A TN visa is a visa that is available for nationals from Canada and Mexico. The applicant must have a job offer and must also have a degree in a designated profession or field. You can find out more about the TN visa by clicking here. If an applicant is Canadian, the application process can be done at a border crossing where the applicant shows the documentation while entering the U.S. If an applicant is Mexican, the applicant must apply for the TN visa at a U.S. Consulate.
You can find out more about why a TN visa is not sponsorship.
Some applicants on TN status have been furloughed, placed on leave, or terminated due to the Corona Virus. This post summarizes the implication and some possible strategies.
What if I am terminated while on a TN visa? What if I find another Job after I have been Terminated?
If you are terminated, and you have a valid I-94, you have a 60-day grace period where you can stay in the U.S. and look for other employment. You cannot work during this period. If you find another job, you can file a petition in the U.S. for TN status with the new employer, BUT you will have to wait until the petition has been approved to start working. The approval could take over 6 months and premium processing has been temporarily suspended due to the Corona virus. Once the application has been filed, you are in a period of authorized stay as long as the petition is filed before your I-94 expires. You should also note that the employer is the one who files the petition.
Normally an applicant would just go to Canada and then reenter but the Canada/U.S. border has been closed. If the border reopens, the applicant could return to Canada and obtain the TN visa at the border. The petition in the U.S. would still be adjudicated, unless withdrawn. If withdrawn, there may be a short unauthorized stay as USCIS will backdate the withdrawal to your application date.
What happens if I am Furloughed while on a TN?
If you are furloughed, and there is a reasonable expectation of return to the same employer, there is an argument that you are in valid status until you return to work. The exact conclusion would depend on the terms of the furlough, and whether there was a reasonable expectation of return. If your employment resumes, you would not have to file another TN petition and could continue working.
Can a company reduce my pay while I am on a TN Visa? What if my Company moves me to Part-Time?
Yes. When there has been a significant change in the terms of employment, there may be a need to file an amended petition but a reduction in salary may be fine depending on the amount. If a company moves an employee to part-time from full-time, this would normally necessitate a significant change of employment that may require a modified petition, but this is fact specific.
I have to renew my TN and cannot return to Canada or Mexico because of Corona Virus. What can I do?
If you are renewing a TN visa with the same employer for the same job, you can file a petition in the U.S. to extend your TN status by 3 years. If the petition is filed before the expiration date of your status, you can continue working at the same employer for 240 days without interruption even if the petition has not been approved.
You can find out more about TN visas by clicking here.
You can see our Corona Virus resource page by clicking here.
We have provided a number of links with key immigration information related to the Corona Virus.
- Top 10 Covid-19 Immigration Questions
- Implications of Layoffs for employers who have employees on H-1B and/or E-3 Visas
- USCIS announces flexibility for request for evidence (RFE) and Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)
- Information on Consular closures during Covid-19
- USCIS issues guidance on Remote 1-9 verification during Covid-19
- USCIS office closures due to Covid-19
- Can I apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits while on a Visa?
- Canada/U.S. Border Closures
- USCIS announces temporary suspension of premium processing
- What can you do if your ESTA is running out?
- Travel Ban for Europe
- Stimulus Bill (All 800 pages)
- Information on Small Business Loans related to the Stimulus package
- USCIS to accept scanned/reproduced signatures instead of “wet” signatures on immigration petitions and forms
- Implications of furlough or termination if you are on a TN visa
- Does the Stimulus Bill impact my immigration status? Is there a public charge concern?
- Understanding the Stimulus Package for Small Businesses and the Paycheck Protection Program
- Small Business Administration COVID-19 Loans
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