TN – NAFTA Professionals
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) authorizes Canadian and Mexican citizens to enter the U.S. in “TN” visa status for employment in certain “professional” occupations. The TN visa category is similar to the H-1B visa category, but it does not require the filing of a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor (DOL) or a visa petition with USCIS. Unlike the H-1B, individuals attempting entry to the United States in TN status must be able to prove that they do not have intention of immigrating to the United States. Canadian citizens may present the TN visa application directly at a Class A border crossing or Pre -Flight Inspection as no visa stamp is required. Mexican citizens are required to have a visa stamp prior to entering the United States and must apply for the TN visa stamp at the appropriate U.S. Consulate in Mexico.
TN visa status may be obtained for Canadian and Mexican citizens employed in the following occupations:
Accountant; Architect; Computer Systems Analyst; Disaster Relief Claims Adjuster; Economist; Engineer; Forester; Graphic Designer; Hotel Manager; Industrial Designer; Interior Designer; Land Surveyor; Landscape Architect; Lawyer; Librarian; Management Consultant; Mathematician; Medical/Allied Professionals [Dentist; Dietician; Medical Laboratory Technologist; Nutritionist; Occupational Therapist; Pharmacist; Physician (Teaching or Research only); Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist; Psychologist; Recreational Therapist; Registered Nurse; Veterinarian]; Range Manager/Range Conservationalist ; Research Assistant (Post-Secondary Education); Scientific Technician/Technologist; Scientists [Agriculturist; Animal Breeder; Animal Scientist; Apiculturist; Astronomer; Biochemist; Biologist; Chemist; Dairy Scientist; Entomologist; Epidemiologist; Geneticist; Geologist; Geochemist; Geophysicist; Horticulturist; Meteorologist; Pharmacologist; Physicist; Plant Breeder; Poultry Scientist; Soil Scientist; Zoologist]; Social worker; Sylviculturist; Teachers [College, University and Seminary]; Technical Publications Writer; Urban Planner; and Vocational Counselor.
With a few exceptions, a bachelor’s level university degree or a professional license is the minimum qualification necessary for TN visa status.
As detailed above, Mexican citizens must apply for and obtain a TN visa from a U.S. Consulate in order to be admitted into the U.S. in TN status.
TN status is granted in three-year increments and can be renewed indefinitely. The spouse and unmarried minor children of a TN worker may be admitted in “TD” status for the same duration as the TN worker. TD visa holders are not authorized to work in the United States.