TN Visa Changes / Amendments
In certain instances a new TN visa application may have to be filed to notify the U.S. government of changes in a TN visa worker's employment.
- While most other non-immigrant visa classifications provide more detailed regulations as to when a new application must be filed to reflect any changes in an individual's employment, the TN regulations provide very little guidance.
- The regulations do state that a new application must be filed in the event of a TN visa worker's transfer to a separately incorporated subsidiary or affiliate of the original petitioning employer (transfers to branches or offices of the same employer do not require a new TN). 8 C.F.R. § 214.6 (i) (3).
- The regulations also state that an individual may continue to be admitted to the U.S. for the remainder of his/her TN I-94 without a new application “provided the original intended professional activities and employer(s) have not changed.” 8 C.F.R. § 214.6 (g) (1).
- The legacy INS NAFTA Handbook provides a general rule as to what may trigger the need to file an amended TN application: “The petitioner shall immediately notify the Service of any changes in the terms and conditions of employment of a beneficiary which may effect eligibility under Section 214(e) of the Act or Sec. 214.6. An amended petition should be filed when the petitioner continues to employ the beneficiary. If the petitioner no longer employs the beneficiary, the petitioner shall send a letter explaining the change(s) to the director who approved the petition.”
- Based on the NAFTA Handbook then, any changes that may call into question a TN visa worker's meeting of the main requirements for TN visa status may require the filing of a new TN application.
I-129 Petition Mail-in Option
- A citizen of Mexico or Canada may amend his/her TN visa status by filing an I-129 petition by mail to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- The I-129 petition process eliminates the need for a TN visa worker to depart the U.S. and apply for a new TN at the border (Canadian citizens) or at the U.S. Embassy (Mexican citizens) in order to amend his/her employment authorization under TN visa status.
- The I-129 petition process requesting an amendment of status will have much of the same requirements as the I-129 petition process for an extension of status.
Amending TN Status at the Border/U.S. Embassy
- As an alternative to using Form I-129, TN visa workers may also "amend" their TN status by filing an application at the U.S. port-of-entry (Canadians) or at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.
- This process will generally involve the same steps and documentation required for an initial TN visa application.
- Citizens of Mexico may be able to avoid the interview requirement in certain scenarios when "renewing" TN visa stamps at the U.S. Embassy/Waiver.
Revised Oct. 13, 2014.