TN Visa Worker’s Children: Attending School under TD or F-1 Status?

Question: My son is planning to attend a local college in pursuit of his nursing degree.  I understand that likely requires international student tuition rates.  The registration office currently believes the TD Visa is insufficient for student admission but that he would need a separate Student Visa. Is this correct?

Reply: Spouses and children in TD visa status are permitted to study in the U.S. without obtaining an F-1 student visa. Schools may consider them non-residents for tuition purposes and subject them to higher tuition rates. While TD status may permit studying in the U.S., there are some advantages to attending school under F-1 visa student status.

For example, a child is only eligible for TD status until age 21. There are no age limitations with the F-1 visa classification. F-1 students can also obtain employment authorization in certain situations during school. They can also be eligible for one-year of “open-market” employment authorization following graduation.

Another advantage of a TN visa worker's child obtaining F-1 visa status is that the child's immigration status is no longer dependent on the TN visa worker maintaining his/her status. If a TN visa worker is laid-off, and as result loses his/her TN status, any dependent children lose their TD status also. This loss of status can jeopardize their ability to continue to attend school. A parent's loss of TN status would not jeopardize a child's F-1 status.