Professionals from Canada and Mexico are not limited to the quota-restricted H-1B category to work in the United States. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) established the TN-1 nonimmigrant visa category, which allows qualified people from these countries to enter the U.S. to engage in temporary employment in specific occupations as set forth in NAFTA.
Navigating the U.S. immigration system can be complex, even when applying for a temporary visa. The immigration lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert P. Gaffney provide expert counsel and personalized assistance to minimize the stress of the immigration process. Call our offices at 415-503-9653 to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.
Only specific professionals with required credentials are eligible for TN-nonimmigrant status, including:
Eligible applicants in any of these positions must have a job arranged with a U.S. employer before applying. When filing for a TN visa, applicants must also provide proof of:
- Their Canadian or Mexican citizenship
- Their professional education, such as a bachelor’s degree
TN nonimmigrants may stay for up to three years as long as they maintain their TN status and can extend their status if their employer files Form I-129 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or if they reapply.
The family of the TN professional, including spouses and children under 21, can join them in the United States with TN-nonimmigrant visas. They must only prove their relationship to the professional.
Requirements for Citizens of Canada
Canadian professionals do not need to obtain a TN visa to work in the United States, but can apply at the port of entry. The applicant must provide evidence of their Canadian citizenship and professional status.
Requirements for Citizens of Mexico
Unlike Canadian citizens, Mexican citizens must apply for a TN visa. They must provide all the necessary evidence to obtain TN professional status to work in the United States.
The application process may be different, but both Canadian and Mexican citizens must still prove that they are maintaining their status throughout the period of their temporary visa.
In 2018, NAFTA was renegotiated as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). However, the renegotiation has not changed the eligibility requirements or ability for professionals in Canada or Mexico to obtain TN-nonimmigrant status.
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