NON-IMMIGRANT VISAS

TN Treaty NAFTA Professionals

Overview

TN visa classification is available to certain Canadian and Mexican nationals who are qualified to work as a professional as defined by the the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA").

Requirements

TN classification requires that the proffered position be classifiable as a profession enumerated in the NAFTA index, and that the beneficiary possess the credentials required for the position.

For an updated list of the TN Treaty NAFTA professions, click here.

Application Procedures

This classification does not require an approved petition for employment for foreign nationals applying outside of the U.S. If a Canadian applicant is outside of the U.S., he or she may apply directly to a Class A port of entry or at a pre-clearance station. If a Mexican applicant is outside of the U.S., he or she must apply directly at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

If the Canadian or Mexican professional is inside the U.S. and wishes to change to or extend his or her TN Non-immigrant visa status, his or her authorized employer must petition for approval from the USCIS in connection with the underlying petition for employment.

Time Limits

A Canadian or Mexican national may be initially admitted to the U.S. or granted a change of status to TN visa classification for up to one year with the option to extend for one year at a time by filing a timely petition for extension of stay with the USCIS. There is no overall time limit applied to TN visas. As is the case with all Non-immigrant visa classifications, the duration for which one is allowed to remain in the U.S. in O-1 status is governed by the expiration date indicated on the most recently issued I-94 card, except in cases where a non-frivolous extension of stay request has been timely filed. (See How do I know if I am lawfully present in the U.S.? in the FAQ section for more details.)

Employment

TN Non-immigrant status is an employer-specific work authorized status pursuant to the terms and conditions of the approved petition on which TN status was granted.

A foreign national on this visa may be eligible to apply for permanent residency if his/her employer requires his/her services permanently or based on extraordinary ability without the need for a job offer. Please click here for information on employment immigration.

Dependents

The spouse and minor children of TN visa holders may apply for derivative TD visa classification in order to accompany or follow to join the principal visa holder (at the consulate) or to remain in the U.S. with the principal visa holder (through a change of status application with the US CIS). TD status is conditioned on maintenance of valid TN status by the principal visa holder and dependent eligibility, and does not confer employment authorization.

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