Professionals entering the United States pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement
In 1993, the North American Free Trade Agreement created a special nonimmigrant category for professionals from Canada and Mexico who want to work in the United States, the TN visa.
Mexican and Canadian professionals may qualify for TN admission to the U.S. Mexican professionals must apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy in Mexico; Canadian professionals can present the same information to a Customs and Border Protection officer at their port of entry, and need not apply in advance for a visa.
Appendix 1603.D.1 to the NAFTA lists the professions which qualify for TN admission to the United States. In brief, these are:
- Medical professionals and allied professions, including nutritionists, pharmacists, medical laboratory technicians, and therapists
- Scientists of all types, including agriculturalists, animal breeders, geneticists, and geophysicists
- College, seminary, and university professors
- Most other professions requiring at least a B.A. or government license, including lawyers, librarians, technologists, statisticians, industrial designers, hotel managers, and accountants.
A professional immigration attorney can help determine whether you qualify for a TN visa, and what sort of documentation you will need.
TN visa application and requirements
Mexican professionals wishing to live and work in the United States must visit a U.S. consulate or embassy with the following documentation:
- Proof of Mexican citizenship
- Letter from your prospective U.S. employer detailing the professional capacity in which you will work, your educational qualifications, the purpose of your employment, and the length of your stay
- A credentials evaluation, if applicable
Once approved for a TN visa, you may apply for admission at the U.S. border.
Because Canadians do not need visas to enter the United States as visitors, Canadian professionals do not need visas to enter the U.S. as TN professionals. However, to work in the U.S., they must present the same documentation at the border as Mexican professionals must present at an embassy or consulate, with proof of Canadian instead of Mexican citizenship.
Looking to work in the U.S.? Consult a TN visa lawyer.
A skilled work visa lawyer can help you figure out which work visa best matches your qualifications, employment options, and desires. You and your prospective employer should consult with an experienced, knowledgeable immigration lawyer that will work all of the angles to get you living and working legally in the United States. Call the Law Offices of KahBo Dye-Chiew toll free at 866-510-7082 or submit the online email form regarding all types of business immigration matters.