Canadian & Mexican Nationals (TN)

Created under NAFTA, this category facilitates the entry of qualified citizens from Canada and Mexico to temporarily engage in professional business activities.

They can come for the following purposes:

  • Working for a U.S. employer as a professional.
  • Working for a foreign employer (including even a non-Canadian or non-Mexican employer) to provide pre-arranged professional services to a U.S. employer.

Occupations listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 qualify for employment under NAFTA and must meet the minimum qualification for each profession, as listed.

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Eligibility

  • Must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico.
  • Must possess the qualification and necessary license as per the designated occupation.
  • Degree must have been earned from institutions located in Canada, Mexico or the U.S.; if not, a credential evaluation must be done for equivalency.
  • Employment must be temporary and cannot be used to bring tenure-line faculty.

Steps for host departments

As part of the request to the IO, the host department will draft an offer of employment to the prospective TN employee. Once approved by IO, the TN employee will then present required documents to an immigration or consular official.

See our TN extension webpage for instructions for extending an existing TN.

1. Department will submit a TN Visa Request Form and an employment letter to the International Office

Request Forms must be submitted to the IO one month prior to the begin date for Canadian citizens and two months for citizens of Mexico. IO will review based on eligibility criteria, listed above.

The employment letter should contain the following:

  • Evidence that the employment is listed in the designated occupation
  • Review the educational qualifications or credentials demonstrating the professional level; confirm that the prospective employee meets all license requirements, if applicable
  • Description of duties
  • Reference to the temporary nature of the position with dates of employment and salary

See a sample letter.

3. Upon approval, the IO will inform the Host Department, which will send a letter to the prospective TN employee.

Steps for incoming TN employees

Incoming employees must present documents upon entering the country.

Canadian citizens

1. Present the following documents to an immigration officer.

Present these at the border if driving or to an officer at the pre-flight inspection facility located at any of the three major Canadian airports (Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto):

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship
  • Valid passport
  • Evidence of required qualifications (diploma, license, transcripts, etc.)
  • Employment letter from department
  • $50 filing fee (must be in U.S. dollars)
2. If the officer is satisfied with accuracy, the applicant will be approved.

If approved at the the border, you will be entered in TN status. The electronic I-94 record will note the date of entry and name of employer.

Please remember: Canadian citizens are visa exempt and need not apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate.

Mexican citizens

1. Apply for a TN visa

Present the following documents to a consular officer at a U.S. consulate in Mexico at the time of the visa application.

  • Proof of Mexican citizenship
  • Valid passport
  • Evidence of required qualifications (diploma, license, transcripts, etc.)
  • Employment letter from hiring department
2. They are inspected and admitted at the U.S. port of entry.

If approved at the the border, you will be entered in TN status. The electronic I-94 record will note the date of entry and name of employer.

Visas for family/dependents of TN employees

Dependents of a TN visa-holder will be admitted in TD status. They must apply for a TD visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy nearest to their location of residence. Find resources for International spouses and families.

Activities in TD Status

  • Study: TD dependents may study full- or part-time.
  • Employment: TD dependents are not eligible for employment.