TN, NAFTA Professional Workers


The TN visa category is part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) and allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to work temporarily in the United States. Canadian landed immigrants and permanent residents are not eligible for the TN visa category.

In order to qualify for TN status, the following criteria must be met:

  1. Applicant is a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
  2. Position in the U.S. requires a NAFTA professional;
  3. Applicant is to work in a prearranged full-time or part-time job for a U.S. employer (cannot be self-employed);
  4. Applicant has the qualifications for the profession; and
  5. Profession is on the NAFTA list:
    • Accountant
    • Agriculturist
    • Animal Breeder
    • Animal Scientist
    • Apiculturist
    • Architect
    • Astronomer
    • Biochemist
    • Biologist
    • Chemist
    • College Teacher
    • Computer Systems Analyst
    • Dairy Scientist
    • Dentist
    • Dietician
    • Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster
    • Economist
    • Engineer
    • Entomologist
    • Epidemiologist
    • Forester
    • Geneticist
    • Geochemist
    • Geologist
    • Geophysicist (including Oceanographer in Mexico and the U.S.)
    • Graphic Designer
    • Horticulturist
    • Hotel Manager
    • Industrial Designer
    • Interior Designer
    • Land Surveyor
    • Landscape Architect
    • Lawyer
    • Librarian
    • Management Consultant
    • Mathematician
    • Medical Laboratory Technologist
    • Meteorologist
    • Nutritionist
    • Occupational Therapist
    • Pharmacist
    • Pharmacologist
    • Physical Therapist
    • Physician (teaching or research only)
    • Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada)
    • Plant Breeder
    • Poultry Scientist
    • Psychologist
    • Range Manager/Range Conservationist
    • Recreational Therapist
    • Registered Nurse
    • Research Assistant (for a post-secondary educational institution)
    • Scientific Technician/Technologist
    • Seminary Teacher
    • Social Worker
    • Soil Scientist
    • Sylviculturist
    • Technical Publications Writer
    • University Teacher
    • Urban Planner
    • Veterinarian
    • Vocational Counsellor
    • Zoologist

There is no cap on how many new TNs can be granted each year, and there is no limit on the number of years an individual may hold TN status. Although TNs and their dependents are currently admitted to the U.S. for only one year at a time, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) published a proposed rule in May 2008 which would extend the period of admission from one year to three years.

How To Apply


Canadians who wish to apply for TN status may apply at a U.S. port of entry. Except under certain circumstances, Canadians are nonimmigrant visa exempt and do not need to obtain a visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. When applying at a U.S. port of entry, Canadian applicants must bring all of the required documentation to establish that they meet the qualifications for TN status.

An application to extend TN status may be filed with the USCIS while the applicant is in the U.S. However, it is faster to obtain the extension by returning to a U.S. port of entry.


Mexicans must apply for a TN visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Thus, in addition to submitting evidence that they qualify for TN classification, they must also submit nonimmigrant visa application forms and pay the Machine-Readable Visa fee of $160. They must also attend a visa interview at a U.S. consular post.

An application to extend TN status may be filed with the USCIS while the applicant is in the U.S. However, even after the extension is granted, the applicant must apply for a new TN visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in order to reenter the U.S. after a trip abroad.

How We Can Help You

Once you have a job offer in the United States, Ferman Law will assist you in collecting the evidence to show that you qualify for TN classification. We will also prepare the employment letter for your U.S. employer. If applicable, we will prepare the necessary visa application forms. Once all of the required documentation has been collected, we will prepare the package to be submitted at the U.S. port of entry or the U.S. consular post. If a visa interview at a U.S. consular post is necessary, we will schedule it for you. Then, we will prepare you for your interview at either the U.S. port of entry or the consular post.