The process is the same for an employee currently in the U.S. hoping to:
change to TN status from another visa status
extend current TN non-immigrant status
work concurrently as a TN professional
In any of these situations, the employer files a Form I-129 (Petition for Non-immigrant Worker).
NOTE: Applicants subject to the J-1 212(E) Two Year Home Residency Requirement or is presently in the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program are not eligible to seek the TN/TD non-immigrant from inside the U.S. They are eligible to seek the TN/TD non-immigrant status, but only from outside the US.
The UCSB Employing Department may initiate the TN petition process up to 6 months before the intended employment start date.
Step 1: The UCSB Employing Department submits the completed TN Document Packet to OISS including documents from the department and employee:
For UCSB Employing Department
Step 2: OISS prepares the Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
- The forms are signed by the hiring authority i.e. Department Chair/ Director
- Returned to OISS for mailing
Step 3: The TN petition is submitted to the USCIS Vermont Service Center for adjudication
Processing Time: The standard processing time for a TN petition request at the Vermont Service Center is approximately two months. USCIS updates their estimated processing times each month can be viewed at: USCIS Check Processing Times.
The premium processing fee can be submitted at a later time if the TN petition is still pending for adjudication.
USCIS will issue a receipt notice, Form I-797C, to indicate acceptance of the petition and fees. The processing time begins after the received date indicated on the receipt notice.
You may check the status of the pending petition by entering the receipt number at the USCIS My Case Status website.
TN Approval: When the TN petition request is approved, USCIS will issue one of the following Notices of Approval:
- I-797A - An approved change of status to/extension of TN nonimmigrant status from inside the US
- I-797B - An approved petition for US Consular Processing (outside of the US)
OISS will notify the UCSB Employing Department and the employee once the Notice of Approval is received and is available for pick-up. The UCSB Employing Department will witness the original approval notice for I-9 compliance and give the original documents to the TN beneficiary.
NOTE: The TN Notice of Approval is NOT a travel visa and does not grant travel authorization. The travel visa can only be issued by the US Consulate/Embassy. The TN non-immigrant may use the Notice of Approval to renew the travel visa the next time he/she departs the U.S. The travel visa is not required to be valid during the TN non-immigrant’s legal period of stay in the US.