TN Eligible for Three-Year Admission

The USCIS has announced an increase in the allowable period of admission for foreign nationals using the Trade-NAFTA (TN) status. This status is available only to Canadian and Mexican citizens. The TN status was previously issued in one-year increments, with no limit on the number of extensions or readmissions possible. This has been changed to maximum possible three-year periods of admission, still with no limit on the number of extensions or readmissions possible.

Rule Proposed in May 2008

The increase is the result of a Final Rule, issued by the USCIS. This matter was reported at the time the Final Rule was proposed. More details are available in our May 16, 2008 article, DHS Proposed Rule to Extend TN Status to Three Years.

Canadian and Mexican Professionals

The TN category, in addition to being limited to Canadian and Mexican citizens, is also limited to a specified list of professionals, which is available at the NAFTA Secretariat WebSite. The list also specifies the educational and other professional certifications, licenses, and similar credentials required.

Renewals Still Possible

The new rule does not change eligibility for extensions or readmissions. There is not a legal limit on the number of such extensions or readmissions that can be granted. However, the TN remains a temporary nonimmigrant category.


This change is a positive one for eligible Canadian and Mexican professionals, and their employers. The three-year period of admission provides more stability and predictability in the process, and is appropriate for professional positions.


Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.