The TN classification was developed as part of the North America Free Trade Agreement to facilitate the entry of Canadian and Mexican professionals to the United States, including research assistants, vocational counselors and university teachers. The TN visa applies to persons: (1) working for a U.S. employer in a designated professional category; or (2) working for a Canadian or Mexican company doing business in the United States.
How Can Professionals from Mexico and Canada Work in the U.S.?
Professionals of Canada or Mexico may work in the U.S. under the following conditions:
- Applicant is a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
- Profession is on the NAFTA list;
- Position in the U.S. requires a NAFTA professional;
- Mexican or Canadian applicant is to work in a prearranged full-time or part-time job, for a U.S. employer (see documentation required);
- Professional Canadian or Mexican citizen has the qualifications of the profession.
Note: The application requirements for citizens of Canada and Mexico, shown below are different.
Canadian citizens usually do not need a visa as a NAFTA Professional, although a visa can be issued to qualified TN visa applicants upon request. A Canadian citizen without a TN visa can apply at a U.S. port of entry.
Canadians are not required to petition the USCIS for prior approval to obtain a TN visa, which can be obtained at the port of entry by providing proof of the requisite educational credentials, a letter of offer from a U.S. employer or an employment letter from a Canadian or Mexican company doing business in the U.S. and proof of Canadian citizenship. Mexican citizens require a visa to request admission to the U.S. A USCIS approved petition is not required.
The TN visa holder is permitted to stay in the United States for an initial period of up to three years. The holder of a TN visa must not have the intent upon entering the United States to immigrate. The USCIS may therefore question a TN visa holder who has obtained a number of successive extensions as to his/her intent.
Filing for permanent residence status would indicate a lack of nonimmigrant intent and thus may invalidate the TN visa.
For more information regarding visas and residencies please contact the Office of Legal Affairs.
Additional documents and information is needed for all visa(s) and PERM applications:
Additional Documents/Information (doc.)