New Work Visa Option for Canadian Citizens

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On October 1, 2012, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”) began accepting Form I-129 petitions for nonimmigrant workers filed on behalf of Canadian citizens who are outside the U.S. and seeking work in this country.

The new gateway to working opporunities in the U.S. was opened pursuant to provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement, enabling qualified Canadian citizens to work in this country for employer sponsors by means of so-called TN visas.

Sponsored employees can be granted TN visas of up to three years in length provided that they:

  • Can prove Canadian citizenship;
  • Can demonstrate that they will perform services in a profession or occupation set forth on the USCIS list of professions and occupations qualifying for TN visas; and
  • Can demonstrate that they have either the minimum education or employment experience required to perform the profession or occupation for which they are being sponsored on the list of occupations that qualify for a TN visa.

Furthermore, multinational U.S. employers who have sponsored Canadian citizens for L-1 visas in the past (enabling employees of international companies to transfer to a U.S. office for limited periods of time) may now file a Form I-129 petition with the USCIS under appropriate circumstances. Employers should check with counsel to determine what kind of employment avenues are best for their particular foreign worker needs.

If you are an employer or employer’s representative in charge of immigration sourcing and compliance, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (847) 564-0712 for an appointment to speak with a qualified attorney. You can also check out our immigration law Website for more information about how we might assist you.