United States Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced that Canadian citizens who apply for Trade NAFTA (TN) status may use Form I-129 even if they reside outside of the United States.
The North American Free Trade Agreement created a special economic relationship between the United States, Canada and Mexico which extended from trade to the workplace. The TN status allows Canadian and Mexican non-immigrants to temporarily work in the professional business setting in the United States.
Before the change, USCIS would only accept TN applications from Canadian and Mexican citizens who were already in the United States and wished to change or extend their TN status. Individuals who were not in the United States needed to present an application to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to gain entry, but this former system was found to be inefficient and disruptive. Applicants can now file paperwork in advance and make travel arrangements knowing that the application will be approved at the border.
Form I-129 is an employment-based petition for a nonimmigrant worker, and having it filled out will be helpful when CBP officers question an individual’s TN eligibility at a port of entry.
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