Fong Ilagan, LLP

TN Nonimmigrant Visa Classification

TN-1 and TN-2

Who qualifies for a “TN” visa?

The Trade-NAFTA (TN) visa is available to citizens of Canada and Mexico who qualify as professionals under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Citizens of Mexico and Canada may apply to work in a professional occupation for a U.S. employer if the following eligibility requirements are met:

  1. The profession is on the NAFTA list.
  2. The foreign national possesses the specific criteria for that profession.
  3. The prospective position requires someone in that professional capacity; and
  4. A U.S. employer offers employment to the foreign national for work in the U.S.

The TN is a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa classification that is granted in increments of up to three (3) years. Although the prospective position must be temporary in nature, there is no limit on the number of extensions of stay in TN status that may be granted. The spouse and unmarried, minor children of a TN professional are entitled to derivative TD status, but are not eligible for employment authorization in the U.S.

What is the application process to obtain TN classification?

A foreign national may apply at a U.S. port of entry; or, if in the U.S., may apply to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) service center. The required documents for applying include:

  • Proof of Canadian or Mexican citizenship, e.g., passport, birth certificate.
  • An offer of employment letter from the prospective U.S. employer for a professional position that is included on the NAFTA list, that specifies that the work is temporary;
  • Documentation that the foreign national is qualified for the professional occupation as specified on the offer of employment, e.g., degree, transcripts, license, prior employment records, etc.

TN Visa Issuance

Mexican citizens require a visa for admission to the United States. The DOS recently updated the visa reciprocity schedule to allow visas for 1- or 4-year validity period. Canadian citizens on TN status usually do not need a visa endorsed in their passport for U.S. admission.

How can an application for extension of stay be filed in the US?

Application for an extension of stay in TN or TD status may be made at a designated port of entry or filing for the extension at the USCIS service center.

“NAFTA List” of Professions under NAFTA Appendix 1603.D.1

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 (or Notary in Quebec province)
Librarian
Management Consultant



Mathematician (including Statistician)
Range Manager/Range Conservationist
Research Assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution)
Scientific Technician/Technologist




Social Worker
Sylviculturist (including forestry specialist)
Technical Publications Writer
Urban Planner (including Geographer)
Vocational Counselor

REQUIRED CREDENTIALS
1, C.P.A., C.A, C.G.A. or C.M.A.
1 or 2
1 or 4 and 3
1 and 3 or 4 and 3
1
1 or 2
1 or 2
1 or 4 and 3
1 or 4 and 3 (in hotel/restaurant management field) 1 or 4 and 3
1 or 4 and 3
1 or 2
1
L.L.B., J.D., L.L.L., B.C.L. or 1 (5 years) or bar membership.
M.L.S. or B.L.S. (for which 1 is prerequisite)
1 or equivalent experience as established by statement or credential attesting to 5 years experience in the field or 5 years experience in specialty field relating to consulting agreement.
1
1
1

Possession of theoretical knowledge of, ability to solve practical problems in, or ability to apply principles to basic or applied research of any of the following disciplines: agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology or physics.
1
1
1 or 4 and 3
1
1

MEDICAL/ALLIED PROFESSIONAL
Dentist

Dietitian
Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)/Medical Technologist (Mexico and the US).
Nutritionist
Occupational Therapist
Pharmacist
Physician (teaching or research only)
Physiotherapist or Physical Therapist
Psychologist
Recreational Therapist
Registered Nurse
Veterinarian

REQUIRED CREDENTIALS
D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental or 2
1 or 2
1 or 4 and 3
1
1 or 2
1 or 2
M.D., Doctor en Medicina, or 2
1 or 2
1 or 2
1
1 or 2
D.V.M., D.M.V., Doctor en Veterinaria or 2

SCIENTIST
Agriculturist (including Agronomist)
Animal Breeder
Animal Scientist
Apiculturist
Astronomer
Biochemist
Biologist
Chemist
Dairy Scientist
Entomologist
Epidemiologist
Geneticist
Geochemist
Geophysicist (Oceanographer in Mexico and the US)
Horticulturist
Meteorologist
Pharmacologist
Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada)
Plant Breeder
Poultry Scientist
Soil Scientist
Zoologist

REQUIRED CREDENTIALS
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

TEACHERS
College
Seminary
University

REQUIRED CREDENTIALS
1
1
1

KEY TO SYMBOLS

1 = Baccalaureate/Licenciatura Degree

2 = State/Provincial/Federal License2

3 = Three (3) Years Relevant Experience

4 = post-secondary diploma3 or certificate4

  1. Must work in direct support of professionals in agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology, or physics.
  2. Refers to any document issued by a state, provincial or federal government, or under its authority (but not a local government) that permits a person to engage in a regulated activity or profession.
  3. Refers to a credential issued on completion of two or more years of post-secondary education by an accredited academic institution in Canada or the U.S.
  4. Refers to the same credential as in Footnote 3 above, but which is issued by the federal or a state government of Mexico, an academic institution recognized by the federal or state government, or an academic institution created by federal or state law.

Fong Ilagan, LLP works with clients to simplify the TN nonimmigrant visa process. To discuss your case with an experienced board-certified attorney, please contact our office at 713.772.2300.