The North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) created special economic and trade ties between the United States, Mexica, and Canada. As part of NAFTA, Mexican and Canadian citizens, who are members of certain professions (such as accounting, engineering, law, teaching), may enter the United States on a TN visa to temporarily work in the United States.
A TN visa will initially be granted for a maximum period of up to three years. A TN visa holder who wishes to remain in the United States may seek extensions for three years at a time. There is no limit on the maximum number of years a person may stay in the United States in TN statusEligibility
In order to be eligible for a TN visa, an applicant must:
- Be a citizen of either Canada or Mexico;
- Must be a member of a profession listed in Appendix 1603.D1 of NAFTA (Click here for a full list of professions eligible for TN visas);
- The applicant must have a prearranged full-time or part-time job in the United States with a United States employer;
- The applicant’s position in the United States must require a NAFTA professional; and
- The applicant must have the required qualifications to practice in the profession.
Canadian citizens may apply for a TN visa at the time they seek admission to the United States by presenting required documentation to United States Customs and Border Protection while crossing the United States/Canadian border, or at a pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station at a Canadian airport prior to boarding a flight to the United States.
A Canadian citizen may apply at a United States port of entry with the following documentation:
- A request for admission under TN status;
- A letter of employment from a United States employer;
- Proof of professional qualifications such as transcripts, licenses, certificates, degrees, and records of previous employment;
- Proof of ability to meet applicable license requirements; and
- Proof of Canadian citizenship.
Mexican citizens need to obtain a TN visa from a United States embassy or consulate prior to being granted admission to the United States. In order to receive a visa, a Mexican citizen will need to submit the following documents to the United States Embassy in Mexico City, or a United States consulate.
- Form DS-160 (submitted online);
- One passport-style photograph (submitted online with Form DS-160)
- A contract or letter of employment from a United States employer;
- Proof of professional qualifications such as transcripts, licenses, certificates, degrees, records of previous employment;
- Proof of ability to meet applicable license requirements; and a
- A Mexican passport valid for at least six months.
As part of the visa application process, the applicant will be interviewed by a consular officer regarding their TN visa application. Once the visa application is approved, the individual may apply for admission at a United States port of entry.TD Visas
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age are eligible to accompany a TN visa holder to the United States with TD nonimmigrant status. Spouses and unmarried children do not need to be Mexican or Canadian citizens in order to be eligible for TD status. Individuals in TD status are not eligible to work in the United States.Contact an Experienced Business Immigration Lawyer Today
If you are someone you know is interested in a TN visa, Hartzman Law Firm is here to help. Attorney Hartzman has guided countless Mexican and Canadian citizens through the TN visa process. If you would like to learn more about how Hartzman Law Firm can help you obtain TN status, please call us at (412) 495-9849 or fill out a contact form online. We offer free consultations in person, by phone, and by secure video conferencing. Weekend consultations are also available by request.
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