TN Visa for Mexicans and Canadians

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.