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TN Visa for NAFTA Professionals

The TN visa is a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was created to form economic relationships between the United States and its neighbors Canada and Mexico. The TN is a nonimmigrant visa category available to qualified citizens of Canada and Mexico to work in the US as a professional. If you have questions about the TN visa and would like to consult with an attorney, contact The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. We have over 50 years of combined legal experience in a wide variety of complex and immigration law matters.

What is the TN visa?

The TN visa allows Canadian and Mexican citizens to work in the United States in one of the professions listed in NAFTA. Initial period of stay is up to a maximum of 3 years. Extensions of stay may be filed in the US on Form I-129, or made abroad at Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) or a US Consulate depending on whether you are a Mexican or Canadian citizen. Your spouse and children may obtain a TD visa to come with you.

What are the criteria to qualify?
  1. You must be a Canadian or Mexican citizen;
  2. You profession must be covered by NAFTA;
  3. The job position must require your profession;
  4. You must have arrangements to work for a US employer; and
  5. You must be qualified to practice your profession.
What professions are covered by NAFTA?

Your profession must be one of the professions covered by NAFTA appendix 1603.D.1, which are as follows:

General professions: Accountant, Architect, Computer Systems Analyst, Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster, Economist, Engineer, Forester, Graphic Designer, Hotel Manager, Industrial Designer, Interior Designer, Land Surveyor, Landscape Architect, Lawyer, Librarian, Management Consultant, Mathematician, Range Manager/Range Conservationalist, Research Assistant, Scientific Technician/Technologist, Social Worker, Sylviculturist, Technical Publications Writer, Urban Planner, Vocational Counselor .

Medical professions: Dentist, Dietitian, Medical Laboratory Technologist/Medical Technologist, Nutritionist, Occupational Therapist, Pharmacist, Physician, Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist, Psychologist, Recreational Therapist, Registered Nurse, Veterinarian.

Scientist professions: Agriculturist, Animal Breeder, Animal Scientist, Apiculturist, Astronomer, Biochemist, Biologist, Chemist, Dairy Scientist, Entomologist, Epidemiologist, Geneticist, Geologist, Geochemist, Geophysicist, Horticulturist, Meteorologist, Pharmacologist, Physicist, Plant Breeder, Poultry Scientist, Soil Scientist, Zoologist.

Teacher professions: College, Seminary, University.

Procedure for Canadian citizens

Generally, Canadian citizens are not required to have a visa. If you are a citizen of Canada, you do not need to apply for the TN visa at the US Consulate. You may make your application at a designated US port of entry to a CPB officer. You should present documentation including proof of Canadian citizenship, letter from your prospective employer, and an evaluation of your credentials.

In the alternative to making your application at the border, your employer may file a I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker on your behalf with the USCIS. Once approved, you may apply for admission by presenting the CBP officer your proof of Canadian citizenship and your I-129 approval notice.

Procedure for Mexican citizens

As a citizen of Mexico, you are required to have a visa (unless you are already in the US), which is valid for one year. Your TN visa application is made to a US Embassy or Consulate in Mexico. Once your TN visas approved, you may apply for entry to the CBP at a US port of entry. If you would like further information about the TN visa or any other immigration matter, please contact our immigration attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA to schedule a consultation with an attorney at an office near you.

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