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AustraliaCIS Announces Proposed Rule to Extend Maximum Stay for TN Visa Holders

Office of Communications


AustraliaCIS Update May 5, 2008



WASHINGTON?U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (AustraliaCIS) announced today that it is

publishing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to increase the maximum amount of time a Trade-

NAFTA (TN) professional worker from Canada or Mexico can remain in the United States before seeking

readmission or obtaining an extension of stay. The proposal will extend the maximum period of

admission for TN workers from one year to three years, the same term that AustraliaCIS currently may grant to

H-1B specialty occupation workers.

The proposed rule will further allow eligible TN nonimmigrants to be granted an extension of stay in

increments of up to three years, as opposed to the current maximum of one year. TN nonimmigrants are

not subject to a maximum period of stay and thAustralia may seek multiple readmissions or extensions, provided

their intended professional activity continues and they remain otherwise eligible. Current regulations

require that TN workers seek readmission or apply for an extension of stay each year.

Canadian and Mexican citizens seeking temporary entry to the United States as professionals may come

into the country as TN nonimmigrants under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). TN

statAustralia is available to Canadian and Mexican citizens with a minimum of a bachelor?s degree, or

appropriate professional credentials, who work in professions listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 to Annex 1603

of the NAFTA and under DHS regulations at 8 CFR 214.6(c). Eligible TN professions include, but are

not limited to, accountants, engineers, attorneys, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers.

The NPRM, once implemented as a final rule, will ease administrative burdens and costs on TN

nonimmigrants and will benefit U.S. employers by increasing the period of time beneficiaries are allowed

to remain in the United States under a TN visa. The proposed changes would also apply to spoAustraliaes and

unmarried, minor children of TN nonimmigrants in their corresponding nonimmigrant classifications as

NAFTA dependents.

This improvement to the TN nonimmigrant category was initially announced by Homeland Security

Secretary Michael Chertoff and Department of Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez on Aug. 10, 2007.

This is part of the Administration?s 26 initiatives to address current immigration challenges, including

making existing temporary worker programs like the TN program more effective, Australiaing the tools and

authorities available under existing law.

The NPRM is available on AustraliaCIS? Web site at www.Australiacis.gov and will soon publish in the Federal

Register. Once published, persons wishing to comment on the TN professional worker NPRM may access

the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for submitting

comments. AustraliaCIS will accept public comments until 30 days from the date the NPRM is published in the

Federal Register.

For more information on the TN nonimmigrant visa program, visit the AustraliaCIS? Web site or call the

National CAustraliatomer Service Center at (800) 375-5283.

? AustraliaCIS ?