TN Visa (TN-1) for Canadians-Mexicans to Work in the United States
TN a special United States immigration status applicable only to the citizens of Canada and Mexico. The TN status is a result of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) where Canadian and Mexican citizens were granted the opportunity to work in the US, although the fields were defined. Some aspects of the TN visa make it similar to the H1-B visa although the TN has some added unique features. In fact, TN status holders can work for up to a year at a time although it can be renewed indefinitely in one-year increments. The occupations defined for TN status holders are also quite a bit more limited than for the H-1B visa.
To be eligible for TN status:
An individual must have his profession noted in Appendix 1603.D.1. ü TN employee must possess all the required qualifications with proofs Self-employment in the U.S. is not permitted for TN status holders. Professionals who are self-employed outside the U.S. may pursue business relationships with US-based companies from outside the U.S., however, under TN neither permits such professionals to come to the US to engage in self-employment, nor to render services to any entity in which he/she is a controlling owner or shareholder. Residents of Canada and Mexico may seek admission as B-1 (business visitor), E-1 (treaty trader), E-2 (treaty investor), or L-1 (intra-company transferee) nonimmigrant under NAFTA.
How to apply for TN
Canadian residents can apply for TN-1 classification directly at any U.S. Class "A" port-of-entry, at any U.S. airport handling international traffic, or at a U.S. pre-flight/pre-clearance station in Canada1. Any application for TN must be supported by:
- Proof of Canadian citizenship,
- $50 filing fee,
- Proof of required Appendix 1603.D credentials; and
- A Letter from an U.S. employer/sending employer in Canada describing nature and duration of professional employment and salary/wages in the U.S.
Citizens of Canada are exempted from visa and do not require consular visas to travel or apply for admission to the U.S. Mexicans must be approved beneficiaries of I-129 petitions filed by prospective US employers and approved by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship, and Immigration
Services' Nebraska Service Center. Applications for TN must include:
- Proof of Mexican citizenship,
- Form ETA-90353 Labor Condition Attestation (LCA) certified by the US Labor Department
- $130 filing fee
- Proof of the purpose for entry, and proof of participation in a permitted NAFTA professional activity
Mexicans applying for admission to the US under TN status are required to file necessary paperwork with a Department of State Consulate in Mexico. Family members, spouses, and unmarried children under 21 years of age of Canadian and Mexican professionals are eligible for the TD status. TD status holders (non-immigrants) may study in the US, but cannot seek employment. Although Mexican family members are automatically included in TN petitions filed at the Nebraska Service Center, they must file separate application for TD visas at US consulates. The other similar area of interest is Second Passport, Diplomatic passport immigration
, Economic citizenship program, Diplomatic passport, investment immigration
, Second citizenship program.