E-3 and TN Temporary Workers

Hiring Foreign
Nationals in TN
and E-3 Status
E-3 Australian Specialty
Occupation Employees
The E-3 category allows aliens who are nationals of the
Commonwealth of Australia to come to the United States to
perform services in a "specialty occupation."
The E-3 visa classification allows a maximum of 10,500
Australian nationals per fiscal year to come to the U.S. to
perform services in a specialty occupation under the
Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement
(AUSFTA).Spouses of E-3 visa holders can also apply for
an EAD to work in the United States.
E-3 Specialty Occupation Workers may be admitted
initially for up to 2 years, and extensions of stay may be
granted indefinitely in increments not to exceed 2 years
As there is no limit on the total length of stay for an E-3
alien in the legislation, there is no specified number of
extensions a qualifying E-3 Specialty Occupation
Worker may be granted.
E-3 nonimmigrant shall maintain an intention to
depart the United States upon the expiration of
termination of E status. However, an application for
initial admission, change of status or extension of stay
in E-3 classification, however, may not be denied solely
on the basis of an approved request for permanent
labor certification or a filed or approved immigrant visa
preference petition.
Acquiring E-3 status from abroad
Australian citizen must first obtain an E-3 visa. No I-129 petition is
necessary. Applicant presents the necessary documents to the US
consular officer at the time of visa application, including:
Copy of the employer's LCA certified by DOL
Documentation showing eligibility for employment in a specialty
Proof of a legitimate offer of employment in the United States
Documentation that the position qualifies as specialty occupation
employment (under the same standards as an H-1B
specialty occupation)
Acquiring E-3 status from abroad
Proof of Australian citizenship
Proof that he or she has the necessary academic or other
qualifying credentials and any required licensure
Proof that the stay will be temporary
Proof of payment of the Machine Readable Visa fee
(currently $390 for E-3 visas)
With an E-3 visa, an Australian citizen can then apply for
admission to the U.S. in E-3 status at a U.S. port of entry.
Visit the U.S. embassy in Canberra's website at
Submitting a Change of Status Petition
to E-3 status if the Applicant is already
in the U.S.
Form I-129 with I-129 fee
Copy of the E-3 LCA certified by DOL
Proof of Australian nationality
A letter from the prospective U.S. employer describing the alien's
occupation, the alien's anticipated length of stay, and
salary/remuneration arrangements. The letter should establish that
the position qualifies as specialty occupation employment (under the
same general standards as an H-1B specialty occupation)
Evidence that the alien meets the educational requirements for the
position to be filled (a bachelor's degree or higher or its equivalent in
the specific specialty occupation)
Evidence that the alien meets any licensing or other occupational
Extension of E-3 Status
It is MUCH faster and easier for your E-3 to travel outside
the US and reenter in E-3 status than to apply for an
extension in the US through USCIS as there is no
Premium Processing. We have had petitions languish at
USCIS for MONTHS. Please encourage your E-3 to travel
outside the US and reenter to ensure no interruption of
Please note that ISSS can not file an LCA with the
Department of Labor more than 6 months in advance of
the LCA start date
Spouses of E-3 workers can
apply for work permission
In order to obtain an employment authorization document,
the E-3 nonimmigrant dependent spouse must file Form I765, Application for Employment Authorization, and provide
evidence that he or she qualifies as an E-3 spouse and that
the nonimmigrant principal is in E-3 principal status.
When completing the form, applicants will need to select the
visa type E1/E2, as E3 is not listed as an option.
Spousal employment may be in a position other than a
specialty occupation, and may be full time, part time or
casual work.
Children on an E-3D visa are not permitted to work.
E-3 Australian Specialty Occupation Worker
Look at LCA and I-94: The E-3 worker’s
employment start date will be the LCA start
date or the I-94 card start date, whichever
is later. The E-3 worker’s last date of
employment will be the LCA end date or
the I-94 card end date, whichever is
earlier. Should the dates on the E-3
employee’s I-94 card differ from the LCA
dates, immediately contact an ISSS
Not Your E-3? Then No Honorarium, No
Salary or Wage
Trade NAFTA (TN)
The TN category was developed as part of the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), to facilitate the
entry of Canadian and Mexican citizens to the US to engage
in professional business activities on a temporary basis.
The TN category allows for admission of individuals for the
purposes of:
Working for a U.S. employer as a professional; or
Working for a foreign employer (including even a
non-Canadian or non-Mexican employer) to provide
pre-arranged professional services to a U.S. employer.
Employment Limitations for
Temple’s TN Status Holders
Can only work for the organization that
petitioned for their services
Is not applicable for those who have already filed
for permanent residency (Green Card) as this
status does not allow for dual intent
Not all positions are on the TN schedule – see
www.temple.edu/isss/international/requirementsprofessional-job.html for details
TN must have required degree and license, if
Teacher: Can only be used for teachers entering to work for a
university, college or seminary. They must possess relevant
baccalaureate or licenciatura degrees. Since the TN applicant
must show that their stay is temporary, the TN category is not
recommended for tenure-track faculty who plan to apply for
lawful permanent residence.
Scientist: Covers a broad range of scientific fields that may be
useful to academic and research institutions
Research Assistant: Must be entering to conduct research for
a postsecondary educational institution.
Medical/Allied Professionals: Encompasses many
occupations that are useful to universities and medical
institutions. A few examples are Occupational Therapist and
Recreational Therapist, Physician (teaching or research only),
and Registered Nurse.
Time and duration, and
numerical limitations
Canadian and Mexican citizens can be admitted to the United
States in TN status in increments of up to 3 years. Extensions of
stay are also granted in up to 3-year increments.
There is no cumulative total limit on the time a Canadian or
Mexican citizen can be in TN status. Status can be renewed
each year indefinitely, provided that the stay remains temporary
in nature. This can get tricky if someone is in the US for many
years, however.
There is no annual limit on the number of Canadians or
Mexicans granted TN status.
Employment Letter
The employer in the U.S. must provide to the applicant a Letter
of Employment in the United States. The letter must indicate
that the position in question in the U.S. requires the
employment of a person in a professional capacity.
Letter should be on TU letterhead and signed by Department
Please email a copy of the letter to ISSS through TUSafesend
What are the Required Fees?
Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee Each applicant for a visitor visa must pay a
nonrefundable nonimmigrant visa application
processing fee and possibly a visa issuance fee –
Department may reimburse the TN applicant for
these fees but it not legally required to do so
The hiring department does not need to pay any
visa or application costs.
Extension of Stay
Canadian or Mexican citizens admitted as a NAFTA Professional
may seek an extension of stay, which may be granted up to three
If the applicant is in the U.S., employer may file Form I-129
Petition for Non-immigrant Worker with USCIS; or
Applicant may apply at a port of entry using the same
application and documentation procedures above as required
for the initial entry.
Initial processing requirements differ
for Canadians and Mexicans
The procedures for acquiring TN status differ for Canadians and
A Mexican citizen must obtain a TN visa from a U.S. consulate
before being eligible to apply for admission to the United States in
TN status.
A Canadian citizen does not require a TN visa. A Canadian simply
presents the required supporting documentation at a U.S. port-ofentry, and is admitted directly in TN status. Alternatively, a
prospective TN employer may choose to file on behalf of a
Canadian citizen who is outside the United States by submitting
Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker to USCIS. Premium
Processing Service is available.
TN eligibility requirements
Alien must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico
Alien must possess the minimum qualifications of a member of one
of the professions listed in NAFTA Appendix
Entry must be "temporary"
Job must constitute "pre-arranged" professional activity for a U.S.
entity, within one of the professions listed in NAFTA Appendix
Employer can be either a U.S. employer for whom the
prearranged services are being done, or a foreign employer who has
arranged for the Canadian or Mexican citizen to provide prearranged services in the U.S. for a U.S. entity
Alien cannot be "self-employed" in the U.S.
NAFTA TN Eligibility Checklist
WHTI-compliant passport (Mexican Nationals Are Required to Have
a TN Visa stamp in the passport)
Job Title
Detailed job description (i.e. duties in layman terms)
Source(s) of remuneration, salary, and benefits
Duration of employment
Must be on company letterhead with original signature for each
Must be original document
Degree (including transcripts) /Diploma / Certificate
If obtained outside of North America, must provide accredited
evaluation and English language translation
Degree must relate to the job applied for
Proof of experience / qualifications if applicable
Visa Screen (healthcare workers)
State License
Waiver of inadmissibility (if applicable)
Marriage License
Birth certificate
Adoption record
TD visa for non-Canadian dependent(s)
TN applicants are subject to the I.N.A. § 214(b) "presumption of
immigrant intent" which places the burden on them to prove that they
have temporary, non-immigrant intent.
The "presumption of immigrant intent" implied in INA § 101(a)(15) and
§ 291 is expressly stated in INA § 214(b), which reads: Every alien
(other than a nonimmigrant described in subparagraph (H)(i) or (L) of
Section 101(a)(15)) shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he
establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of
application for a visa, and the immigration officers, at the time of
application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status
under 101(a)(15).
A nonimmigrant visa shall not be issued to an alien who has failed to
overcome the presumption of immigrant status established by INA
TN status holders may change jobs, or have more
than one job, but since TN status is employer and
employment-specific, DHS must approve all new
employment prior to its commencement.
There are two options for adding new or additional
employers. In either case, the new employment
cannot begin until the Service Center approves the
I-129 petition and the petition start date is reached,
or the TN reenters the United States.
Filing at the Vermont Service Center
The new or additional U.S. employer can file an I-129 petition
with the correct Service Center, following the same general filing
guidelines as for an extension of TN status, but marking the I-129
for "new employment," "new concurrent employment," or "change
in previously approved employment," as appropriate. Your
Department can Premium Process the application if you are
anxious to hire the TN.
Readmission at the border
The TN can also choose to exit the U.S. and re-enter through a
qualified port of entry inspection facility, with new documentation
that incorporates the new or additional TN employment. This
procedure will require the Canadian TN to pay a new $50 fee.
Mexican TNs would have to present a valid TN visa in addition to
the new documentation. This is probably the fastest way to be
able to hire the TN.
ONLY For Citizens of Canada & Mexico
Look at I-94
Sponsoring Employer Specific for a
Fixed Period
Canadians require only I-94; Mexicans
require I-94 and TN VISA Stamp
Not Your TN? Then No Honorarium, No
Salary or Wage, OK—Expenses Only!
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