TN NAFTA Professionals

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the U.S. to engage in business activities at a professional level. Among the types of professionals who are eligible to seek admission as TN nonimmigrants are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. You may be eligible for TN nonimmigrant 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)

·         You have the qualifications of the profession


Eligibility Criteria for Canadian Citizens

If you are a Canadian citizen, then you are not required to apply for a visa with a U.S. consulate or file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can request admission as a TN nonimmigrant at a U.S. port of entry, and you must provide the following documentation:

·         Proof of Canadian citizenship

·         Letter from your prospective employer detailing items such as the professional capacity in which you will work in the United States, the purpose of your employment, your length of stay, your educational qualifications

·         Credentials evaluation


Eligibility Criteria for Mexican Citizens

If you are a Mexican citizen, then you are not required to file a petition with USCIS. However, you are required to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. as a TN nonimmigrant. You should apply for a TN visa directly at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico. Once you are approved for a TN visa you may apply for admission at a U.S. port-of-entry. If you are eligible following inspection by a CBP Officer, then you will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant.

Period of Stay

Initial period of stay is up to 3 years. If you wish to stay beyond the time indicated on Form I-94, you must seek an extension of stay.

Family of TN Visa Holders

Any accompanying or following to join spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible for TD nonimmigrant status. They must demonstrate a bona fide spousal or parent-child relationship to you. Spouses and children cannot work while in the United States, but they are permitted to study.