Three Year TN Rule Approved!

USCIS has approved its proposed rule to extend TN visa status from one year to three years effective October 16, 2008.

The rule does not provide any new filing procedures for obtaining a three year TN. The filing process and requirements for TN visa status remain the same. The only difference is that an applicant at the border or airport may now request TN visa status "for a period not to exceed three years." See 8 C.F.R. s. 214.6 (e) and (h) (2). Likewise, when filing for an extension of TN status, the petitioner may request TN status "for a maximum period of three years." 8 C.F.R. s. 214.6 (h) (1) (iii). The new rule does not modify the total period of time an individual may be in TN visa status. As long as an individual continues to perform TN business activities at a professional level and properly maintains his or her TN nonimmigrant status, he or she may remain in TN status indefinitely. 8 C.F.R. s. 214.6 (h) (1) (iv). 

USCIS refused to otherwise modify the TN visa program despite requests by commentators for changes such as extending the dual intent provisions to the TN visa classification, establishing clear guidelines in determining a "closely related" degree, and work authorization for spouses. According to USCIS, the expressed expansion of the dual intent provisions to the TN visa program would be inconsistent with NAFTA and congressional intent. Also, the additional requests for comprehensive reform were beyond the scope of the proposed rule.