Qualified Canadian and Mexican professionals are permitted to seek temporary employment under TN visa status in the United States for professional positions, such as accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers.

TN Visa Eligibility

  • The TN beneficiary is a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
  • The TN beneficiary has a full-time or part-time job offer with a U.S. employer;
  • The profession qualifies under the regulations;
  • The position in the United States requires a NAFTA professional;
  • The TN beneficiary meets the professional qualifications.

How to Apply

Unlike H-1B visa, the TN petition does not require the petition to be filed with USCIS only. The TN visa petition can be filed with USCIS, CBP port-of-entry for Canadian citizens or the U.S. consulates in Mexico for Mexican citizens. In addition, there is no requirement for the U.S. employer to obtain a certified LCA before submitting the TN petition.

Canadian Citizen:

A Canadian citizen needs to present the TN petition to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at CBP-designated U.S. ports-of-entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station. The petition includes the evidence of proof of Canadian citizenship, education and professional credentials, U.S. employer support letter detailing the job duties, the Canadian employee’s qualifications, length of stay, etc.  If the U.S. employer filed the TN petition (Form I-129) with USCIS, the Canadian employee may apply for admission with CBP as a TN professional with the TN approval notice and the proof of Canadian citizenship.

Mexican Citizen:

A Mexican citizen is required to obtain a visa to enter the United States as a TN professional by applying for a TN visa directly at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico.  Once a TN visa is approved, the Mexican citizen may apply for admission at CBP-designated U.S. ports-of-entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station.

Period of Stay

Up to 3 years for each approval. Extensions can be filed with USCIS if the TN professional is in the U.S, or applied at the a CBP-designated U.S. port of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station for Canadian citizens, or at the U.S. consulates in Mexico for Mexican citizens, using the same petition and documentation procedures required at the time of the initial petition for admission as a TN professional.

Dependents’ TD Status

Spouses and children under 21 years old may seek admission in the TD visa and, if approved, generally will be granted the same period of stay as the TN professional. TD dependents are not permitted to work, but they are permitted to study in the United States.

No Dual Intent

TN visa is not a dual intent visa, which means that pursuing green card while in the TN status may cause issue on the TN visa. Transit to a dual intent visa if seeking the permanent residence in the U.S.