NAFTA Professionals (TN) Visa
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:
The profession is on the NAFTA list:
The alien possesses the specific criteria for that profession;
The prospective position requires someone in that professional capacity; and
The alien is going to work for a U.S. employer.
Aliens entering under this classification are considered non-immigrants.
The requirements for Canadians and Mexicans wishing to enter under this classification are not the same.
Canadian Citizens must provide the following at the port of entry:
A request for “TN” status;
A copy of the applicant’s college degree and employment records which establish qualification for the
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); and
The appropriate fee in U.S. Dollars.
Canadian citizens are not required to obtain a visa, but instead receive “TN” status with the Bureau of
Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) 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 much like those for obtaining an H-1B visa, and
are as follows:
First, the prospective employer must file a labor condition application;
Then, the applicant's prospective employer must file an I-129 Petition with the Bureau of
Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS); and
After the petition has been approved, the alien must apply for a non-immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy
or Consulate in Mexico.
Requirements for Extension of TN status:
The requirements for Canadians and Mexicans wishing to renew their “TN” status are not the same.
Applications for extension of stay are processed by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS).
Canadian citizens have two options.
They may have their employer file an I-129 form at the closest regional BCIS office. This
option does not require leaving the U.S.
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 BCIS office in order to extend their stay.
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.
See: NAFTA Professional Job Series List