TN Visa for the USA -

TN Visa for Mexicans and Canadians

In this article

The TN visa, as part of the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) applies for citizens from Canada or Mexico to obtain temporary entry to the US for business activities. This is part of a specific economic and trade agreement between the three countries to make it easier to engage in business.
There are certain professions that the TN visa applies to and this includes:
  • Teachers
  • Accountants
  • Lawyers
  • Engineers
  • Scientists and Pharmacists
The eligibility criteria specifies that there is pre-arranged employment and that the applicant has the relevant qualifications in the stated profession that is listed under the NAFTA professions. They are usually required to have a Bachelor’s degree in their area of expertise.
The requirements for the application process are slightly different depending on whether the citizen in Canadian or Mexican. Canadian citizens do not require to attend the US Embassy, whilst Mexican citizens do. Canadian TN visas are classed as TN-1 and Mexican TN visas are TN-2 to differentiate between the requirements and eligibility rules for each separate type of visa.

The TN visa application process

TN-1 visa - Canadian Professionals

Canadian citizens are able to provide the identification documentations that proves their citizenship at the border by presenting the documents to a US Customs and Border Protection officer at certain designated US ports of entry.
As well as citizenship proof, the applicant is required to show a letter from the employer that includes the information regarding your role and length of time you will be working in the US. You will also be required to evidence the relevant credentials evaluation. A copy of the candidate’s CV and their Social Security Number is also required.
Alternatively, the employer can apply for a Form I-129 for the Canadian citizen to gain entry to work in the US.

TN-2 Mexican Professionals

Mexican citizens are required to apply for a TN visa at a US Embassy in Mexico and are not able to cross the border without the approved TN visa as issued by the Embassy/Consulate. To apply, a DS-160 form should be completed online and usually a photograph must be uploaded with the application. If your application is approved then the worker will need to attend an interview at the US Embassy in Mexico to go through more details and then you will need to wait to receive confirmation of whether your visa has been granted. You will need to take all of the documentation and details related to your job offer to your interview, including job description and responsibilities, your pay arrangement and how long you intend to be in the working in the US in that role for.
How long does a TN visa last for?
The TN visa will be granted for a maximum period of 3 years but there is the possibility of extending the stay, provided the eligibility criteria is met.

Other Visas

H-2A for seasonal agricultural workers

The H-2A visa is available specifically for foreign nationals to take on seasonal agricultural work. This type of visa is only applicable for temporary and seasonal work and not long-term work. Typically, it can be difficult for employers to fill their vacancies for this type of work, particularly given the short-term nature of it, so it is often in their interests to employ foreign nationals to perform the duties due to higher levels of availability.

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E2 Visa (Investors and Employees)

The E2 visa is available for application from non-immigrants to enter the US when they are investing a substantial amount of money in a US business. Employees for the investment company may also be allowed to have an E2 visa to assist with the investment process e.g. advising on the investment.

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H-1B Visa for Temporary Employment

The H-1B visa is to grant permission for foreign workers to obtain temporary employment in the US. Part of the Immigration and Nationality Act, it is applicable to workers that are deemed to have a specialty occupation, requiring specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or work experience that is regarded to be the equivalent.

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