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TN; NAFTA Professionals: Temporary Work Visa for Canadian & Mexican Citizens

The TN nonimmigrant classification allows qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to enter the U.S. on a temporary status to engage in professional business activity. The status stems from the special trade and economic relationship held between the US, Mexico and Canada as outlined in the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This makes it easier for U.S. employers to employ Canadian and Mexican workers temporarily. TN employment must be in a profession listed in North American Free Trade Agreement’s Appendix 1603.0.1, and the TN employee must possess the credentials required. There is no annual limit on TN-1 admissions from Canada or Mexico.

TN Qualifications
  • Must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico
  • Must be engaged in a profession which qualifies under the regulations
  • Must have the qualifications necessary to be considered a member of the profession
  • The US position must require a NAFTA professional
  • Must have a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a US employer. Self-employment does not count.
TN Period of Stay

The initial period of stay in the US under TN status is up to 3 years. To stay beyond the date noted on your I-94, you must seek an extension of stay. If you are in the US your employer may file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, for you. There is no maximum stay limit (although the purpose of the stay must continue to be temporary).

TN Family Visas

Spouses and children under the age of 21 of TN visa holders may accompany or join the principal applicant under TD nonimmigrant status. Dependents do not have to be citizens of Mexico or Canada, but they must contact the American Embassy or Consulate that serves their area for information on how to apply for a visa. Spouses and children cannot work while in the United States, but they are permitted to study.

Note: Eligibility Requirements and Procedures are different for Canadian Citizens and Mexican Citizens, so please visit the appropriate page.