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News:

FSIS website under construction
Starting September 20, 2013, we'll be making changes to the format of our website. We ask for your patience as this may be a lengthy process. Contact Signe at signen@hawaii.edu if you have problems with website functionality or navigation.

New I-94 procedure
From April 30, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will begin implementing a paperless I-94 procedure at U.S. air and sea ports of entry.

EB immigrant visa availability
U.S. Department of State's monthly Visa Bulletin


Maintaining TN Compliance



TN duration

TN extensions

Changes to TN employment

Reporting changes of home address to USCIS

Travel abroad & reentry to the U.S.



TN duration [top]

There are no specific limits on TN status. TN status can be extended up to 3 years at a time indefinitely, but each time a TN employee leaves and reenters the U.S., he/she will need to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent (see Terms and Concepts) to show that his/her stay in the U.S. is temporary. Therefore, if he/she remains in the U.S. in TN status for a long period, he/she may eventually have difficulty reentering the U.S. as a nonimmigrant.

Period of authorized stay

It is extremely important to be aware of the period of authorized stay on the employee's I-94 record or admission stamp. If the I-94/admission stamp expiration date will occur before his/her UH employment resignation date or TN approval notice end date AND if UH has not filed a TN extension with USCIS on his/her behalf, his/her TN status will end on the I-94/admission stamp date. As a result, the employee will be required to leave the U.S. on or before this date to avoid accruing unlawful presence.

See Terms and Concepts for information on the functions of the other immigration documents.

See Ending TN Employment or Status for information on completing an employee's TN status or employment at UH.



TN extensions [top]

There are 2 options for extending the TN status of an employee:

OPTION 1: Applying for TN entry to the U.S. (click here for instructions)

  • Use this option if the employee will be outside the U.S. when TN authorization expires.
    • Employee must depart the U.S. by the last day of TN authorization to avoid accruing unlawful presence.
    • Department should issue a new TN support letter for the extension period.

OPTION 2: Filing a TN extension petition with USCIS (click here for instructions)

  • Use this option if the employee will be in the U.S. when TN authorization expires and he/she has no plans to travel abroad beforehand.
    • Department must submit a TN request to FSIS no later than 45 days prior to the TN end date through the Administrative/Personnel officer for the college/school/unit.
    • Extension petitions must be filed with USCIS by the business day on or before TN authorization ends.
    • As long as a petition is filed on time, the employee can remain in the U.S. and continue working for up to 240 days after the TN end date until a decision is rendered on the petition.
    • USCIS takes between 2-4 months to adjudicate TN petitions through regular processing.

 


Changes to TN employment [top]

TN approval is specific to the employer that filed the petition and covers only the particular position for which the petition was filed. 

New TN employer

If a TN worker accepts additional employment from another U.S. employer while employed by UH, the other employer must be authorized to employ him/her concurrently. Likewise, if a TN employee is leaving UH to work for another U.S. employer, that employer must be permitted to hire him/her. In both cases, he/she cannot begin working for the other employer if he/she only has TN authorization for UH employment and if the other employer has not yet been authorized to employ him/her.

Changes to current UH employment

If substantial changes to the UH position will occur, the TN employee must receive authorization for the changes before they take place. The UH department should notify FSIS immediately about impending substantial changes in the terms and conditions of your employment. Some examples of substantial employment changes include:

  • Changing from full-time to part-time or vice versa (e.g. 50% FTE to 100% FTE)
  • Appointment to a position with a new title (e.g. Junior Researcher to Assistant Researcher)
  • Moving to or adding a new work site
  • Significant changes to duties

There are 2 options for requesting changes to TN employment:

OPTION 1: Applying for TN entry to the U.S. (click here for instructions)

  • Use this option if the employee will be outside the U.S. when the changes to TN employment are scheduled to occur.
    • Concurrent employment: At entry, the employee should present support letters from each employer detailing the position he/she will hold with the respective employer.
    • Change of employer: At entry, the employee should present a support letter from the new employer.
    • Changes to UH position: At entry, the employee should present a support letter from the UH department detailing the changes to the terms of employment.

OPTION 2: Filing a TN amendment petition with USCIS (click here for instructions)

  • Use this option if the employee will be in the U.S. when the changes to TN employment are scheduled to occur and he/she has no plans to travel abroad beforehand.
    • Concurrent employment: The additional employer files a petition for concurrent TN employment on the person's behalf.
    • Change of employer: The new employer files a petition to request a change of TN employer on the person's behalf.
    • Changes to UH position: UH files a petition to request changes to TN employment on the person's behalf.



Reporting changes of home address to USCIS [top]

You and your dependents are required to report all changes of residential address to USCIS within 10 days of your move. The easiest way to report any changes is through the USCIS online change of address form. If you currently have an application pending at a USCIS Service Center, you should also contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center (toll-free number: 1-800-375-5283) to report the change.

Please also remember to notify FSIS and your UH department about your new address.

 


Travel abroad & reentry to the U.S. [top]

TN employees need the following items to reenter the U.S. TN status:

  • Valid TN approval notice (if any)
  • Valid TN entry visa in passport (Mexican citizens only) (see the U.S. embassies and consulates website for visa application requirements and to make an appointment for a visa interview)
  • Passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the TN employment period end date (if passport will expire before the TN end date, a shorter period of stay may be granted, so it is best to renew the passport before reentry)
  • TN support letter from the UH department

If TD dependents are traveling, each dependent will need the following items to reenter the U.S. in TD status:

  • Valid TD approval notice (if any) OR valid TN approval notice (if any)
  • Copy of TN's I-94 card or I-94 printout from CBP's I-94 website
  • Valid TD visa in passport (Mexican citizens only) (see the U.S. embassies and consulates website for visa application requirements and to make an appointment for a visa interview)
  • Passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the TN end date (if a passport will expire before the TN end date, a shorter period of stay than the TN's may be granted, so it is best to renew the passport before reentry)
  • Copy of marriage certificate for TD spouse
  • Copy of birth certificate for each TD child
  • TN support letter from UH department

Individuals are not guaranteed entry to the U.S. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of entry will review all immigration documents and ask the person questions about his/her stay. These officers have the discretion to admit a person in TN status and any family members in TD status and may refer them to a more detailed secondary inspection.

When the TN employee is admitted into the U.S., his/her documents should be returned and he/she should receive an admission date stamp in his/her passport with the notations “TN” (principal TN worker) or “TD” (dependents) and a date indicating the period ohe/she is authorized to stay in the U.S. He/she should also receive instructions on how to print an I-94 arrival record on CBP's I-94 website. The admission stamp with notations and the I-94 printout function as proof of admission to and legal immigration status in the U.S. In some cases, a person may be issued a paper I-94 at entry, but CBP is phasing out this process. If he/she is issued a paper I-94, that card is evidence of his/her legal status in the U.S.

TN employees and TD family members should keep copies of all approval notices, passport biodata/expiration pages, visas, admission stamps, and I-94 records permanently in case any of the documents are lost or stolen.

Each time a TN employee reenters the U.S., please provide the following items to FSIS so we can update our files and check that he/she was properly admitted to the U.S.:

  1. Top portion of the original TN approval notice (if borrowed)
  2. Copy of I-94 card or I-94 printout from CBP's I-94 website
  3. Copy of admission stamp with notations in passport
  4. Copy of new TN visa in passport (Mexican citizens only)
  5. Copy of passport biodata/expiration page (if new/renewed)
  6. Copies of #2-5 above for each TD dependent (if applicable)

Traveling abroad while a TN extension is pending

TN employees must be physically present in the U.S. at the time a petition for an extension of stay is filed, but he/she may travel abroad while the extension is pending. However, if he/she leaves the U.S. while the extension is pending, it is very important to consider the following:

  • If the prior approval notice will expire before he/she reenters the U.S., he/she must either:
    • Remain abroad until the extension approval notice can be mailed to him/her by the UH department OR
    • Obtain a TN support letter from the UH department stating the new period of TN employment and use the letter to apply for reentry to the U.S. for a new period of TN status.
  • If the prior approval notice will still be valid when he/she reenters the U.S. and if the TN extension is not yet approved, he/she can reenter using the prior approval notice.

Traveling abroad while a change of status to TN is pending

If UH is filing a petition for a change of status to TN from another status (e.g. F-1, J-1), the TN beneficiary should not leave the U.S. until the petition is approved by USCIS. If he/she leaves the U.S. while the change of status petition is pending with USCIS, the change of status will be considered abandoned.
Departments should notify FSIS about any plans to travel abroad before the petition is sent to USCIS.


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