What are the requirements for the TN or Treaty NAFTA professional employee visa?

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN (Treaty NAFTA) non-immigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to enter the United States to seek temporary professional employment. Note that Canadian permanent residents do not qualify for the TN classification.

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). Self employment is not permitted
  • Professional Canadian or Mexican citizen has the qualifications of the profession

Canadian citizens are not required to apply for a visa with a U.S. consulate or file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). They can simply request admission as a TN non-immigrant at a U.S. port of entry by providing the following documentation:

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship
  • Letter from prospective employer detailing items such as the professional capacity in which Canadian will work in the United States, the purpose of employment, length of stay, and educational qualifications
  • Credentials evaluation (if applicable)

Following inspection by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer, Canadian citizens will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant, for a period of up to 3 years. Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record, will be evidence of admission. Dependents will be given TD status.

Mexican citizens may apply at consular sections around the world for a NAFTA professional (TN) visa. As part of the visa application process, an interview at the embassy consular section is required for most visa applicants. Interviews are generally by appointment only. The US Embassy Consular Section website will have information about how to schedule an interview appointment, pay the fees and any other instructions.

Once approved for TN visa, Mexican citizens may apply for admission at a United States port-of-entry. Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record, will serve as evidence of admission.

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