extensions could result in denial because a TN carries only “nonimmigrant” intent, as opposed to an H-1B, which carries both immigrant and nonimmigrant intent.
To initiate a TN petition: The department/unit needs to access the new GlobalHome portal to initiate a TN petition and complete the electronic forms and upload all requested documents to IE for processing. To gain access to the portal, please follow the instructions in the Department HR User QuickStart Guide and also view GlobalHome All Users Training Videos about the system.
For a quick list of documents that will be needed from the unit, as well as information about the addresses that will be needed for the FedEx label and the AP check request process (which will be needed ONLY if the petition with be filed with USCIS, not if the person will be processing at the Canadian border), please click on the Department HR User Checklist, the Immigration Fees Chart, and the FedEx Address Chart. Please note that NO checks should be mailed directly to USCIS; please indicate on the check request form that Jill Blitstein will pick-up the check when it is ready.
The sponsored employee needs to fully complete the requested information in the GlobalHome portal, and upload all requested documents for processing. To get access to the portal, an existing employee should follow the instructions in the Current NC State Employee QuickStart Guide and a new employee should follow the instructions in the New Hire QuickStart Guide. For a list of documents that will be needed, the employee should review the All Employee Users Checklist and the Immigration Fees Chart. General information (created by IE) about the I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status for family members is available in this guidance document.
Please note that all foreign nationals employed at NC State University are required to meet with the International Compensation & Taxation unit at the time that they first become employed. Foreign nationals are also required to notify this unit of any changes in nonimmigrant status, employment and residential address. To schedule an appointment or notify this unit of such changes, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.