TN NAFTA Professionals:
The TN nonimmigrant classification allows qualified citizens of Canada
and Mexico to enter the United States temporarily to engage in business
activities at the professional level on behalf of an American employer.
General Requirements for TN Classification:
- TN’s are admitted for up to 3 years, but the admission process is
different for citizens of Canada and Mexico.
- Canadian citizens do not have to obtain a visa prior to entering and may
apply for admission as a TN at a designated port of entry of pre-flight
inspection station. Canadians must provide proof of Canadian citizenship,
a detailed letter from the prospective employer outlining the position,
and a credentials evaluation (if applicable), along with any applicable
fees. The American employer may also file an I-129 petition for the individual
with USCIS in lieu of the individual submitting documentation at the port of entry.
- Mexican citizens must obtain a visa to enter the United States as a TN
nonimmigrant. Individuals may seek a TN visa directly at a U.S. embassy
or consulate in Mexico. Upon the grant of a visa, the individual will
seek admission as a TN at a port of entry. An I-129 petition with USCIS
by the employer is not a prerequisite for seeking a TN visa in Mexico.
- Both Canadian and Mexican citizens in the United States in lawful nonimmigrant
status may change their status to TN by having the sponsoring employer
file an I-129 with USCIS before their authorized period of stay expires.
However, Mexican nationals must obtain a visa upon departure to reenter
the country as a TN.
- The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to accompany
or follow to join the principal TN individual and are accorded TD status.
Example: A Canadian architect with a bachelor’s degree and the appropriate
professional license is offered a job with a large American firm. The
individual presents documentation of his Canadian citizenship, qualifications
for the position, and a detailed support letter outlining the proposed
position from the American employer to a CBP officer at a designated port
of entry. After inspection, the individual is admitted for three years
as a TN employee.