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TN Nonimmigrant NAFTA professional visa

“If you are Canadian or Mexican and want TN Status through a TN Visa. Additionally, there are several ways to get this TN Visa to get into the United States..”

— Brian D. Lerner, Immigration Lawyer


TN Types of Fields

 There are numerous types of fields that are eligible for this type of visa. In addition, some examples range from graphic artists, business, medical, teaching and computer fields.


Validity of the TN

Moreover, while this visa is valid for only one year, it can easily be renewed.
In Canada, this visa does not need prior Immigration and Naturalization approval, and therefore, is quick to obtain.


TN County Availability

If you are a national of either Canada or Mexico, this visa is available to you.
However, you must be a citizen of those countries and not a resident.

TN Visa

TN Professionals

The nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional (TN) visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico, as NAFTA professionals, to work in the United States.
Specifically, those would be in prearranged business activities for U.S. or foreign employers

TN Visa

TN is for Citizens not Permanent Residents

Permanent residents of Canada and Mexico are not able to apply for TN visas to work as NAFTA professionals. However, the TN is a good alternative to the H-1B.

TN Visa

Canadians and Mexicans may be eligible to work in the United States as NAFTA professionals under the following conditions:

  • You must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
  • Profession is on the NAFTA list;
  • Position in the United States requires a NAFTA professional;
  • Firstly, the worker will work in a prearranged full-time or part-time job for an employer . Self employment is not permitted;
  • Secondly, you must have the qualifications, meeting the specific requirements, education, and/or experience, of the profession.

  • Passport valid for travel to the United States
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page
  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview
  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160.
  • A contract or letter of employment in the United States – To show that you have a job offer
  • Documentation proving that you meet the minimum education and/or work experience requirements

TN Visa

What must be in the letter of employment offer?

In other words, you have to provide a contract or employment letter from your employer in the United States confirming your upcoming employment in one of the professional occupations listed in Appendix 1306.d.1 of NAFTA Chapter 16.
Additionally, the letter should also include:

  • A detailed description of the purpose of entry;
  • A detailed description of your anticipated business activities or job responsibilities;
  • Your anticipated length of stay in the United States;
  • Your educational qualifications or appropriate credentials demonstrating professional status;
  • Evidence of your compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations and/or state laws; and
  • Arrangements for your pay.

Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in your passport.

TN Visa

With some exceptions, each profession requires a baccalaureate degree as an entry-level requirement. If a baccalaureate is required, experience cannot be substituted for that degree.
In some professions, an alternative to a bachelor’s degree is listed.
For some professions, experience is required in addition to the degree. 

TN Visa

“There are ways to be creative with a TN if you do not have exactly what is listed in the appendix. Don’t just give up if cannot see your area of education and expertise.”

— Brian D. Lerner, Business Immigration Lawyer


TN Visa

TN Accountant

You need a Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or C.P.A., C.A., C.G.A., or C.M.A

TN Visa

Computer Systems Analyst

The applicant must have a Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma (3) or Post Secondary Certificate (4) and three years’ experience.

TN Visa


It is necessary to show a Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license.

There are multiple fields allowed in the TN

The length of time of validity of the TN Visa

The maximum period a TN visa can be granted for is 3 years.
On paper, TN visas can be extended in three-year increments indefinitely as long as the holder satisfies all the requirements.

TN Visa

TD or TN Derivative

Proof of Canadian citizenship; Proof of relationship to the TN nonimmigrant, such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate; Photocopies of the TN nonimmigrant’s admission documents; and Proof the TN nonimmigrant is maintaining his or her TN nonimmigrant status.


Differences between TN and H-1B

TN status has some similarities with the H-1B visa. TN status may be easier for some Canadians or Mexicans to obtain, as they are not subject to the annual cap for H-1B visas issued.
But the most important difference is that TN status does not include the doctrine of dual intent. 


Requirements for TN visa. There are certain requirements to be eligible to get a TN visa.
The requirements are general, educational and work experience, and there are specific requirements for health care workers.

TN Visa

Valid TN visa holders are allowed to enter to reside in the United States as they engage in authorized business activities under NAFTA regulations.
Currently, two types of TN visas are available.
The TN-1 visa is issued to immigrants from Canada while the TN-2 visa is issued to immigrants from Mexico.


You should apply for a TN visa directly at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico.
See the U.S. Department of State webpage, ” Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Worker .
” Once you are approved for a TN visa, you may apply for admission at certain CBP-designated U.S. ports of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station.


If your going to apply for the Green Card, you should consider applying for the H-1B, and not the TN.

Dual intent allows for you to apply simultaneously for the H-1B and the TN. However, that is not the case for the TN.
Moreover, you must show intent to return to your home country with the TN and therefore, should not apply for the PERM and then the TN.