U.S. Immigration: Temporary and Permanent Status

TN Trade-NAFTA Professional Status

The TN visa is designated for a category of professionals listed under the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), and is only available for citizens of NAFTA countries (Mexico and Canada). Under NAFTA, an individual may work in a professional position provided that:

  • The occupation is on the NAFTA list of professional positions;
  • The position requires an individual with a professional background;
  • The individual has the educational qualifications for the profession for which he or she will be applying;
  • And the individual is a citizen of either Canada or Mexico.

Many professions on the list require a bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement. Some professions require a post-secondary diploma and three years of experience in the occupation. If the profession that you are applying for requires a bachelor’s degree, you must provide a bachelor’s degree in the area from a Canada or U.S. institute and provide proof of the equivalency of your foreign degree. Under this classification, it is not possible to show that a combination of years of experience and education is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, as it is under the H-1B program.

TN status is granted for up to three years, and Canadians are allowed to apply for this status directly at U.S. ports of entry and pre-flight inspection.  Mexican nationals are required to apply at a U.S. Consulate abroad for a TN visa that is placed in their passport.

For further details about TN applications, please contact us for a consultation.