TN Visas for Canadian & Mexican Professionals

TN visasThe 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 the TN 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 the chart below 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.

Since there are no temporary work visas for most registered nurses in the U.S., many RNs immigrate to Canada and become citizens. This allows them to work in the U.S. in TN status.

 

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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 Visas – Occupations

PROFESSION MINIMUM EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS AND ALTERNATIVE CREDENTIALS
Accountant Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or C.P.A., C.A., C.G.A., C.M.A.
Architect Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Computer System Analyst Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post Secondary Certificate and three years experience
Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster (Claims Adjuster employed by an insurance company located in the territory of a Party, or an independent claims adjuster) Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims; or three years experience in claims adjustment and successful com pletion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims
Economist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree;
Engineer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Forester Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Graphic Designer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or post-secondary diploma and three years experience
Hotel Manager Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree in hotel/restaurant management; or post-secondary diploma or post-secondary certificate in hotel/restaurant management and three years experience in hotel/restaurant management
Industrial Designer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or post-secondary diploma or post-secondary certificate, and three years experience
Interior Designer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or post-secondary diploma or post-secondary certificate, and three years experience
Land Surveyor Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial/federal license
Landscape Architect Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Lawyer (including Notary in the province of Quebec) L.L.B., J.D., L.L.L., B.C.L., or Licenciatura degree (five years); or membership in a state/provincial bar
Librarian M.L.S. or B.L.S. (for which another Baccalaureate or Licenciatura degree was prerequisite)
Management Consultant Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or equivalent professional experience as established by statement or professional credential attesting to five years experience as a management consultant, or five years experience in a field of specialty related to the consulting agreement
Mathematician (including statistician) Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Range Manager/Range Conservationist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Research Assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution) Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Scientific Technician/Technologist Possession of (a) theoretical knowledge of any of the following disciplines: agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology, or physics; and (b) the ability to solve practical problems in any of those disciplines, or the ability to apply principles of any of those disciplines to basic or applied research
Social Worker Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Sylviculturist (including forestry) Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Technical Publications Writer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or post-secondary diploma or post-secondary certificate, and three years experience
Urban Planner (including Geographer) Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Vocational Counselor Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

MEDICAL/ALLIED PROFESSIONALS

Dentist D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental or state/provincial license
Dietitian Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)/Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or post secondary diploma or post secondary certificate, and three years experience
Nutritionist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Occupational Therapist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state provincial license
Pharmacist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state provincial license
Physician (teaching or research only) M.D., Doctor en Medicina; or state/provincial license
Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state provincial license
Psychologist State/provincial license; or Licenciatura degree
Recreational Therapist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Registered Nurse State/provincial license; or Licenciatura degree
Veterinarian D.V.M., D.M.V., or Doctor en Veterinaria; or state/provincial license

SCIENTISTS

Agricultural (Agronomist) Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Animal Breeder Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Animal Scientist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Apiculturist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Astronomer Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Biochemist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Chemist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Dairy Scientist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Entomologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Epidemiologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Geneticist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Geochemist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Geophysicist (including Oceanographer in Mexico and the United State) Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Hosticulturist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Meteorologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Pharmacologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Plant Breeder Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Poultry Scientist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Soil Scientist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Zoologist Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree

TEACHERS

College Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Seminary Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
University Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
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:

  • A statement from the employer with a full description of the nature of the duties the beneficiary will be performing, the anticipated length of stay, and the arrangements for pay or reward;
  • Evidence that the beneficiary meets the education and/or alternative credentials for the activity;
  • Evidence that all licensure requirements, where applicable to the activity, have been satisfied;
  • Evidence of Canadian/Mexican citizenship.
Dependents
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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