This visa is authorized under the free trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico (NAFTA). It permits professionals in certain occupations who are citizens of Mexico or Canada to enter the US to work for a sponsoring employer or contractor. Self-employment is not permitted under this visa. This status may be extended in yearly increments with no maximum number of years of eligibility. This visa is limited to the occupations identified by the USCIS, with most requiring at least a bachelors degree or equivalent. The occupations that are specifically identified for eligibility fall under the following professions: Research assistant, scientific technician/technologist, teacher and management consultants. Accountants, computer professionals, and certain physicians and healthcare workers may also qualify for this status. This option is attractive to Mexican and Canadian registered nurses who wish to work in the US. NAFTA prescribes a list of qualifying professions and positions for the TN visa status. This chart also specifies the qualification requirements for each position.
Canadian TN status applicants need not apply at a US consulate abroad. Instead, they may seek such classification with a USCIS officer at a US port of entry, a US airport handling international traffic, or a pre-flight inspection station. However, Mexican TN visa applicants are required to apply directly at a US consulate for this status. To obtain an extension of the status, Canadian citizens may either submit an I-129 to the Nebraska Service Center or apply for re-admission at the border by presenting a new letter and evidence of qualification. Mexican citizens are required to apply for an extension by filing an I-129 with the Nebraska Service Center. TN visa holders may also reapply when they change employers.
Click here to read memorandum from the USCIS on changes regarding NAFTA Nonimmigrant Professionals.
Spouses and unmarried minor children of TN visa holders may apply for the Trade Dependent (TD) status for the duration of the TNs status. They may not accept employment while in the TD status but may attend school on a full-time basis.