TN – NAFTA Professionals

photoA6_NAFTAprof TN visas were created under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and are available to certain Canadian and Mexican professionals, to work in the United States. TN status was created by virtue of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It allows American, Canadian and Mexican citizens the opportunity to work in the United States or Canada under a somewhat limited set of occupations. Within the TN set of occupations, an American, Canadian or Mexican can work for up to a year at a time.

Frequently Asked Questions about TN Visas

What are the Requirements for a TN Visa?

  • The applicant must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico.
  • The position in the U.S. requires a NAFTA-approved professional.
  • The applicant will work in a prearranged full-time or part-time job for a U.S. employer (self-employment is not permitted).
  • The applicant has the qualifications for the profession.
  • The applicant can demonstrate that their stay is temporary.
  • The visa holder has to work in one of the 63 specific positions included in the NAFTA list.
  • The visas holder has to have a degree in that specific field.

How Long is Someone Allowed to Stay in the U.S.?

The maximum period of admission into the U.S. is one year and extensions of stay are granted in one-year increments.  Spouses and children of TN visa holders are issued TD visas.  TD visa holders may not work, but are allowed to attend school.

What are the Specific Requirements for a Canadian citizen?

Canadian citizens usually do not need a visa as a NAFTA professional, although a visa can be issued to qualified TN visa applicants upon request.
TN Visa – Canada is suitable for:

  • Canadian citizens with a bachelor’s degree and a job offer from a U.S. company.
  • Canadian citizens in specialized occupations, such as scientists, engineers, programmers, research assistants, management consultants, social workers, and accountants.
  • Canadian medical and allied personnel including dentists, dietitians, laboratory technologists, nutritionists, pharmacists, physical therapists, psychologists, registered nurses and veterinarians.

What are the Specific Requirements for a Mexican citizen?

Unlike Canadian citizens, Mexican citizens cannot apply for a TN visa at a port of entry. They must apply for their TN visa at a U.S. embassy and undergo an interview. Mexican citizens may apply at consular sections around the world for a TN visa. An interview at the embassy consular section is required for most visa applicants. Interviews are by appointment only, and the waiting time for an interview appointment for most applicants is a few weeks or less, but for some embassy consular sections it can be considerably longer. You can check visa wait times for interview appointments on the USCIS website.

How Long is a TN Visa Valid?

A TN visa holder is admitted for one year. TN visas may be renewed indefinitely in yearly increments.

Can the Visa Holder Bring Dependents into the U.S. on a TN Visa?

Yes, a spouse and unmarried, minor children are entitled to enter the U.S. on derivative TD status.

Contact us for additional information on TN visas, and guidance through what can be a complicated process.

What are the Qualifying Professions?

The applicant must be coming to work in the United States as one of the following and possess the required education and/or experience. Click here for the entire list of professions.

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  • Accountant (baccalaureate, CPA, CA, CGA, or CMA)
  • Agriculturist/Agronomist
  • Animal Breeder
  • Animal Scientist
  • Architect (baccalaureate or state/provincial license)
  • Astronomer
  • Biochemist
  • Biologist
  • Chemist
  • Computer systems analyst (baccalaureate degree, or post-secondary diploma and 3 years experience)
  • Dairy Scientist
  • Dentist (DDS, DMD, or state/provincial license)
  • Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster (baccalaureate degree or 3 years experience/training in disaster relief claims)
  • Economist
  • Engineer (baccalaureate degree or state/provincial license)
  • Entomologist
  • Forester (baccalaureate degree or state/provincial license)
  • Geneticist
  • Geochemist
  • Geographer
  • Geologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Graphic Designer (baccalaureate degree, or post-secondary diploma and 3 years experience)
  • Horticulturist
  • Hotel Manager (baccalaureate degree in hotel/restaurant management, or post-secondary diploma in hotel/restaurant management and 3 years experience)
  • Industrial Designer (baccalaureate degree, or post-secondary diploma and 3 years experience)
  • Interior Designer (baccalaureate degree, or post-secondary diploma 3 years experience)
  • Land Surveyor (baccalaureate degree or state/provincial/federal license)
  • Landscaping Architect
  • Lawyer (member of state/provincial bar, or LLB, JD, LLL, or BCL)
  • Librarian (MLS, BLS, BLS must be one for which another baccalaureate degree was a prerequisite)
  • Management Consultant (baccalaureate degree or 5 years experience in consulting or related field)
  • Mathematician
  • Medical Technologist/Medical Lab Tech. (baccalaureate degree or post-secondary diploma, and 3 years experience); note: U.S. job must be in a lab to perform chemical, biological, hematological, immunological, microscopic, or bacterial tests, and analyses for diagnosis, treatment or prevention of disease
  • Meteorologist
  • Nurse, Registered (must have state/provincial license)
  • Nutritionist
  • Occupational Therapist (baccalaureate degree or state/provincial license)
  • Oceanographer
  • Pharmacist (baccalaureate degree or state/provincial license)
  • Pharmacologist
  • Physician (teaching and/or research only, MD or state/provincial)
  • Physicist
  • Physio/Physical Therapist (baccalaureate degree or state/provincial license)
  • Plant Breeder
  • Poultry Scientist
  • Psychologist (must have state/provincial license. Cannot qualify with just baccalaureate degree)
  • Range Manager/Range Conservationist
  • Recreational Therapist
  • Research Assistant (baccalaureate degree; work in U.S. must be at a post-secondary educational institute)
  • Social Worker
  • Soil Scientist
  • Statistician
  • Sylviculturist/Forestry Specialist
  • Teacher (baccalaureate degree) must be coming to work for a college, seminary, or university only; no secondary or elementary school teaching.
  • Technician or Technologist, Scientific (Electronic engineering technician); must work in direct support of professionals in one of these disciplines: biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology, physics; must possess theoretical knowledge of discipline, and solve practical problems in discipline, or apply principles of the discipline to basic or applied research
  • Urban Planner
  • Veterinarian (DVM, DMV, or state/provincial license)
  • Vocational Counselor
  • Writer, Technical Publications (baccalaureate degree or post-secondary diploma and 3 years experience)
  • Zoologist


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