Business Immigration “Treaty-Centered” Options: Understanding the TN, E-3, and H-1B1 Programs

Bringing in skilled labor to work for your company is important, but it can be difficult. Fortunately, there are a variety of programs that can make it far easier for both the individual being brought to the country, and the company itself. If you want to bring employees to work from Canada, Mexico, Australia, Singapore, or Chile, for example, there are some excellent options created by treaties with those countries.

These options are the TN, the E-3, and the H-1B1 – all programs for non-immigrant workers. Each of these can help you streamline the legal process for qualifying employees. Let’s take a look at each of the options:

Trade NAFTA (TN)

This option was set up as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement and it allows many professionals to enter the US quickly and easily. Those using this option will typically need a bachelor’s degree or higher in the field that they will be working in. Employment can last for up to three years at a time. At the end of each three-year period, an extension may be requested for an additional three years.

E-3 Classification

For Australian citizens, the E-3 classification is a great option to consider. Those using this option can skip any USCIS petition requirements, and once approved, can work in the US for two years. Unlimited extensions (of two years each) can be received as well. This classification does have a limit of 10,500 applicants per year and also requires the applicant to have a bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent. To apply, the employer simply needs to obtain a certified Labor Condition Application and have it filed with the Consulate.

H-1B1 Classification

Bringing in employees from Singapore and Chile is also quite simple thanks to the H-1B1 classification. This option can be applied for at the US Embassy, and no USCIS petitions are required. There are set annual caps on the number of these classifications given for each country, but thus far they have never been reached. This visa type is valid for 18 months, with no limits on renewals or extensions. Like the other two options, applicants need to have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the field of work. The employer must also have the Labor Condition Application filed with the Consulate.

While these options are far easier to complete than most other nonimmigrant visas, it is still important to seek the help of an experienced immigration attorney to make sure everything is filled out and filed correctly. If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to give me a call today!