Other Immigration Statuses

TN & E3 Immigration Statuses

TN Visa Status

The TN visa classification is a nonimmigrant status created by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for citizens of Canada and Mexico. To qualify for TN status, scholars should be engaged in professional activity in the United States. Professions listed under NAFTA can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations.

The initial period of stay for those in TN status can be up to three (3) years and may be renewed.

A scholar’s sponsoring department or unit must initiate the process with ISSS who will prepare the application materials. If applying outside of the United States, Mexican citizens can take TN documents to the nearest U.S. consulate to apply for the TN visa. Canadian citizens who are not required to obtain a visa may present TN application documents at the U.S. port of entry. Alternatively, UT Austin can submit the application to U.S. Citizenship Services to request the status for the scholar; however, this method may take many months more than the consular/border process. Sponsoring departments should contact ISSS to determine the best method of application.

E-3 Visa Status

The E-3 immigration status is reserved for citizens of Australia who are in specialty occupations and who hold the required academic and professional credentials for that occupation. Dependent spouses of individuals in E-3 status may apply for work authorization through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The initial period of stay for scholars in E-3 status is two (2) years and is renewable.

A scholar’s sponsoring department or unit must initiate the process with ISSS who will prepare the application materials that will be submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Departments should initiate the process well in advance to ensure a specific start date and avoid a break in service.

Employment-Based Permanent Residence

Scholars who have obtained a full-time position of indefinite duration with UT Austin, might qualify for U.S. Legal Permanent Residence (LPR). LPR is an immigration status that allows a foreign national to remain indefinitely in the United States with legal, unrestricted work authorization, provided that the conditions of the LPR status are met. Note that scholars who have part-time employment or employment with a fixed duration would not qualify for LPR sponsorship.

The LPR process involves a petition (I-140) that is filed by the university to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

  • For tenure-track teaching faculty, there is a streamlined method through a process called “PERM Special Handling.”
  • Alternatively, the university will pursue an I-140 petition through the “outstanding professor/researcher” route, which requires intensive preparation and documentation that the scholar is of international renown in their field.

I-140 petitions are initiated with ISSS by the scholar’s sponsoring department or unit. In order to utilize the PERM Special Handling route to permanent residency, sponsoring units or departments should initiate the process no later than eight (8) months from the date of the offer letter. 

Family-Based Permanent Residence

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) advisors at Texas Global focus on UT-sponsored, employment-based permanent residency petitions only; therefore, we do not provide advising services on the family-based route to permanent residency. Instead, we provide the below U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resources. We hope you will find them to be useful.

If the USCIS website does not sufficiently answer your questions or you need more in-depth guidance, you should seek the advice of an experienced, capable immigration attorney in the private sector.