Who is Eligible?
How to Apply
Duration of Visa
Status of Spouse and Minor Children
TN List

Who is Eligible?

The category "Professionals Under the North American Free Trade Agreement" is available only to citizens of Mexico and Canada. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) a citizen of a NAFTA country may work in a professional occupation in another NAFTA country provided that 1) the profession is on the NAFTA list, 2) the alien possesses the specific criteria for that profession, 3) the prospective position requires someone in that professional capacity and 4) the alien is going to work for a U.S. employer. The spouse and unmarried, minor children of the principal alien are entitled to the derivative status, but they are unable to accept employment in the United States. Aliens entering under this classification are considered non-immigrants.

How To Apply

The requirements for Canadians and Mexicans wishing to enter under this classification are not the same. 

Citizens of Canada must provide the following at the port of entry:

1. A request for "TN" status;

2. A copy of the applicant's college degree and employment records which establish qualification for the prospective job;

3. A letter from the alien's prospective U.S.-based employer offering him or her a job in the United States, which is included on the professional job series ( NAFTA list )

Canadian citizens are not required to obtain a visa, but instead receive "TN" status with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) at the port of entry. The "TN" status will only be granted if the period of stay is temporary.

The requirements for Mexican citizens are as follows:

1. First, the prospective employer must file a labor condition application;

2. Then, the applicant's prospective employer must file an I-129 "Petition For Non-Immigrant Workers" with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS); and

3. After the petition has been approved, the alien must apply for a non-immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Mexico.

Documentation Requirements

  1. PROFESSIONAL- The position to be filled must qualify as a professional-level job defined as requiring a baccalaureate degree or licensure demonstrating status as a professional in field. Activities at a "professional level" mean those undertakings that require an individual to have at least a baccalaureate degree or appropriate license demonstrating status as a professional is generally defined as a person with a minimum of a bachelor's degree where the job requires this degree as its minimum entry-level requirement. Unless otherwise specified, a bachelor's degree of three or four years is the minimum requirement for professionals.
  2. CANADIAN OR US COMPANY- Either Canadian or a U.S. Company may employ a TN Visa holder. The employer may be paid in US dollars.


  1. JOB OFFER - Job offer from Petitioning Corporation setting out duration of employment, duties, remuneration, and other pertinent details of jobs offered;
  2. PROOF OF PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS of Beneficiary including but not limited to: licenses, degrees, certificates, and memberships.

Duration of Visa

Increments of one year - Maximum.

Requirements for Canadians and Mexicans wishing to renew their "TN" status are not the same. Applications for extension of stay are processed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Canadian citizens have two options. First , they may have their employer file an I-129 form at the closest regional INS office. This option does not require leaving the U.S. Second, Canadians may return to Canada to re-apply at the port of entry with the same documentation that is required for an original application. Mexican citizens must have their employers renew their labor certification and file another I-129 with their regional INS office in order to extend their stay.

At this time, there is no limit on the number of times an individual can renew a TN visa. The TN is, however, a temporary visa. With each application, you must state that it is your intention to remain in the U.S. temporarily. Therefore, as a practical matter, it may not be feasible to apply for TN's year after year. If you need to work in the U.S. for many years, you should consider another visa option.

Status of Spouse and Minor Children

Dependent spouse and minor children of beneficiary may enter the U.S. They may not work, but may attend school.