TN Visa (TN-1) for Canadians/Mexicans to work in the United States

TN a special United States immigration status applicable only to the citizens of Canada and Mexico. The TN status is a result of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) where Canadian and Mexican citizens were granted the opportunity to work in the US, although the fields were defined. Some aspects of the TN visa make it similar to the H1-B visa although the TN has some added unique features. In fact, TN status holders can work for up to a year at a time although it can be renewed indefinitely in one-year increments. The occupations defined for TN status holders are also quite a bit more limited than for the H-1B visa.

To be eligible for TN status:

 An individual must have his profession noted in Appendix 1603.D.1.

 TN employee must possess all the required qualifications with proofs

Self-employment in the U.S. is not permitted for TN status holders. Professionals who are self-employed outside the U.S. may pursue business relationships with US-based companies from outside the U.S., however, under TN neither permits such professionals to come to the US to engage in self-employment, nor to render services to any entity in which he/she is a controlling owner or shareholder. Residents of Canada and Mexico may seek admission as B-1 (business visitor), E-1 (treaty trader), E-2 (treaty investor), or L-1 (intra-company transferee) nonimmigrant under NAFTA.

How to apply for TN Canadian residents can apply for TN-1 classification directly at any U.S. Class “A” port-of-entry, at any U.S. airport handling international traffic, or at a U.S. pre-flight/pre-clearance station in Canada1. Any application for TN must be supported by:

1. Proof of Canadian citizenship,

2. $50 filing fee,

3. Proof of required Appendix 1603.D credentials; and

4. A Letter from an U.S. employer/sending employer in Canada describing nature and duration of professional employment and salary/wages in the U.S.

Citizens of Canada are exempted from visa and do not require consular visas to travel or apply for admission to the U.S.

Mexicans must be approved beneficiaries of I-129 petitions filed by prospective US employers and approved by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship, and Immigration Services’ Nebraska Service Center. Applications for TN must include:

1. Proof of Mexican citizenship,

2. Form ETA-90353 Labor Condition Attestation (LCA) certified by the US Labor Department

3. $130 filing fee

4. Proof of the purpose for entry, and proof of participation in a permitted NAFTA professional activity

Mexicans applying for admission to the US under TN status are required to file necessary paperwork with a Department of State Consulate in Mexico.

Family members, spouses, and unmarried children under 21 years of age of Canadian and Mexican professionals are eligible for the TD status. TD status holders (non-immigrants) may study in the US, but cannot seek employment. Although Mexican family members are automatically included in TN petitions filed at the Nebraska Service Center, they must file separate application for TD visas at US consulates. The other similar area of interest is Second Passport, Diplomatic passport immigration, Economic citizenship program, Diplomatic passport, investment immigration, Second citizenship program

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10 Responses

  1. Can a Canadian Citizen who currently holds TN-1 Status and is working in Florida, renew his and his Family’s (wife & 2 minor chidren) TN-1 Status by re-entering back into the US through a US / Mexican Port of Entry rather than a US / Canadian Porft of Entry

  2. Here is a link that should provide you with an answer regarding TN-1 status.

  3. Hi David,

    Yes, you can enter and apply for the TN Visa from a US / Mexican Port of Entry, but make sure you do the following to be successful:

    1. Confirm the Port of Entry processes TN Visas.

    2. Call ahead and make an appointment. Some of these Port of Entry have special Officers handling TN Visas and these Officers are not always available, so make an appointment. When you call they will inform you if an appointment is or is not required.

    Be prepared with your documentation.

    Here is an article to assist you: Common TN Visa Mistakes to Avoid:

    Good Luck!

    TN Visa Expert

    Helping Canadians Successfully Obtain their TN Visa with a Do it Yourself Application Kit.

  4. my girl crazy, man!

  5. I’m on a TN Visa, do you know if our company were to get acquired if I would have to reapply under the new company?

  6. I have a prospective student who has a TD visa. Her husband has a TN visa from Canada. She wants to apply to Graduate School in Pennsylvania. What are the steps she needs to go through?

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