TN NAFTA Professionals

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level.

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Among the types of professionals who are eligible to seek admission as TN non-immigrants are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. You may be eligible for TN nonimmigrant status, if:

  • You are a citizen of Canada
  • Your profession qualifies under the regulations
  • The position in the United States requires a NAFTA professional
  • You have a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a U.S. employer (but not self-employment – see documentation required below)
  • You have the qualifications of the profession

Eligibility Criteria for Canadian Citizens

If you are a Canadian citizen, then you are not required to apply for a visa with a U.S. consulate or file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  You can request admission as a TN nonimmigrant at a U.S. port of entry, at a United States Class A port-of-entry, or at a United States pre-clearance/pre-flight station.

and you must provide the following documentation:

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship
  • Letter from your prospective employer detailing items such as the professional capacity in which you will work in the United States, the purpose of your employment, your length of stay, your educational qualifications
  • Credentials evaluation (if applicable)

If you are eligible following inspection by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer, then you will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant.  Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record, will be evidence of your admission.

World class, famous hotel, The Diplomat, Hollywood, Florida
World class, famous hotel, The Diplomat, Hollywood, Florida

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

Initial Period of Stay
Up to 3 years

If you wish to stay beyond the time indicated on Form I-94, you must seek an extension of stay. If you are in the United States, your employer may file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with USCIS. For more information see the “Extend Your Stay” link to the right.

Note: You may apply at a port of entry using the same application and documentation procedures required at the time of your initial entry. Family of TN Visa Holders
Any accompanying or following to join spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible for TD nonimmigrant status. Dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of TN professionals are entitled to TD status with the same restrictions as the principal. They must demonstrate a bona fide spousal or parent-child relationship to you.  Dependents do not have to be citizens of Canada. Spouses and children cannot work while in the United States. Dependents may be students in the U.S.

Any spouse and children of a Canadian citizen do not need visas, but they must provide the following documentation at the port of entry:

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship
  • Proof of relationship to the TN nonimmigrant, such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate
  • Photocopies of the TN nonimmigrant’s entry documents

Dependents Following to Join
If any spouse and children are following to join the TN nonimmigrant, then they must show a valid Form I-94 as proof that the TN nonimmigrant is maintaining his or her TN nonimmigrant status. Canadian citizens need not obtain TN-1 consular visas, and may apply directly at Class A U.S. ports of entry.       must provide:

  • statement from the employer with a full description of the nature of the duties the beneficiary will be performing, the anticipated length of stay, and the arrangements for pay or reward;
  • Evidence that the beneficiary meets the education and/or alternative credentials for the activity;
  • Evidence that all licensure requirements, where applicable to the activity, have been satisfied;
  • Evidence of Canadian citizenship.

Eligible TN nonimmigrants may now be allowed to  receive extensions of stay in increments of up to three years.

The TN nonimmigrant classification is visa category available to eligible Canadians  with at least a bachelor’s degree or appropriate professional credentials who work in certain qualified  fields pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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Qualified professions identified within NAFTA include:

Appendix 1603.D.1 (Annotated) 
—     Accountant–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or C.P.A., C.A., C.G.A., or C.M.A.
—     Architect–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license 2/ .
—     Computer Systems Analyst–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma 3/ or Post Secondary Certificate 4/ and three years’ experience.
—   Disaster relief insurance claims adjuster (claims adjuster     employed by an insurance company located in the territory of a Party, or an independent claims adjuster)–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree and successful completion of training in     the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims; or three years experience in claims adjustment and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims.
—     Economist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Engineer–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
—     Forester–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
—     Graphic Designer–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate and three years experience.
—     Hotel Manager–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree in hotel/restaurant management; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate in hotel/restaurant management and three years experience in hotel/restaurant management.
—     Industrial Designer–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree;or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience.
—     Interior Designer–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience.
—     Land Surveyor–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree or state/provincial/federal license.
—     Landscape Architect–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Lawyer (including Notary in the province of Quebec)-L.L.B., J.D., L.L.L., B.C.L., or Licenciatura degree (five years); or membership in a state/provincial bar.
—     Librarian–M.L.S., or B.L.S. (for which another Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree was a prerequisite).
—     Management Consultant–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or equivalent professional experience as established by statement or professional credential attesting to five years experience as a management consultant, or five years experience in a field of specialty related to the consulting agreement.
–Mathematician (including Statistician)–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree. 5/ (Footnote added effective 11/12/04; 69 FR 60939 )
—     Range Manager/Range Conservationist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Research Assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution)–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Scientific Technician/Technologist 6/ –Possession of (a) theoretical knowledge of any of the following disciplines: agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology, or physics; and (b) the ability to solve practical problems in any of those disciplines, or the ability to apply principles of any of those disciplines to basic or applied research. (Footnote redesginated as 6/, previously 5/ effective 11/12/04; 69 FR 60939 )
—     Social Worker–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.-Sylviculturist (including Forestry Specialist)–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Technical Publications Writer–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree, or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience.
—     Urban Planner (including Geographer)–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Vocational Counselor–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
–MEDICAL/ALLIED PROFESSIONALS 
—     Dentist–D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental or state/provincial license.
—     Dietitian–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license.
—     Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)/Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States) 7/ –Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate,and three years experience. (Footnote redesignated as 7/, previously 6/, effective 11/12/04; 69 FR 60939 )
—     Nutritionist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Occupational Therapist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license.
—     Pharmacist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license.
—     Physician (teaching or research only)–M.D. Doctor en Medicina; or state/provincial license.
—     Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license.
—     Psychologist–state/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Recreational Therapist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Registered nurse–state/provincial license or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Veterinarian–D.V.M., D.M.V., or Doctor en Veterinaria; or state/provincial license.
–SCIENTIST 
—     Agriculturist (including Agronomist)–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Animal Breeder–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Animal Scientist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Apiculturist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Astronomer–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Biochemist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Biologist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree. 8/ (Footnote added effective 11/12/04; 69 FR 60939 )
—     Chemist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Dairy Scientist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Entomologist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Epidemiologist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Geneticist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Geochemist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Geologist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Geophysicist (including Oceanographer in Mexico and the United States)–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Horticulturist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Meteorologist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Pharmacologist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada)-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Plant Breeder–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Poultry Scientist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Soil Scientist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Zoologist–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
–TEACHER 
—     College–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     Seminary–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
—     University–Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.

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