A TN visa worker's spouse & children may accompany him/her to the U.S. under TD visa status. Here are the basic requirements, procedures, and filing fees for TD visa status. 

Basic Qualifications for TD Visa Status

  • A TN visa worker's spouse and children (unmarried children under the age of 21)  may accompany or subsequently join the TN visa worker in the U.S. under TD visa status.
  • Applicants for TD visa status must demonstrate a spousal or parent-child relationship to the principal TN visa worker in order to qualify for TD visa status.
  • Like the TN visa worker, family members will also be issued an I-94 record governing their period of stay. The family member's I-94 record will be issued for the same period of stay authorized for the TN visa worker. 
  • Dependents do not have to be citizens of Canada or Mexico to be eligible for TD status.

Procedure for Initial TD Visa Status

The application process for TD visa status differs depending on the citizenship of the TN visa worker's spouse and children.

U.S. Border - Canadian Citizens:

  • Canadian citizen spouses and children may obtain TD visa status directly at a U.S. port-of-entry.  
  • TD status may be obtained either while the principal application is applying for his/her TN visa status, or after that individual has already obtained his/her TN status.
  • Family members should have the following items to secure their TD status:
    • A valid, unexpired passport for each family member. (Canadian citizen children under age 16 entering by land or sea from Canada may present an original or copy of his/her birth certificate, or a Canadian Citizenship Card.)
    • Original marriage certificate plus certified translation if not in English (spouse).
    • Original birth certificate listing both names of parents plus certified translation if not in English (children). 
    • Copy of the TN visa worker's valid I-94 record (if seeking TD status separate from TN visa worker).
    • Suggested: Recent letter from TN visa worker's employer and/or recent pay-stubs confirming his/her TN employment (if seeking TD separate from TN visa worker). 
  • Following review of the family member's documentation, the inspecting officer will issue each dependent an I-94 record under the classification symbol TD for the same period as the principal TN visa worker.
  • If a family member's passport is valid for less than the time granted to the TN visa worker (up to 3 years), CBP will issue an I-94 card with an expiration date coinciding with the expiration of his/her passport. INA § 212(a)(7)(B)(i); Inspector’s Field Manual § 15.2. Prior to this expiration date, the family member must renew his/her passport to obtain a new I-94 record. CBP will issue a new I-94 card for the duration of the TN visa worker's initial approval period after the family member has returned to the border with the new passport.

U.S. Embassy / Consulate - Mexican Citizens & Non-Canadian Citizens:

  • Unlike citizens of Canada, who are generally exempt from the visa stamp requirement, citizens of Mexico and other countries must first file for a TD visa stamp at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate prior to seeking entry to the U.S. under the process described above.
  • In addition to assembling the documents required for TD status listed above, each family member must first electronically file a DS-160 application
  • In most cases, applicants will submit their documents at a local Application Support Center, and then an attend an interview at the U.S. Embassy / Consulate. 
  • It is important to review the instructions of the U.S. Embassy / Consulate's website for instructions on the application process as procedures may vary. Generally, family members will need the following documents when applying for their TD visa stamps:
    • DS-160 application filing confirmation page.
    • Passport valid for the duration of proposed stay in the U.S.
    • Receipt for payment of the TD visa application fee.
    • Proof of relationship to the TN visa worker (see above).
    • Proof of the TN visa worker's status (see above). 
  • If approved, a TD visa stamp will be affixed to the applicant's passport. For Mexican citizens, TD visa stamps are currently valid for only a 1-year period. Other validity periods may apply depending on the family member's citizenship.
  • TD visa stamp holders must then present themselves for admission to the U.S. at a U.S. port-of-entry. In addition to their valid TD visa stamps, family member should also have on hand the documents outlined for Canadian citizens above. 
  • Upon satisfactory review, a CBP officer will then issue an I-94 record to each family member as described in the process for Canadian citizens above. 

Change or Extension of TD Status

  • If already present within the U.S. under a different non-immigrant category (e.g. F-2, H-4), the spouse and/or children of a TN visa worker may also change status to TD visa status by filing an I-539 application.
  • If already present within the U.S. under TD visa status, the spouse and/or children of a TN visa worker may also extend their TD visa status by filing an I-539 application.

Filing Fees

  • Border Applications - Canadians Only: $6 (as of 10/3/2014).
  • U.S. Embassy / Consulate - Mexicans and non-Canadian citizens: $160 (as of 10/3/2014).

Employment Authorization

  • The spouse and/or child of a TN visa worker “shall not accept employment in the United States unless otherwise authorized.” 8 C.F.R. 214.6 (j) (3).
  • If a TD dependent wants to work in the U.S., "he or she must independently seek change of status to an employment-authorized nonimmigrant classification.” 58 FR 69205, 69209 (Dec. 30, 1993).

Attending School 

  • Spouses and children in TD visa status are permitted to study: “Dependents in TD status may attend school in the United States on a full-time basis, as such attendance is deemed to be incidental to their purpose for being in the United States, which is to accompany the TN alien.” 58 FR 69205, 69209 (Dec. 30, 1993); 9 FAM 41.59 N13; INS Manuals § 15.5. See also 67 FR 18062, 18062 (April 12, 2002).

Additional Information

References

Revised Oct. 9, 2014.