Temporary Work Visas
TN (Trade NAFTA) Nonimmigrant Visa for Canadian or Mexican Citizens
In order to qualify in the TN visa category, the beneficiary must hold either Canadian or Mexican citizenship. The beneficiary must also meet the specific education (e.g., a Bachelor’s degree), experience, and licensing requirements set forth in Appendix 1603.D.1 of the NAFTA. Additionally, the beneficiary must engage in prearranged business activities for a U.S. or foreign employer with offices in the U.S. (i.e., self-employment is not permitted under this category). Furthermore, one must show that the beneficiary’s entry is temporary, which means the work assignment in the U.S. will end at a predictable time and that he or she will depart the United States upon completion of the assignment.
Please note that Canadian citizens may submit their TN applications directly at the port of entry in order to be admitted to the United States. Mexican citizens must obtain a valid TN visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate prior to seeking admission in the TN classification.
Spouses and children of TN nonimmigrants will be classified as TD “dependents.” Holders of TD status are not entitled to work in the United States.
A Canadian or Mexican citizen seeking entry in the TN classification may be admitted for an initial period of up to three (3) years and thereafter can seek extensions in three-year increments. There is no specific limit on the total period of time a beneficiary may hold TN status, provided the beneficiary continues to qualify for the classification and continues to properly maintain TN status. Extensions of stay may be requested at the border or by filing an extension petition with USCIS.
The TN is an “employer-specific” visa, which allows the beneficiary to work only for the sponsoring employer. The beneficiary may change employers by having a new employer file a TN transfer petition in the United States or by applying at the border. In addition, any changes to the beneficiary’s original employment due to a corporate reorganization, merger, promotion or assignment to a new company location may require an amended petition or application.