The TN visa classification enables U.S. employers to bring professionals in specific occupations from abroad to work temporarily in the U.S. pursuant to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”), formerly known as NAFTA.
The TN visa category is available to Canadian and Mexican citizens. It requires that:
- the foreign national enter the U.S. for a stay of limited duration;
- The foreign national intend to depart the U.S. at the end of his/her stay. The foreign national must continue to maintain a foreign residence of which s/he has no intention of abandoning;
- The foreign national must have made adequate financial arrangements to travel to, in, and from the U.S.; and
- The foreign national engage solely in authorized business or pleasure activities while in the U.S.
The U.S. may grant temporary entry to such individuals who are engaging in a business activity at a professional level on behalf of a U.S. employer. NAFTA defines “business activities at a professional level” as undertakings which require that the individual have at least a Bachelor’s degree or appropriate credentials demonstrating status as a professional. The terms ‘state/provincial license’ and ‘state/provincial/federal license’ mean any document issued by a state, provincial, or federal government, as the case may be, or under its authority, but not by a local government, that permits a person to engage. The professions included at Appendix 1503.D.1 of NAFTA are as follows:
- Accountant-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; C.P.A., C.A., C.G.A., or C.M.A.
- Architect-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
- Computer Systems Analyst-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate and three (3) years’ experience
- Disaster relief insurance claims adjuster (claims adjusted employed by an insurance company located in the territory of a Party, or an independent claims adjuster)-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree and successful completion of training in the appropriate areas of insurance adjustment pertaining to disaster relief claims
- Economist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Engineer-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
- Forester-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Decree; or state/provincial license
- Graphic Designer-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate and three (3) years’ experience
- Hotel Manager-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree in hotel/restaurant management; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate in hotel/restaurant management and three (3) years’ experience in hotel/restaurant management
- Industrial Designer-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; Or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three (3) years’ experience
- Interior Designer-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three (3) years’ experience
- Land Surveyor-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree or state/provincial/federal license
- Landscape Architect-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Lawyer (including Notary in the province in Quebec)-L.L.B., J.D., L.L.L., B.C.L., or Licenciatura degree (five (5) years); or membership in a state/provincial bar
- Librarian-M.L.S., or B.L.S. (for which another Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree was a pre-requisite)
- Management Consultant-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or equivalent professional experience established by statement or professional credential attesting to five (5) years’ experience as a management consultant, or five (5) years’ experience in a field of specialty related to the consulting agreement
- Mathematician (including Statistician)-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Range Manager/Range Conservationist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree Research Assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution)-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Scientific Technician/Technologist-Possession of (a) theoretical knowledge of any of the following disciplines; agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology, or physics; and (b) the ability to solve practical problems in any of those disciplines, or the ability to apply principles or any of those disciplines to basic or applied research
- Social Worker-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Sylviculturist (including Forestry Specialist)-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Technical Publications Writer-Baccalaureate of Licenciatura Degree, or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three (3) years’ experience
- Urban Planner (including Geographer)-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Vocational Counselor-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree.
- Dentist-D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental or state/provincial license
- Dietitian-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
- Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)/Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States)-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three (3) years’ experience
- Nutritionist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Occupational Therapists-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
- Pharmacist-Baccalaureate of Licenciature Degree; or state/provincial license
- Physician (teaching or research only)-M.D. Doctor en Medicina; or state/provincial license
- Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
- Psychologist-state/provincial license or Licenciatura Degree
- Recreational Therapist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Registered Nurse-state/provincial license or Licenciatura Degree
- Veterinarian-D.V.M., D.M.V., or Doctor en Veterinaria; or state/provincial license
- Agriculturist (including Agronomist)-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Animal Breeder-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Animal Scientist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Apiculturist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Astronomer-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Biochemist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Biologist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Chemist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Dairy Scientist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Entomologist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Geneticist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Geochemist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Geologist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Geophysicist (including Oceanographer in Mexico and the United States)-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Horticulturist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Meteorologist-Baccalaureate Degree
- Pharmacologist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada)-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Plant Breeder-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Poultry Scientist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Soil Scientist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Zoologist-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- College-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- Seminary-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
- University-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
A business person seeking temporary employment under this Appendix may also perform training functions relating to the profession, including conducting seminars.
Period of Stay:
- Initial entry of up to three (3) years, with three (3) year extensions available as long as the foreign national can demonstrate nonimmigrant intent.
Dependent Family Members:
- Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may accompany the transferring employee.
- Work authorization is not permitted.
- Mexican nationals must first obtain a TN visa at a U.S. consulate abroad before being admitted to the U.S.
- Canadian citizens are considered visa-exempt and may submit the TN Visa Petition directly to U.S. Customs & Border Protection at a qualifying port-of-entry instead of to USCIS for same-day adjudication.
- Visa appointment availability is subject to change but appointments are generally available within 1-2 weeks, with visas being issued within 7-10 days following, assuming no government administrative processing delays.
Maintaining TN Visa Status:
- The visa is employer-specific, meaning that an employee cannot change employers without government authorization.
- The visa is job-specific, meaning that an employee cannot change positions without government authorization if a material change in job duties will occur.