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TN Visa and what if NAFTA falls apart

Discussion in 'TN Status' started by Jason Telner, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Jason Telner

    Jason Telner New Member


    I am a Canadian citizen working in the U.S. on a TN Visa. I just renewed my TN Visa again and still have 2 years remaining on it.

    I am greatly concerned about what will happen if the U.S. pulls out of NAFTA given that the current negotiation news that negotiations do not appear to be going well toward renegotiation of a new agreement.

    My questions are:

    1) How would current TN Visa holders be impacted? Would they able to remain on their TN Visa until it expires or would it be terminated immediately?

    2) What are the other Visa options for TN holders? i.e. is H1B an option?

    Thank you.
  2. nelsona

    nelsona Registered Users (C)

  3. Jason Telner

    Jason Telner New Member

    Thanks, based on what I've read he can execute the order of withdrawal but then the party after 6 months must decide if they in fact wish to withdraw which is where I believe things can get messy with congress etc. The withdrawal article I believe may not give president the unilateral power to make the final withdrawal decision but only to execute the order as I understand it based on how the order has been written out. This may result in lengthy court battles to actually complete the NAFTA withdrawal which would elongate the process. Thoughts anyone???
  4. 38off

    38off Registered Users (C)

    I want to renew this thread with another theory and question.
    First, my understanding of the latest posturing on NAFTA is that Trump is likely to declare his intent to withdraw formally very soon. Now we all know that this doesn't happen immediately, there will be 6 months for congress to verify, and likely some court excitement.
    However, my concern is that he has the power to have the DHS (INS) to stop issuing visas (but allow the existing ones to expire), which is certainly aligned with his history and his bases desires.
    So, my intent is to renew (I know it is technically not renew, it is a new application) my TN immediately to beat this likely scenario. However, my current TN doesn't expire until mid March, and I know I have heard others state that you shouldn't renew/apply until there is less than 1 month left in existing TN. Am I too soon at 2 months early? Does anyone have experience with earlier than 1 month renewal?
  5. CDN9

    CDN9 Member

    If you are worried about the specific scenario you indicated above, you can always apply for renewal by using I-129 6 months prior to the current expiration date of your status. If you decide to go to the border for applying, then you may be going close to expiration date (a week or two) from the current expiration date of your status.

    There is so much stuff in the media on NAFTA, and lot of scenarios even if there is a pullout. So, for now, it is better to focus on getting your TN renewed and keep working.
  6. preet4575

    preet4575 Registered Users (C)

    I agree with CDN9. There is lot of news in media about NAFTA and it can be overwhelming. Since there is no impact on TN yet, just keep applying/renewing as it has been going on previously and concentrate on work.

    I am sure there are other alternatives that would be in place in case NAFTA falls but again we do not know how they gonna look like. Just keep working for now, worst case scenario is we move back to Canada.
  7. 38off

    38off Registered Users (C)

    CDN9 and preet4575 - thanks for the comments. I prefer a border application to I-129 for many reasons, plus I cross the border often (every couple months).
    Just to clarify my one question - how far from the expiration date has anyone been successful at renew. I remember years ago, even on one year renewals this was not a problem (remember once coming a couple months early due to travel timing and agent just jokes "your wasting money" but renewed it like normal), seems to be more recently that I see this is a concern - anyone have definitive experience (as opposed to just opinions)?
  8. CDN9

    CDN9 Member

    For my first TN, I went to border and got the status. I renewed recently as my employer filed I129 and got approval for 3 years. I do not have experience of renewing it at the border. Let's wait for other folks on the forum to respond if anyone has specific experience that you are looking for.
  9. Hello Mister

    Hello Mister Active Member

    I had gotten mine ~2 weeks prior to the start of my job ... you could try renewing a couple of months ahead of time but be prepared for a response that "Renew closer to expiration" etc
  10. mj66

    mj66 New Member

    Hi, I renewed my TN 3 months before expiry at border last year. Officer did ask me why am I renewing 3 months early, I replied as my company got merged with another company and I received a new offer letter and I showed the employment letter and officer renewed my TN
  11. 38off

    38off Registered Users (C)

    mj66 - thanks for the very useful info. Which border did you renew? Same question for anyone else who responds.
    I have always gone to Peace Bridge. Had issue at TO airport once, never any issue at Peace Bridge.
  12. mj66

    mj66 New Member

    Port Huron
  13. Amberleaf

    Amberleaf Member

    CDN9, just confirm, can you apply for TN renewal by using I-129 6 months prior to the current expiration, and use Priority Processing? (to received a decision within 15 days if no RFE)
    My TN will expire Sept 2018, so just considering the options.
  14. CDN9

    CDN9 Member

    Considering your current TN expires Sep 2018, you may apply within the 6 months bracket, say May 2018. My employer filed I129 3 months before my TN expires in normal processing mode, it took a month to receive the approval (USCIS received the I129 application on Nov 2 and approved on Dec 1).

    You may use premium processing in which case the decision will be made in 15 days provided there is no RFE.
  15. nelsona

    nelsona Registered Users (C)

    So, why wait until may? If you are in a hurry to be approved, why not file in March, when first eligible.
  16. Amberleaf

    Amberleaf Member

    There are lots of opinions of what will happen if US withdraws from NAFTA. Here is one opinion....

    The most likely scenario is that TN workers present in the U.S. at the time of NAFTA withdrawal, may possibly maintain their status through the expiration date of their TN visa assuming that the foreign national remains in the U.S. However, any returning workers may not be granted re-admission to the U.S. in TN status. Finally, any initial or renewal TN NAFTA applications may immediately cease to be accepted for processing at a U.S. Port-of-Entry. We therefore strongly recommend renewing any TN NAFTA visa if it becomes clear the NAFTA renegotiation is failing in order to extend the time.

    full blog here:

    Looks like I should have my company apply for a new TN in March 2018 when first eligible....
  17. Jason Telner

    Jason Telner New Member

    I read another legal opinion that simply pulling out of NAFTA would not end the congressional legislation that implemented the "TN Visa" and Congress would have to pass a repeal of that law, so it would not be that simple. Also Congress would have no appetite for doing that.
  18. Amberleaf

    Amberleaf Member

    Yes, lots of conflicting opinions. I saw a few similar ones that say only congress can change TN status as it written in law. (don't have a source).
    Senator Grassley has be a critic of TN status for a long time. (just google "senator grassley tn status"), but it appears he does not have support of a majority of other senators to make any changes. (Rep or Dem)

    My personal opinion is that the new Administration is just threatening to withdraw from NAFTA and it is only a threat. It would be too disruptive to the economy with too many unknowns. But still living in America with the "America First" agenda from the current administration is leaving lots of uncertainty. For me, I am not making any long term plans. (leasing home, not buying) . Worst case, we just move back to Canada.

    Here is an interesting link with some interesting statistics of TN Status. Originally written in Aug 2017, then updated in January 2018.
    He predicted in Aug that it would be tougher to get TN Status, and then Economist category was more narrowly defined in October/Nov 2017.

  19. nelsona

    nelsona Registered Users (C)

    This is a reminder that while TN status is a treaty matter, there is constant adjustments to the interpretation and administration of TN approval/admission, by DHS/CBP/USCIS. This has always been the case, and has nothing to do with a climate for or against NAFTA.
  20. John Baum

    John Baum New Member

    This is the part of the article that is most worrisome for me. My TN still has over 2 years remaining but I regularly cross the border for work as well as personal reasons at least a few times a month. Judging by the above text, would us TN holders effectively be "stuck" in the states if we are to continue working under the TN after NAFTA is terminated (within the 6month window and beyond)? Would really like some opinions to weigh in here despite everything being speculation and guesswork. @nelsona

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