TN Visa Category
The TN (Trade NAFTA) category was developed as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), to facilitate the entry of Canadian and Mexican citizens to the United States to engage in professional business activities on a temporary basis. Only occupations specified in Appendix 1603.D.1 of the NAFTA treaty can serve as the basis for TN employment :
Temporary employees from Canada or Mexico who fit this criteria may be admitted to the US for up to three years at a time.
Canadian citizens do not require a visa from a US consulate, and may apply for TN status at the port of entry to the United States. Citizens of Mexico must apply for a TN visa at a US consulate abroad.
Required documentation to be presented at the border or US consulate:
Checklist: Basic TN documentation
- Passport (Proof of Canadian or Mexican citizenship)
- Detailed offer of employment letter from the department. The letter should:
- be on department letterhead with original signature
- affirm the Appendix 1603.D.1 profession of the applicant and the purpose of the entry
- describe in detail the duties the applicant will perform in the U.S.
- specify the anticipated duration of employment
- review the educational qualifications or credentials which demonstrate the applicant has professional level status
- describe the arrangements for payment for the services to be rendered, including the source of remuneration, salary, and benefits
- Sample Department Letter
- Contract or RTO
- A copy of the Appendix, with a statement in the employer letter or cover letter specifically placing the employment within one of the occupations listed.
- The TN applicant must present his or her credentials, including diplomas, transcripts, licenses, certificates or other documentation. DOS and DHS have the right to request to see these documents in original form or certified copies, so the applicant should be prepared with originals or certified copies.
- Any credentials obtained outside the U.S., Canada or Mexico should be accompanied by a credentials evaluation and certified English language translation if the credentials are in a language other than English. If seeking to prove experience to meet the TN requirements, the applicant should submit letters from previous employers or business records for proof of self-employment. In general, there must be a reasonable connection between the academic or professional credentials of the individual and the duties that will be performed. If the connection is not obvious, a reasonable argument should be provided to support the application.