The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN non-immigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level, within designated fields. Among the types of professionals who are eligible to seek admission as TN non-immigrants are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. The TN NAFTA Professionals category is only to be used for temporary employment. It is not appropriate for tenure-track or permanent positions.
There are significant employer fees associated with the TN process, totaling approximately $3,000 between attorney fees and government filing fees. The employer is responsible for the cost of the petition, and employee is responsible for all dependent related costs, as well as any visa application and port of entry fees for themselves and their dependents, when applicable. Depending on the position offered to the prospective employee will dictate who within the University at large will be required to pay the aforementioned fees.
Should you have any questions related to UMass Lowell’s TN policies and practice, or if you are a prospective employee who may require TN visa sponsorship, please contact Patrick Trouve, HR Immigration & Compliance Specialist at Patrick_Trouve@uml.edu. There is typically minimal paperwork with preparation of a TN petition. A letter from UMass Lowell as the employer, prepared by HR and the UMass approved immigration attorney, will usually suffice to permit a Canadian or Mexican citizen in certain fields to enter in TN status. The process differs between Mexican and Canadian citizens, though, so it is recommended you contact our office accordingly.