A TN visa provides admission into the U.S. for Canadian (TN-1) and Mexican (TN-2) citizens who engage in activities at a professional level through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This category is similar to the H-1B visa except a TN visa can be renewed indefinitely in increments of 3 years. To be eligible for a TN visa, Mexican and Canadian citizens must have “at least a baccalaureate degree or appropriate credentials demonstrating status as a professional.”
Some examples of professions that are eligible for a TN visa are Accountants, Engineers, Medical Professionals, Teachers, and Management Consultants.
Unlike the H-1B visa, a TN visa holder is not permitted to have the intent to immigrate. A TN visa holder cannot have an immigrant petition (employment or family-based) pending.
TN visa applicants may work in the US under the following conditions:
- Applicant is a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
- Profession is on the NAFTA list;
- Position in the US requires a NAFTA professional;
- Mexican or Canadian applicant(s) is to work in a prearranged full-time or part-time job, for a US employer;
- Self-employment is not permitted;
- Canadian or Mexican citizen(s) has the qualifications for the profession.
Spouses and children accompanying a TN can be admitted in TD status.
The TN visa is an excellent alternative to the H-1B. There are no annual limits to the number of TN visas that can be issued. For Canadian nationals, TN visas can even be issued at the port of entry. The only limitation is that the TN visa does not permit the visa holder to have immigrant intent.