The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) makes temporary employment with TN visas easier for certain professionals who are citizens of Canada or Mexico. NAFTA created this visa category for eligible Canadian and Mexican professional workers and also affected terms of admission for Canadians admitted to the U.S. under other nonimmigrant classifications. TN employment must be in a profession listed in Appendix 1603.0.1 to NAFTA and the TN employee must possess the credentials required. There is no annual limit on the number TN admissions.
TN visas permit qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. Unlike Mexican citizens, Canadian citizens are generally eligible for admission as nonimmigrants without a visa.
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You may qualify for TN status if
- You are a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
- Your profession qualifies under the regulations;
- The position in the United States requires a NAFTA professional;
- You have a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a U.S. employer, but not self-employment; and
- You have the qualifications to practice in the profession in question.
If you wish to remain in the US beyond your initial period of stay without first departing from the US, you must seek an extension of stay. If you are in the US, your employer may file Form I-129 on your behalf.
Alternatively, you may depart from the US before the date your status expires, and then, once abroad, you may apply at a CBP-designated U.S. port of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station using the same application and documentation procedures required at the time of your initial application for admission as a TN nonimmigrant.
TN Visas – General Resources
- TN NAFTA Professionals (USCIS)
- TN Visas for Canadian and Mexican NAFTA Professional Workers (State Department)
- List of TN Occupations, 8 CFR 214.6 (NAFSA)
TN Visas – Occupations
- Computer Systems Analyst
- Graphic Designer
- Hotel Manager
- Industrial Designer
- Interior Designer
- Land Surveyor
- Landscape Architect
- Management Consultant
- Range Manager
- Research Assistant
- Scientific Technician
- Social Worker
- Technical Publications Writer
- Urban Planner
- Vocational Counselor
- Medical Laboratory Technologist
- Occupational Therapist
- Recreational Therapist
- Registered Nurse
- Animal Breeder/Scientist
- Dairy Scientist
- Plant Breeder
- Poultry Scientist
- Soil Scientist
- College Professor
- Seminary Professor
- University Professor
|TN Canadian or Mexican Citizen under NAFTA|
|The TN classification applies to a Canadian or Mexican citizen seeking classification as a professional temporarily under the North American Free Trade Agreement.|
|This classification does not require a petition for employment. Canadian citizens need not obtain TN-1 consular visas, and may apply directly at Class A U.S. ports of entry. Mexican citizens must apply for TN visas at an appropriate U.S. Consulate. Both must provide:
|Dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of TN professionals are entitled to TD status with the same restrictions as the principal. Dependents may be students in the U.S., but may not be employed under the TD status.|
Extending Your TD Nonimmigrant Stay
If a Canadian or Mexican TN nonimmigrant applies for an extension of stay in the United States at the end of his or her period of admission or authorization as a TN, any eligible TD family member may also apply to extend their status without the need to travel abroad.
If a Mexican TD dependent wishes to travel abroad following approval of any such extension of stay and expiration of the TD visa, the family member will be required to apply for a new TD visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate before being permitted to return to the United States in TD status.
TN Visas – Additional Resources
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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