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What is a TN visa?


The NAFTA Professional (TN) visa is a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa that enables foreign nationals from Canada (TN-1) and Mexico (TN-2) to come and work in the United States. Since the TN visa is temporary, it will not lead to a Permanent Resident Card (“Green Card”).

To qualify for the TN visa, foreign nationals must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico.

How can I apply for TN classification?

Foreign nationals must provide evidence of the following:

  • S/he is a citizen of Canada or Mexico;

  • S/he is entering the U.S. to work in a position that is listed under the NAFTA regulations;

  • The position in the U.S. requires a NAFTA professional;

  • S/he has a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a U.S. employer (but not self-employment); and

  • S/he has the qualifications to practice in the profession in question

Do I need a degree?

Most of the positions listed under the NAFTA regulations require a U.S. bachelor’s degree (or a foreign equivalent). There are only a 1 or 2 that do not require a degree.

How long can I be employed on a TN visa?

TN visas are generally given for an initial period of THREE (3) years. Unlike many employment visas, TN visas can be theoretically renewed indefinitely.

How do I enter the U.S. on a TN visa?

Canadian citizens do not need a TN visa to enter the U.S. Instead, they are required to provide evidence of their TN employment to the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). Additionally, Canadian citizens currently in the U.S. can apply for TN nonimmigrant status by filing a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Meanwhile, Mexican citizens will need to apply for a TN visa at a U.S. consulate abroad before entering the U.S.

Can my family come with me to the United States?

TN visa holders can bring their spouses and unmarried children who are under 21-years-old.

Can my spouse and child work on their TD nonimmigrant status?

Dependents are unable to work, but they are permitted to study, invest, and/or volunteer.

Can I apply for an immigrant petition while on TN status?

Yes, you can apply for an immigrant petition while you are inside the U.S. However, we recommend that you proceed with extreme caution, since TN and TD dependent status does not allow for “dual intent.” This means that if the immigrant petition fails or is unsuccessful, foreign nationals may find it difficult to extend their TN classification.

For more information on TN nonimmigrant visas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (281) 777-1236 today.

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