The Trade NAFTA (TN) category was developed as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for Mexican and Canadian citizens to work and live in the United States temporarily. NAFTA has since been replaced by the US Mexico Canada Agreement, the USCMA. The USMCA adopted the major parts of NAFTA dealing with Mexican (TN-2 Visa) and Canadian (TN-1 Visa) citizens working in the US. Under the USCMA citizens of Mexico are allowed to work in the US under certain NAFTA professions in TN-2 visa status. Permanent residents of Mexico are not eligible for TN-2 Visa status. Find out what you need to get TN-2 status as a Mexican citizen.
As a Mexican citizen, how do I qualify for TN visa status?
If you are a Mexican citizen, you can qualify for TN-2 visa status if you meet the following qualifications:
- You are a Mexican citizen, permanent residents of Mexico do not qualify
- You have an offer of employment from a US-based company or will be servicing a contract for a US company
- You will be working under one of the listed USMCA (NAFTA) professions
- You meet the minimum education and/or experience requirements for the profession
- You can demonstrate that your employment will be temporary
As a Mexican citizen, how do I apply for TN visa status?
If you are a Mexican citizen, you must first obtain a visa to enter the US under TN-2 visa status. You can apply in two ways:
- Directly at a US embassy or consulate. Once approved you will receive a TN-2 visa stamp in your passport that allows you to seek entry to the US.
- If you are already in the United States under another legal immigration status, you can file Form I-129 with USCIS to change to TN-2 Visa status. You will not be able to start working until you receive approval from USCIS.
What do I do after I receive my TN-2 visa stamp?
After receiving your TN-2 visa stamp at a US embassy or consulate, you can apply for admission to any of the designated ports of entry to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) designated ports of entry.
What if I am already in the US in TN-2 status and want to change employers?
A TN-2 visa is employer-specific. If you would like to change employers you must first file for a change in employer directly with USCIS through Form I-129. You must first receive approval from USICS before commencing work for a new employer.
How do I extend my TN-2 status while inside the US?
TN-2 status is generally approved for the duration of employment for a maximum of 3 years at a time plus a period of up to 10 days before the validity period begins and 10 days after it ends. There is no limit on the number of extensions. If your TN is expiring you can seek an extension in two ways:
- You can extend your TN-2 status by exiting and re-entering the US with your current Mexican passport and TN visa
- If you want to extend without leaving the US, you can file for an extension by filing Form I-129 with USCIS
Additional Outside Resources
- USCIS: TN NAFTA Professionals
- CBP: TN Visa
- DOS: Visas for Canadians and Mexicans
- CBP: TN Status for Mexican Citizens
We Can Help!
The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik Immigration Law have more than 20 years of experience helping Mexican citizens to live and work in the United States under TN-2 Visa status. Contact us today for a free assessment of your legal situation.