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WHAT IS A TRADE NAFTA VISA (TN)?
TN (Trade NAFTA) status is a nonimmigrant employment visa which allows Canadian and Mexican citizens who work in specific professional occupations to work in the United States. The arrangement is open to citizens from these countries under the former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), now known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement, which created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Entering on TN authorization allows qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to stay and work in the United States, as long as their U.S. job offer falls under a list of NAFTA professions. TN status is valid for up to three years, and is indefinitely renewable.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE TN VISA?
In order to be eligible for TN status, you will need:
- Proof of your Canadian or Mexican citizenship, such as a passport
- A pre-arranged full-time or part-time job in the United States with a U.S. employer, or a foreign employer with a U.S. entity
- Qualifications to practice, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree
Your job should also fall under the list of 60 NAFTA professions. Examples of NAFTA professions include engineer, lawyer, social worker, and dentist.
WHAT WILL I NEED TO APPLY FOR TN STATUS?
The process for applying for TN authorization for Canadian and Mexican citizens is different, but the requirements are similar. For every TN application, you will need:
A TN support letter from your employer summarizing your job, the NAFTA profession chosen, your qualifications, and other basic information (salary, length of employment, etc.)
Proof of your qualifications for the role, such as transcripts or diplomas. Where possible, these should be the original copy
Your application fee
If you are Canadian, your employer can also file Form I-129 (“Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker”) in addition to the core TN application on your behalf. Once this is approved, you can enter the United States with your passport and the approval notice from USCIS. If you are Mexican, you will need to file Form DS-160 (“Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application”) in addition to the core TN application to apply for a TN visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
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