The TN visa classification enables US employers to bring professionals in specific occupations from abroad to work temporarily in the U.S. pursuant to 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 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 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 years’ experience in hotel/restaurant management
- Industrial Designer-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; Or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years’ experience
- Interior Designer-Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three 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 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 years’ experience as a management consultant, or five 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 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 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.