TN Visa Category
Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Worker
NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement creating special economic and trade relationships for the United States , Canada and Mexico . The nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional (TN) visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico , as NAFTA professionals to work in the United States . Permanent residents, including Canadian permanent residents, are not able to apply to work as a NAFTA professional.
How Can Professionals from Mexico and Canada Work in the United States?
Professionals of Canada or Mexico may work in the U.S. under the following conditions:
Requirements for Canadian Citizens
Requirements for Mexican Citizens
As of January 1, 2004 the procedures were simplified for Mexicans by removing the requirement for petition approval and for filing of a labor condition application. Mexicans are no longer subject to numerical limitation for these professionals. Mexican citizens still require a visa to request admission to the United States.
Mexican Citizens - Applying for a TN Visa - Required Documentation
What are the Required Fees?
* Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee - Each applicant for a visitor visa must pay a nonrefundable US $100 nonimmigrant visa application processing fee.
Additional Documentation or Qualifying Requirements
Additionally, applicants must demonstrate that they are properly classifiable as NAFTA Professional for TN visa, under U.S. law by:
Requirements for NAFTA professional do not include licensure. Licensure to practice a given profession in the United States is a post-entry requirement subject to enforcement by the appropriate state or other sub-federal authority.
Spouses and Children
Spouses and children (unmarried children under the age of 21) who are accompanying or following to join NAFTA Professionals (TN visa holders) may receive a derivative TD visa. Applicants must demonstrate a bona fide spousal or parent-child relationship to the principal TN visa holder. Dependents do not have to be citizens of Mexico or Canada . Spouses and children cannot work while in the U.S. They are permitted to study.
How Long Can TN Visa Holders Remain in the U.S. ?
The maximum period of admission into the U.S is three years. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants extensinos of stay in increments of three years. The requested duration should be stated in the employer letter. TN extensions are obtained through travel outside of and reentry to the U.S. or through filing a petition with USCIS. There is no limit on the number of years a TN visa holder can stay in the United States; however, the TN visa status is a nonimmigrant status and not eligible for permanent residence.
Extension of Stay
For Canadian or Mexican citizens admitted as a NAFTA Professional may seek an extension of stay, which may be granted up to one year, by:
- If the applicant is in the U.S., employer may file Form I-129 Petition for Non-immigrant Worker with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Nebraska Service Center.; or
- Applicant may apply at a port of entry using the same application and documentation procedures above as required for the initial entry.
Extensions of the TN status are NOT required to be filed through USCIS and may be obtained through traveling outside the U.S. and reentering in that status. The processing fee, paid to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for processing at the U.S. border is $56 payable in U.S. Dollars. USCIS processing fee for extensions filed through the service center is $325.
A department may request an extension of TN status for and employee by completing and submitting the TN Extension Authorization Request to UAF International Programs & Initiatives.
The NAFTA Professionals Job Series List
The NAFTA Secretariat provides a job series list by profession, with Minimum Education Requirements and Alternative Credentials. 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, alternative criteria to a bachelor's degree is listed. For some professions, experience is required in addition to the degree.
Misrepresentation of a Material Facts, or Fraud
Attempting to obtain a visa by the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States . Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas, provides important information about ineligibilities.
Visa Ineligibility/ Waiver
The Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-156, lists classes of persons who are ineligible under U.S. law to receive visas. In some instances an applicant who is ineligible, but who is otherwise properly classifiable as a visitor, may apply for a waiver of ineligibility and be issued a visa if the waiver is approved. “ Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas” provides important information about ineligibilities, by reviewing sections of the law taken from the immigration and Nationality Act.
Entering the U.S. - Port of Entry
Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States . The visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a port-of-entry in the United States , such as an international airport, a seaport or a land border crossing, and request permission to enter the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. immigration inspector will permit or deny admission to the United States , and determine the length of stay in the U.S. , on any particular visit. Form I-94, Record of Arrival-Departure, which notes the length of stay permitted, is validated by the immigration official. Form I-94, which documents the authorized stay in the U.S. , is very important to keep in the passport. Additionally, Mexican citizens seeking entry as a NAFTA professional, must present evidence of professional employment to satisfy the Immigration Officer of plans to be employed in prearranged business activities for a U.S. employer(s) or entity(ies) at a professional level.
Further Visa Inquiries
* Questions on visa application procedures and visa ineligibilities should be made to the American consular office abroad by the applicant after reviewing the information available on the specific consular website. If inquiries concern a visa case in progress overseas, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate handling the case should be contacted for status information.
Canadian Trade NAFTA (TN) Admission Checklist
A separate letter from the UAF department chair or hiring authority may be obtained to address the requirements in items 2a and f.