TN Visas For Professionals In NAFTA
Portions of the content on this page are available as public information on the USCIS website.
Criteria for Eligibility
The TN nonimmigrant visa category allows qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) established special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. Effective July 1, 2020, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will replace NAFTA; however, the passage of the USMCA does not affect existing TN visa eligibility requirements.
Some of the professionals who are eligible to seek a TN visa include lawyers, accountants, engineers, management consultants and scientists. The full list of eligible professionals can be found at the following link: NAFTA list.
Individuals may be eligible for TN nonimmigrant status if:
- The applicant is a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
- Is a professional listed under the regulations;
- Has an offer for full-time or part-time employment with a U.S. company; and
- Holds necessary qualifications for the profession.
Application Process for Canadian Citizens
Canadian citizens are not required to obtain a TN visa to be admitted to the U.S. under TN nonimmigrant status. Rather, Canadian citizens may present the TN nonimmigrant application along with supporting documentation directly to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at a U.S. port-of-entry or a U.S.-based international airport.
The TN sponsoring company may also choose to file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, to USCIS on behalf of a Canadian citizen. If the Form I-129 is approved, then the Canadian citizen may present the USCIS approval notice along with supporting documentation to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at a U.S. port-of-entry or a U.S.-based international airport.
Application Process for Mexican Citizens
Mexican citizens are required to first obtain a TN visa to be admitted to the U.S. under TN nonimmigrant status. TN visa applications shall be directly submitted to a U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico.
TN nonimmigrant status allows an initial period of stay up to 3 years as well as 3-year extensions.
Family of Visa Holder
Spouse and children of a TN nonimmigrant status holder may be admitted to the U.S. under TD nonimmigrant status for an equivalent period of stay. Spouse and children holding TD nonimmigrant status are not allowed to work in the U.S. but are allowed to study.
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