The TN visa category was established under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
TN stands for “Trade NAFTA”. Through this visa, certain professionals from Canada and Mexico can enter the United States for up to three years at a time to work for a U.S. employer.
Only professionals in very particular categories are allowed to received a TN visa. Furthermore, depending on the category, there are specific education and/or experience requirements. A list of the different categories of professionals can be found here: List of TN professions. When applying for a TN visa, it is important that the job duties assigned to the applicant match the specific TN category and that the applicant have the appropriate qualifications.
The application process differs for Canadians and Mexicans. Canadians may apply for this visa at major entry points to the U.S. as well as pre-flight inspection in Canadian airports. Canadians also have the option to apply at the consulate for a visa. Mexican citizens may only apply at the consulate and must present a visa to enter the United States. While in the U.S., Canadians and Mexicans in legal status can change to a TN visa or extend TN status with the Immigration Service. All those in TN status may bring their spouse or unmarried children under twenty-one to the United States as well. However, these family members cannot work in the status of TN dependent.
To obtain a TN visa, it is pivotal to have sufficient evidence to prove eligibility. All applicants will need a detailed letter from the employer outlining specific criteria along with proof of qualifications. Our office can assist the applicant and the employer to prepare crucial documentation that can assist in obtaining TN status. If you are an applicant or an employer that would like to apply for a TN visa, please contact our office for assistance. The attorney and all staff members are bilingual in English and Spanish.