The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification (which stands for “Trade National” or “Trade NAFTA”) permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level.
Am I eligible for a TN Visa?
General Eligibility for TN Visas
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 meet all of the following criteria:
- You are a citizen of Canada or Mexico (cannot be a permanent resident)
- 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 US employer (does not include self-employment)
- You must have proof of intent to return to your permanent residence at the expiration of your temporary TN Visa stay
If you are a Mexican citizen, then you are required to obtain a visa to enter the United States as a TN nonimmigrant. Unlike Mexican citizens, Canadian citizens are generally eligible for admission as nonimmigrants without a visa. The TN category, a nonimmigrant classification, simply reflects this general exemption from the visa requirement. NAFTA governs which evidence is required to prove whether a Canadian or Mexican citizen is a professional in a qualifying profession.
Take a look at the complete list of TN professionals to see if yours is eligible.
What are the requirements for a TN Visa?
TN Visa Requirements
Once you determine that you are generally eligible, and that your profession qualifies, you must be able to prove that you have the qualifications to practice in the profession in question.
The requirements are specific for each TN profession. Search for your profession to learn more.
The TN Visa requirements can be confusing and often difficult to understand. Read about TN Visa Education and Experience Requirements to learn more.
How do I apply for a TN Visa?
Applying for a TN Visa
The TN Visa application process is considered the fastest way for Canadians and Mexicans to get the US to work visa. In many cases, Canadians may even obtain TN Visa status in as fast as 15 minutes right at the US border. Learn more about:
- How to apply for a TN Visa
- How long the process takes
- How long TN Visas are good for
- How to renew your TN Visas (also known as “Extension of Status”)
What TN Visa lawyer services do you provide?
Our TN Visa Lawyer Services
Although a TN visa application can be done on your own, the TN Visa application process can be complex, taxing, and very stressful for all parties involved. Even small mistakes can lead to a refusal or denial.
It is best to speak with a TN Visa lawyer to verify your qualifications and review your application materials. Hiring an experienced TN Visa lawyer offers peace of mind, comfort, and reassurance during the application process. Once retained, we provide guidance and reassurance throughout the process at no additional charge.
We Can Help You Apply for TN Visas
At Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law, we focus our legal practice on the Immigration and Nationality Laws of the United States. Our specialized practice has allowed us to gain particular expertise with the preparation, filing, and successful adjudication of TN Visa applications (particularly on behalf of Canadians), including new applications, renewals, extensions, denials, and all other TN Visa related matters.
Our Resources for TN Visas
Helpful TN Visa Templates
Additional Outside Resources
- USTR: United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement
- USCIS: TN NAFTA Professionals
- USCIS: NAFTA (TN) Visas
- USCIS: I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification
- USCIS: I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
- USCBP: TN Visa Eligibility Checklist (PDF)
- USCIS: Chapter 9 – Evaluation of Education Credentials
- USDOS: Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Worker
- USCIS: I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service
- USCBP: Arrival/Departure Forms: I-94 and I-94W
- Silvergate Evaluations (for Degree Equivalency)
Important TN Visa Memos
- MEMO: USMCA Professions List, Appendix 2 of Annex 16-A
- MEMO: 9 FAM 402.17, USMCA Professionals, TN & TD Visas (December 6, 2021)
- MEMO: TN Visa Education Requirements (May 8, 2013)
- MEMO: Appendix 1603.D.1, TN Visa NAFTA Professions Defined (May 8, 2013)
- MEMO: TN Visa Immigrant Intent (April 21, 2008)
- MEMO: Employment of Canadian and Mexican Professionals under NAFTA (March 16, 2005)
- MEMO: TN Visa Licensing Requirements (October 26, 2004)
- MEMO: TN Visa as a Scientific Technician / Technologist (November 7, 2002)
- MEMO: TN Visa Computer & Software Engineers (August 1, 2000)
- MEMO: TN Visa Self Employment (February 5, 1996)
- MEMO: TN Visa as a Physician (April 10, 1995)
- MEMO: Federal Register, TN Visa Licensure Requirements (December 30, 1993)
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