The new trade deal reached between the U.S., Canada and Mexico last month preserves the immigration provisions in NAFTA. That means when the new trade agreement goes into effect, it will have no impact on trade-related visas for employees.
When negotiations for a trade treaty to replace NAFTA began, the Trump administration sought to slash the number of TN visas issued. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.
The new trade deal, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), keeps the following visas and their requirements intact:
- TN (Treaty National) Visa for Canadians
- TN (Treaty National) Visa for Mexicans
- L-1 visas for intracompany transferrees
- E-1 Visa for Treaty Traders
- E-2 Visa for Treaty Investors
The three countries are expected to sign the new trade deal, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), this fall. Congress must approve the USMCA before it goes into effect. It is expected to be presented to Congress for a vote early next year.
Best Foot Forward
Although the trade-related visas remain unchanged, U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been highly scrutinizing all visa applications. Moreover, USCIS has implemented several policies that make it easier for the agency to deny visa applications and put immigrants into deportation proceedings.
In this climate, it’s crucial that employers and foreign nationals put their best foot forward when filing visa applications. If we can help, please let us know. We have a great track record, particularly with obtaining trade-related visas.