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Law Office of Joseph C. Grasmick --Business Immigration--
Rated "AV" (a lawyer's highest possible rating) by Martindale-Hubbel

Grasmick's TN Handbook for Canadians---Information Page

Grasmick's TN Handbook for Canadians -- How to Work in the U.S. Under NAFTA (Immigration, Careers, International Trade, International Law)

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News and Information About the TN Handbook

I just bought the book. As I read through it, I am kicking myself for not having done so earlier. I could have saved myself a ton of grief and worry. This thing is authoritative and well-written. Thanks Joe.
---Dennis Carroll

I urge everyone out there to buy the book. . .. The second try is nervewracking to say the least.
---Matt McDonald

I accepted a job with a company named "Company A" and the TN-1 letter refers to the company by name of "Company A". The same week that I accepted the job with "Company A", they were bought out by "Company B". I have since bought Grasmick's TN Handbook for Canadians (which I highly recommend to everybody and wish that I would have bought it prior to coming to the US!) It does give a scenario where a company is bought out.
---Brigitte Fenton

The TN Handbook for Canadians is a simple PDF download. To purchase it, use the link at the top of this page.

Canadians and Americans visiting each others' countries scarcely realize there is a border. It is one of the world's least restricted large international boundaries. It rarely takes more than "a smile and a wave" to successfully pass through the border inspection.

What a contrast when the welcome mat is suddenly lifted! Canadians who wish to work in the U.S. are astounded to discover they can no longer come to the U.S. at all. The U.S. is highly protective of its labor market. This is true even when the workers come from the U.S.'s neighbor, friend, and closest ally. Fortunately, the CFTA (Canada Free Trade Agreement) and its successor, NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), give Canadians coveted immigration privileges. An essential part of NAFTA is the reciprocal removal of each country's labor market protections. Nevertheless, one must work for this privilege. This 580-page book shows you how.

The crown jewel of these expanded immigration privileges is the TN (Trade NAFTA) work permit. The number of Canadians using the TN has exploded. The level can reach to 80,000 new TN entries per year.

This book is for:
  • Canadians working in the U.S.,
  • U.S. companies wishing to hire a Canadian,
  • Canadian companies sending workers to the U.S.
Growing groups of specialized professionals in the U.S. provide valuable services to these Canadian businesses and professionals. This book should be required reading for:
  • recruiters
  • lawyers, outside and in-house
  • accountants
  • HR professionals
  • hiring managers
  • employee contractors

I am publishing this as an e-book to give readers these advantages:

  • Quality. This format facilitates dissemination of quality material. You simply cannot find reliable and detailed free legal analysis on the Internet. PDF format provides financial incentive for authors to devote the required resources. This technology protects the hard-earned intellectual property. The e-book format permits abundant charts, tables and color photographs. It also allows quick and easy updates.
  • Convenience. Print only pages you really need to carry. You do not need to store and carry a hefty volume. Keep the entire reference work on your hard drive. Or, print the entire book if you prefer. The 8 1/2" by 11" format fits into standard 3-ring binders. (Download and print color Word cover art to put in your binder's clear display sleeves.) Adjust type size and screen brightness while reading on your own screen. There is no expiration date. Materials are accessible on your hard drive forever. You will own the Handbook outright. The leading electronic versions of immigration legal materials "lock you out" after a certain period--requiring reinstalation after $800-1000 annual payments.
  • Speed. When the editor finished with my manuscript, the fresh content was ready. Paper books take 1-2 years before you can buy them! In this fast-changing area, paper books are immediately obsolete. Also, there is no shipping time. You can download the book immediately once your transaction has cleared. (This can take at least 24 hours.) You need no special hardware -- only the free Adobe Reader plug-in, which you probably already have. Speed is important -- rarely can people wait for time-sensitive TN information. Usually you will need the information on short notice to take a job, or get an employee on board. A survey of some available immigration books show shipping times from 3-5 weeks, to "out of print"! (There exists no book exclusively about TNs.)
  • Digital advantages. You can fill out INS forms right on your screen. The forms are in PDF format with form-filler tools. You can then print out the forms to send directly to the INS. Perhaps the most helpful feature is search by keyword. Full-text search is crucial. Without it, it is hard to find relevant information within a complex topic.

These features may vary, depending on your computer's limitations.

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About the Author

Photo of Joseph C. Grasmick
Joseph C. Grasmick

Joe Grasmick is a national authority on U.S. immigration for Canadian business. He is the author of 10 editions of the leading treatise on the subject, the Canada-U.S. Business Immigration Handbook. The Handbook is published by Carswell--the largest law book publisher in Canada. He is also the pioneering author of the leading website on the topic. The site, Canada to U.S. Business Immigration, started March 1995. It serves over one million hits per month.

Mr. Grasmick has been a practicing lawyer for thirty years. He is a founding member of American Immigration Lawyers Association-Upstate NY Chapter and has served as AILA's liaison to the NAFTA Working Group. He has devoted his professional life to business immigration. His practice is now limited to U.S. immigration for Canadian businesses and professionals. Admitted to practice in both NY and Florida, Martindale-Hubbel gives him an "AV" rating. This is the highest possible rating for a lawyer

Joe graduated cum laude from the SUNY at Buffalo law school. At the same time he served as Senior Law Review editor and earned his Master's degree in Anthropology. His international expertise developed during many years of overseas experience. This included work as a Fulbright scholar, Peace Corps Volunteer, Ford Foundation Intern, OAS fellow and Interamerican Foundation research fellow. He served assignments with the International Labor Organization, Survival International, the Anti-Slavery Society and United Nations/ECOSOC Commission on Human Rights Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.

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The TN Handbook's Table of Contents

At the time I was on an H-1B and moving towards a Green Card, so I read it for curiosity and interest only. When I was forced to get a TN last June, the Handbook proved invaluable in reviewing my documentation and giving me strategy and advice. I strongly recommend anyone in the US on a TN, or planning to do so, to get the book. It is well worth it.
---Luke Kolkin

I have just purchased and downloaded your Handbook! Incredibly enlightening and a cornucopia of information.
---Grant Scully

Here are Highlights from the Table of Contents from the TN Handbook for Canadians---How to Work in the U.S. Under NAFTA.

The TN Handbook focuses only on the NAFTA TN permit. I include a considerable amount of material that cannot fit on this site. I expand familiar website topics. I also add extensive materials under additional topics.


2nd Edition

Highlights from the Table of Contents


Introduction. Get Instant Work Permission at the Border.

  • What is a TN?

Chapter 1-Can I get a TN? Does My Job Qualify?

  • Grasmick's TN List
  • What if my college major is different than the TN job title?
  • How serious is the INS about the requirements?
  • What if my program was for three, not four, years? What if I did not complete the program?
  • I did not even go to college. Now what?
  • Work Experience -- Must it be after I finished my studies?
  • Do I Need a Professional License?
    • Accountant
    • Physical Therapist
    • Pharmacist Intern
    • Lawyers

Chapter 2-How Can I Get Hired? Job hunting strategies.

  • Will the border guard let me in for job interviews?
  • What do I tell employers?
  • Break the vicious cycle: no permit without a job offer no job offer without a permit
  • Finding a savvy recruiter

Chapter 3-What Else Should I Know Before I Take the Job?

  • HR Checklist
  • Social Security
  • Income Tax

Chapter 4-Do I even Need a TN? The B-1 visitor alternative.

  • What if I am still being paid from Canada? B-1 requirements

Chapter 5-Should I Use Another Visa? Other permits.

  • Pros and Cons of TN Status
  • The "usual suspects" -- other business visas for Canadians
  • Complete List
  • H-1 vs. TN

Chapter 6-What if I Am Not a Canadian Citizen?

  • Canadian Citizens, Landed Immigrants and Everyone Else.
  • Non-Canadian spouses and children

Chapter 7-Do I Need a Lawyer?

  • There are lawyers -- and there are lawyers. Know the different service levels.
  • Do I need a lawyer?
  • Do I need a local lawyer?

Chapter 8-Where do I Go to Get the Permit? Class A Ports of Entry.

  • The unique TN animal: only available at the border
  • Do I have to bring my entire family to the border?
    • Common law spouses, life partners and other dependents
  • Airports vs. land ports
  • Can I choose any port I like?
  • Can I get an approval in advance?
    • Can I get an approval before I present myself at the port of entry?
    • Can I get an approval at the port of entry before I am ready to move to the U.S. to work?
  • Why to avoid the Mexico/U.S. border

Chapter 9-What Paperwork Do I Need?

  • Importance of full, accurate documentation
  • Two TN checklists

Chapter 10-IT Professions

  • Computer Systems Analysts.
  • Scientific Electronics Technicians/Technologists.
  • IT Management Consultants.
  • Technical Publications Writer:
  • Graphic Designer:

Chapter 11-The "Tricky" TNs.

  • A bulletproof application. My "management consultant trio" technique.
  • Scientific Technicians -- No Academics required.
  • "Supporting an engineer -- hand in glove or just helping?
  • Hidden Opportunities: Technical Publications Writer, Economist, Accountant, Social Worker, and Medical Lab Technologist (the Weighty Footnote).
  • Sales jobs.
  • Managers. TN professions vs. managing the profession
    • Example #1-Engineering Manager
    • Example #2-Business Manager
  • J-1 Exchange Visitors and the TN.
  • Self-employed and contracted.
  • Health Care Workers
    • The New Health Care Hurdle
    • Physicians (Medical Doctors)

Chapter 12-NAFTA Lawyers' Secrets.

  • Do not use round hole with your square peg
  • Avoid "bridge hopping". Get it right the first time
  • Second bit of apple may be your last
  • Timing is everything. Get the TN ahead of time.
  • Avoid buff and puff in your paperwork.
  • Prepare your submission like a court brief.
  • Call ahead and make an appointment
  • Catch a flight with your lawyer. . .
  • . . .but know port policy before inviting your lawyer
  • Coordinate your arrival at the land border with your lawyer
  • Network
  • Be informed via the Border Hot List
  • Look Like the Upstanding Citizen you are
  • Get an INSPASS if you will be frequently flying
  • High salary cures many evils
  • Psychoanalyze the INS

Chapter 13-How Long Can I Stay? Duration and time limits.

Chapter 14-Can my spouse and kids work too? Alternatives for working families.

Chapter 15-What Are My Obligations Once I Get the TN?

  • How to Travel on a TN. The I-94 Tug of War.
  • Can I work in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Samoa. . .?
  • Speed through the lines with INSPASS.
  • You can study on the TN.
  • INS can turn you away even if you are approved. Keep facts in mind. Keep up with changes in law.

Chapter 16-What If I Change Jobs?

  • Timing is everything. Get the new approval before you start work.
    • You may have 10 days to leave town
    • Overstays face 3-10 year ban
  • Terminated and with new employer.
    • How to give two weeks' notice
    • Double dipping -- can I have two employers and two TNs at the same time?
  • Terminated with no new employer yet -- interim visitor status.
  • Other job changes. Do I need to amend the TN?
    • Switch to another company within the group
    • Moves to new geographic location, promotions and changed job descriptions
    • Company bought out

Chapter 17-How to Renew

  • Renewals are not automatic. INS often denies them.
  • Mail vs. POE applications.
  • Can I travel to Canada with a pending mail application?
  • Changing status from one work permit to another.
  • "Widow and orphan" renewals -- when your family cannot go with you to the border.
  • Renewing or revalidating TD passport visas.
  • TN Renewal Checklist

Chapter 18-After the TN -- What Then? The Transition to a Green Card.

  • How the green card benefits the TN family and employer.
  • Can I Change to a Green Card from a TN? All about "dual intent".
    • Any Problems Using and Renewing TN in the Meantime?
    • Do I Need an Interim H-1?
    • The Best Strategy
    • Why a TD Passport Visa Changes Everything

Chapter 19-When Something Goes Wrong

  • Grasmick's Glossary of Dirty Border Words and Phrases.
  • What if I am denied?
  • Barred! Not even trips to Disneyland.
  • Mail "kickbacks"
  • Undesirables.


  • List of Cross-border experts
  • INS Forms
    • G-28
    • I-9
    • I-102
    • I-129
    • I-539
    • I-823
    • OF-156
    • SS-5
  • Sample TN letters and Supporting Documents
    • Company supporting letter, engineering manager
    • Attorney Cover Letter, Management Consultant
    • Company Supporting Letter, Management Consultant
    • Letters from Prior Employers, Management Consultant
    • "Supernumerary Chart", Management Consultant
    • Company Support Letter, Technical Publications Writer/Biologist
    • Consulting Agreement, Management Consultant
    • Company Supporting Letter, Scientific Technician
    • Renewal by Mail: Attorney Cover Letter, Company Supporting Letter, Consulting Agreement, I-129 (filled out); Management Consultant, PR profession
  • Sample NSC Processing Time Report.
  • Sample INS "Kickbacks" -- RFEs
    • Request for Evidence (RFE), Management Consultant
    • Request for Evidence, Scientific Technician
  • INS TN-enabled ports of entry and Nebraska Service Center Addresses and Contact Information
    • Poll Results: Selected Ports of Entry
    • Detailed Contact Information For Selected Ports- Northern Ports and PFIs in Canada
    • Detailed Contact Information For Selected Ports- Southern Ports
    • Complete Summary List of Class "A" Ports, International Airports and PFIs
    • Nebraska Service Center Contact Information
  • NAFTA immigration text.
  • NAFTA Regulations
  • Inspector's Field Manual
  • INS TC Operations Instructions
  • Dictionary of Occupational Titles selected job descriptions
    • Accountant
    • Analysts
    • Biologist
    • Consultant
    • Designers
    • Economist
    • Engineers
    • Lawyer
    • Mathematician
    • Social Worker
    • Medical Technologist
    • Occupational Therapist
    • Pharmacist
    • Technicians
    • Technical Publications Writer
    • Vocational Counselor
  • INS TN Advisory opinion, Cables, Memoranda, Guidelines
    • Independent Contractors Can Get TN Permits
    • TN Physicians Can Perform Incidental Patient Care
    • TNs Can Apply for Green Cards
    • Strikebreaker Provisions
    • Health Care Workers-Interim Guidelines
    • INS Guidelines, Processing Under the NAFTA, October 29, 1999
    • INS Cable on NAFTA Implementation-February 14, 1994- NAFTA Related Passport Visas
    • INS Cable on NAFTA Implementation-August 15, 1994- NAFTA shall not apply to Guam.
    • INS Cable on NAFTA Implementation-December 30, 1993- New NAFTA Replaces CFTA
    • State Department Cables-December 1993- Visa Provisions Under NAFTA
    • INS Form M-316 (Handout)- The North American Free Trade Agreement
  • Glossary of immigration terms.
  • Grasmick's Wish List of Potential New TN Professions


  • Reader Feedback Card

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(11th Edition)

Joseph C. Grasmick


The Canada-U.S. Business Immigration Handbook

I had been the author of the Canada-U.S. Business Immigration Handbook (blue cover) for almost 10 years. It was a paper book. This book covered more topics that does the TN Handbook. These topics include a variety of work permits--not just the TN.

I have phased out my involvement with this book, to focus on the TN Handbook. Nevertheless, there are still many references to it throughout this site.

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2009 Law Office of Joseph C. Grasmick
Law Office of Joseph C. Grasmick, Business Immigration
300 International Drive
Williamsville, NY 14221 USA
Tel: 716/842-3100  jgrasmick@grasmick.com

This Internet Web page is http://www.grasmick.com/handbook.htm