Visas for Canadian and Mexican NAFTA Professional Workers

TN visa or TN status (Trade NAFTA) is a special non-immigrant classification in the United States that offers expedited work authorization to a citizen of Canada or a national of Mexico, created as a result of provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement that mandate simplified entry and employment permission for certain professionals from each of the three NAFTA member states in the other member states.

A Canadian citizen or Mexican national with a job offer in certain defined professions and who meets the minimum education requirements for each defined profession can work in the United States, for up to three years. The permit potentially may be renewed indefinitely.

Canada’s corresponding NAFTA work permit for US citizens and Mexican nationals is sometimes unofficially also referred to as a TN status or TN visa, although this name is technically only a creation of US law.

In order to obtain TN status (also called TN visa or a NAFTA work visa), the applicant needs to have an offer of employment in one of the specific categories and meet specific requirements. Applicants will need to present the specific offer of employment and the necessary supporting documents to obtain an American or Canadian TN visa to work. TN/NAFTA visa applications are usually presented at a port of entry or at a pre-flight inspection in airports. TN status, if admissible, will then be immediately granted and the applicant will be given an I-94 card reflecting TN status.