Under the nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional (TN) visa, citizens of Canada and Mexico, as NAFTA professionals, are permitted to work in the United States in a professional occupation provided certain conditions are met and procedures followed.  NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement, to which the United States, Canada and Mexico are each parties.

Qualifications For a TN Visa

Citizens of Canada or Mexico may work in a professional occupation in the U.S. provided that each of the following conditions is met:

  • Professional is a citizen of Canada or Mexico (as opposed to a permanent resident).
  • Profession is on the NAFTA list of professions that qualify for the NAFTA (TN) visa.
  • Professional has the qualifications required for the job.
  • Job has been offered by a U.S. employer
  • The job offered is temporary in nature, up to a maximum stay of one year


Employment Letter

The applicant must provide a letter of employment from an employer in the U.S. indicating that the position in question in the U.S. requires the employment of a person in a professional capacity, consistent with the NAFTA Chapter 16, Annex 1603, Appendix 1603.d.1. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate that they are properly classifiable as NAFTA Professional for TN visa, under U.S. law as follows:

Education Requirement: The applicant's employer must submit proof that the applicant meets the minimum education requirements or has the alternative credentials set forth in NAFTA agreement, chapter 16 appendix 1603.d.1. Evidence of professional qualifications may be in the form of degrees, certificates, diplomas, professional licenses, or membership in a professional organization. Degrees, diplomas, or certificates received from an educational institution outside the United States, Canada, or Mexico must be accompanied by an evaluation by a reliable credentials evaluation service specializing in evaluating foreign documentation.

Work Experience Requirement: Document proving to the applicant's experience should be in the form of letters from former employers. If the applicant was self-employed, business records should be submitted proving that self-employment.

Spouses and Children: Spouses and children (unmarried children under the age of 21) who are accompanying or following to join TN visa holders may receive a derivative Trade Dependent (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. but they are permitted to study.

Spouses or children following to join must show a valid I-94, thereby providing proof that the principal TN visa holder is maintaining his/her TN visa status.

How to Apply For an Extension

Applicants may seek an extension of stay of up to three years. There is no limit on the number of extensions that may be granted.

Immigration law can be complex, and you may not be familiar with all of your immigration options. The foregoing is not meant to be construed as legal advice. The Normandy Law Group has attorneys and lawyers in major metropolitan areas, including New York, Chicago, New Jersey, Charlotte, Los Angeles, to counsel on your immigration options.

Our job is to ensure that you will be in the best position to make decisions about your immigration.

Call our toll free number (877) 670-5744 or email us for a free consultation.