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How long can I stay in the U.S. if I enter on a TN visa? Can I stay 1 year or 3 years?

By July 21, 2020March 11th, 2021Immigration, TN Visa

TN visa is a visa that is based on the free trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the U.S.  It allows certain professions (for example lawyers, accountants, graphic designers, researchers, engineers) to easily obtain employment in the U.S.

Mexican nationals can be granted TN visa only for one year. Our clients often ask us whether they will have to go and re-apply for a TN visa every year in their home country.

What is TN visa? What is TN status?

It is important to realize that there is a difference between a TN visa and a TN status.

The TN visa stamp is what gives you the ability to travel in and out of the U.S. Mexican nationals can be granted TN visa only for one year. For example, if you were granted a TN visa on October 1, 2018 and the visa expiration date is September 30, 2019, then you would only be able to enter the U.S. by September 30, 2019. Once the TN visa expires, you are not be able to enter the U.S. on the TN visa.

The TN status refers to the classification under which you entered the United States (in this case TN) and the length of time the person is permitted to stay in the United States. Every time you enter the U.S. you should check when your status expires when you click here. When you enter the U.S. on a TN visa, you should be granted 3 years in a TN status.

This means, that even once your TN visa is already expired but you have a valid TN status, you may stay in the U.S. until your I-94 (your TN status) expires.

Please note that sometimes the CBP officers do not admit you in the U.S. for the full 3 years. In such case, you should contact the CBP office where you entered the U.S. and ask them to get the I-94 corrected.

Please click here to find out more about the TN visa requirements.

Please see our blog post on what documents you should bring to the visa interview when you click here.

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