The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level.
The types of professionals who are eligible to seek admission as TN nonimmigrants are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. You may be eligible for TN nonimmigrant status, if:
• You are a citizen of Canada or Mexico
• Your profession qualifies under the regulations
• The position in the United States requires a NAFTA professional
• You have a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a U.S. employer
• You have the qualifications of the profession
GENERALLY REQUIRED EVIDENCE
• Proof of Canadian or Mexican Citizenship
• Letter from your prospective employer detailing items such as the professional capacity in which you will work in the United States, the purpose of your employment, your length of stay, your educational qualifications
• Credential evaluations (if applicable)
Stage 1: Collecting Evidence
Stage 2: Submit Petition
Stage 3: Approval
If you are a Canadian citizen, then you are not required to apply for a visa with a U.S. consulate or file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can request admission as a TN nonimmigrant at a U.S. port of entry.
If you are a Mexican citizen, then you are not required to file a petition with USCIS. However, you are required to obtain a visa to enter the United States as a TN nonimmigrant. You should apply for a TN visa directly at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico. Once you are approved for a TN visa you may apply for admission at a United States port-of-entry.
Stage 1 to Stage 2: about 3 weeks
Stage 2 to Stage 3: about 3 months (depending on the workloads and processing time of the local US port of entry and US embassy)
EXCEPTIONS & NOTICE
A. The time period between Stage 1 and Stage 2 may vary case by case due to the complexity of your occupation and the employer’s entity
B. Period of Stay: a TN status may be granted for an initial period of admission for up to 3 years