TN Canadian & Mexican Workers
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), certain citizens of Canada and Mexico are eligible to enter the US under the nonimmigrant TN status. The TN Visa enables Canadian and Mexican citizens to temporarily work in US in a NAFTA-approved professional occupation. The following are the requirements to be eligible for the TN Visa:
- The profession be on the NAFTA list.
- The foreign national must possess the necessary training for that profession.
- The proposed position must be classified as a professional position.
- The foreign national must work for a US employer.
Canadian Citizens may apply for the TN-1 Visa, and Mexican citizens may apply for the TN-2 Visa. Please note that the process to obtain a TN-2 Visa is much more complicated than that of the TN-1. Spouses and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to enter the US under the derivative TD-1 and TD-2 visas. Family members are not required to be Canadian or Mexican citizens, and are eligible to remain in the US for the duration of the TN Visa holder’s stay. They may either accompany the TN Visa holder to the US or come at a later time. TN-1 Visa Canadian citizens need not obtain Labor Certification. They must simply apply for and obtain TN status at a port of entry, after sufficiently proving that the proposed stay is of a temporary nature. TN-2 Visa Mexican citizens are eligible to apply for the TN-2 Visa. Only 5550 TN-2 Visas are issued each year to Mexican citizens. The sponsoring employer must file a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor (DOL). The employer must also file a petition Form I-129 with USCIS. And after approval of the petition, the foreign national must apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a US Consulate in Mexico. TN-2 candidates presently in the US under another nonimmigrant status may wish to apply for a change of status instead of consular processing.
Beginning October 16, 2008, professional employees from Canada and Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will be eligible to apply for a three year work status called “TN status”. The spouse and children are considered to have “TD status.” This may be re-extended for additional time. Previously, the TN status was granted for only one year at a time. Mexico professionals were required to renew their work status at the U.S. consulate each year which was especially burdensome when it was only for one year. TN applications may be filed at any time because there are no numerical limits. This is an alternative for Canadian and Mexican students graduating from U.S. colleges who missed the ability to apply for an H-1B application. Canadian & Mexican professionals who are lawfully in the U.S. may apply to change status while here without processing through the consulate. In order to apply, four items are needed, (1) a passport, (2) a visa application form, (3) letter of from the prospective employer, and (4) evidence that s/he is a professional. The following professionals are eligible for this type of work visa.
The following professionals are allowed for the TN program: Accountant, Actuary, Mathematician, Architect, Computer Systems Analyst, Disaster Relief Claims Adjuster, Economist, Engineer, Forester, Graphic Designer, Hotel Manager, Industrial Designer, Interior Designer, Land Surveyor, Landscape Architect, Lawyer, Librarian, Management Consultant, Dentists, Dietitians, Medical Technologists, Nutritionists, Occupational Therapists, Pharmacists, Physicians (teach or research only), Physical Therapist, Psychologist, Recreational Therapist, Registered Nurse, Veterinarian, Range Manager, Research Assistant, Scientific Technician/Technologist, Scientist, Agronomist, Animal Breeder, Animal Scientist, Apiculturist, Astronomer, Biochemist, Biologist, Chemist, Dairy Scientist, Entomologist, Epidemiologist, Geneticist, Geochemist, Geologist, Geophysicist, Horticulturalist, Meteorologist, Pharmacologist, Plant Paleontologist, Soil Scientist, Zoologist, Social Worker, Sylviculturist, Technical Publications Writer, Urban Planner, Vocational Counselor.