The TN nonimmigrant classification, authorized by NAFTA, permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States for three years at a time to engage in business activities at a professional level. You may be eligible for TN nonimmigrant status, if:
- You are a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
- Your profession qualifies under the regulations;
- The position in the United States requires a NAFTA professional;
- You have a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a U.S. employer (but not self-employment – see documentation required below); and
- You have the qualifications to practice in the profession in question.
Although a TN visa holder status has a maximum period of 3 years, it may be renewed indefinitely.
For many of our clients, this is a huge sigh of relief, as the Trump Administration administration wanted to limit the number of eligible professions under NAFTA and decrease the number of visa renewals of Treaty NAFTA, or TN visas as the countries renegotiate the 1994 trade deal with Canada and Mexico. On the other side, Canada wanted to update the professions that can qualify for TN visas. In the end, both sides agreed to just let it be.
The occupation list, created in the 1990s is outdated in a digital era where technology-related jobs are in high demand. Thousands of Canadian and Mexican professionals live and work in the United States on TN visas, and while we lament that there is no update to the professional list, we are also relieved that the TN visa will continue to exist.