Q. I am a Canadian working in the USA as a Management Consultant under on a TN Visa. My Visa expires in January 2011 and I want to renew it. Can I renew it from within the US or do I have to return to Canada and apply at the Canadian/US border? I am working in Houston, Texas. Thanks for your help.
A. TN Visas are valid from up to 3 years years. Applying for a new one will depend on whether your current employer wishes to extend your employment beyond the validity of your TN Visa. In other cases, you may have a new US job offer for which you need a new TN Visa. In either case, you can apply for a new TN Visa at either a Port of Entry from Canada or Mexico. From within the US, you can apply at your local Service Center. Since you are working in Houston, you can apply for a new TN at the Texas Service Center. If you decide to go this route, make sure you apply before your TN Visa expires.
If you apply at a port of entry, you can do so though the Mexico/US border as it would be much closer than going back to Canada. Be aware, however, that not “all borders are created equal” meaning that your TN Visa application may be handled quite differently depending on where you decide to apply. It’s important therefore to be aware of the, shall I say, “nuances” of the borders and service centers that process TN Visas as well as other US work permits.
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