This category was created under NAFTA to facilitate the entry of qualified citizens from Canada and Mexico to engage in professional business activities on a temporary basis. The category allows for admission of individuals for the following purposes:
Citizens of Canada:
A Canadian applicant must present the following documents to an immigration officer 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, or Toronto):
Documents will be reviewed by an U.S. immigration officer for accuracy and authenticity. If the officer is satisfied, the applicant will be give an I-94 card with date of entry; classification in the TN category; an expiration date (one year), and the name of the employer noted on the card. As a Canadian you do not need to apply for a visa.
Citizens of Mexico:
Citizens of Mexico are not visa exempt and are therefore required to have the documentation listed below. These documents must be presented to a consular officer at a U.S. consulate in Mexico at the time of the visa application.
TN status may be extended in the U.S., or by departing the U.S. and re-entering in TN status. The process of extending the validity of the TN visa by traveling abroad is the same as obtaining an initial TN visa. Please contact the sponsoring department to begin the process. TN status can be extended every year for an indefinite period as long as the original terms of employment still exist.
Dependents must file for an extension with the principle TN in order to maintain status in the U.S. by filing form I-539 along with the Form I-129 petition. The same travel restrictions apply as stated above; however, if the principal TN chooses to seek readmission through travel outside the U.S., then the TD must accompany the principal to gain status.
A Canadian TN may travel and re-enter the U.S. as long as the period noted on the I-94 is valid. Mexican TN holders must ensure that the TN visa stamp in their passport is valid for readmission.
Travel outside the U.S. while an extension is pending with the USCIS is not considered abandoning the application, but does present some complications. TN holders who wish to travel must notify the IO. The IO will then request the following from USCIS:
TN visa holders from Mexico must apply for a visa at the U.S. consulate or embassy before they can reenter the U.S.
Dependents of a TN visa holder will be admitted in TD status, and are not eligible for employment. Individuals in TD status may study full- or part-time. Dependents of Mexican TN's must apply for a TD visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy nearest to their location of residence.