Q: What is the correct procedure for a Canadian to switch visa from F1 to TN while in the US?
I will be studying in a graduate program in the US starting September 2023. I am a Canadian citizen.
My graduate program has full time and part time options. Currently I have the F1 visa and am enrolled in the full time option.
At the same time, I would like to work for financial purposes. If I work in the US I will be sponsored under the TN NAFTA Professional visa for Canadians. My understanding is that Canadians under the TN visa in the US are allowed to study part time in graduate programs.
If I am in the US under the F1 visa, then obtains a position, and want to switch to the TN visa and continue attending my graduate program part time, what would be the correct process to make this happen?
Do I need to leave the US once and re-enter under the TN visa? Or can I make arrangements to change my visa inside the US?
Thank you for your help.
A: Changing from an F-1 to a TN visa while within the U.S. is possible through filing a change of status application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) using Form I-129. However, this process can take several months, and you would not be able to start work until the change of status is approved. Alternatively, you can leave the U.S., apply for TN status at the border or pre-flight clearance, and re-enter under the TN classification, which is often faster but comes with its own risks and considerations.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.