What Is the TN Visa for the USA?  

A TN visa, also known as a Trade NAFTA visa, is a kind of nonimmigrant visa that provides job opportunities in the United States to Canadian and Mexican citizens working in NAFTA-compliant professional occupations. If the holder continues to meet the qualifying requirements, they can renew the visa indefinitely and it remains valid for up to three years. 

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), currently known as the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA), makes visas available to Mexican and Canadian nationals. The pact created different economic and commercial linkages between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  

It is feasible for qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to stay and work in the United States by coming on a TN visa. However, the employment offer they get in the United States must be for one of the NAFTA vocations.  

What Are the TN Visa Requirements?  

  • You must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico.  
  • You must have a job offer to work in the United States.  
  • Your job must be listed on the TN Occupation List.  
  • You must meet the educational and professional requirements for the US job.  
  • You must be seeking temporary entry (non-immigrant intent).  

How Does the TN Visa Process Work?  

Both Canadian and Mexican nationals may apply for TN status; however, the application process varies depending on which country the applicant is a citizen of.   

Canadian citizens may submit applications at US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ports of entry. They may also have their company submit the petition for nonimmigrant workers, usually known as Form I-129, to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  

Mexican citizens may utilize Form DS-160, an online application for a nonimmigrant visa, to email the required documents to a US consulate or embassy. Furthermore, before seeking entry, they must have an interview and obtain a visa number.  

In any case, a person must also submit a letter of employment that includes a synopsis of the job, as well as additional information such as salary or length of service. Individuals must also present documentation supporting their qualifications.  

Can My Family Come to the US under My TN Visa?  

Spouses or qualifying dependents of TN Visa holders are eligible to apply for TD Visas. Those who are married to someone with TN status and their minor children may join them in the US if they fulfill the criteria for TD nonimmigrant status. One TD visa holder may live in the US with another TN visa holder’s spouse or parent for as long as both visas’ validity remains current. Only the spouse and minor children of a Canadian TN Visa holder are eligible for B status. Those who do not fit the criteria for TD status may also be eligible for B status; this includes parents, cohabiting partners, and other family members.  

Required Documents for a TN Visa Application  

Not only does the application need to provide proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate or passport) but there must also be evidence that the applicant and the proposed employment or business activity qualify under Chapter 15, Schedule 2 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  

  • A temporary offer of employment from a potential US employer.  
  • Copies of applicable educational degrees, diplomas, and certificates  
  • If applicable, letters of reference from previous or current employers that testify to your skill in the profession that you are presently working in.  

Can I Travel outside the United States with TN Status?  

If your original, intended professional activity and employer have not altered, you may leave the United States and be re-admitted for the period of the allowed stay as described on Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record. This is the case if you have not changed jobs.  

Differences Between TN-1 and TN-2 Visas 

The applicant’s nationality is the most significant difference between the TN-1 and TN-2 categories. Canadian citizens are eligible for TN-1 visas, whereas Mexican nationals are eligible for TN-2 visas. 

Under NAFTA, which the USMCA replaced, non-immigrant work visas such as the TN-1 and TN-2 were available. Mexicans and Canadians may work in the US with these visas. 

How Do You Extend Your TN Visa Status? 

If you would like to extend the validity of your TN visa, you have two choices. Citizens of Mexico and Canada can arrange for their employers in the US to file Form I-129, formally known as the “Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker,” on their behalf. The deed must be executed while you are in the US. Furthermore, Canadians may choose to leave the US before their status expires and apply for temporary resident status again when they reach a US port of entry.