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NAFTA Treaty (TN)

The TN (Trade Professional) visa is available to Canadians and Mexicans as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). To those who are granted a Trade Professional Visa, a numerous amount of benefits are opened up to them through the NAFTA. Jobs that qualify for a TN visa are provided in a comprehensive list on the NAFTA. Canadians have the choice to apply for TN visas at land borders or airports while Mexican citizens must apply at a U.S. consulate. Although, TN visas generally have an expiration date of three years, it can be renewed unlimited amount of times.

Some professionals who are eligible to seek admission into the United States as TN visa holder include accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers.

You may be eligible for a TN NAFTA Visa 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 (Your employment is not considered “self-employment” by USCIS)
  • Canadians do not need a TN visa as a NAFTA professional. A Canadian would need a TN visa if he or she is currently residing outside of Canada with a non-Canadian spouse and/or child in order to enable the spouse/child to accompany the applicant to the US.

Canadian Citizens

If you are a citizen of Canada, the easiest way to apply for a TN visa is at a U.S. Port of Entry to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the time of entry into the U.S. When preparing and applying for a TN visa, you’ll want a highly knowledgeable attorney who specializes in immigration so you can have a bulletproof application to be submitted to Customs.

If USCIS approves your I-129 form, you may then apply to CBP for admission to the United States as a TN nonimmigrant. You’ll need to provide the following documentation to a CBP Officer at certain CBP-designated U.S. ports of entry or at a designated pre-clearance inspection station:

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship
  • Approval Notice from USCIS for Form I-129.

When applying for admission, you should have an accessible copy of the Form I-129, and all supporting documentation that was submitted to USCIS, so we can help you respond questions about your eligibility.

Mexican Citizens

If you are a Mexican citizen, then you are required to obtain a visa to enter the United States as a TN nonimmigrant. You should apply for a TN visa directly at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico.  See the U.S. Department of State webpage, “Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Worker.”

Once you are approved for a TN visa, you may apply for admission at certain CBP-designated U.S. ports of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station.  Please refer to CBP’s website for additional information and requirements for applying for admission to the United States.  If a CBP officer finds you eligible for admission, then you will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant.

After getting my TN visa, will I be eligible to obtain a Green Card?

Yes, you will be eligible to apply for a Green Card also referred to as U.S. permanent residency card when you are granted a TN visa. However, certain restrictions may apply, so you’ll want an immigration lawyer who knows exactly how you can strategize to transform your TN visa to a Green Card.

Is it possible to extend my TN visa?

If you are a Canadian or Mexican TN nonimmigrant applies for an extension of stay in the United States at the end of your period of admission or authorization as a TN, any eligible TD family member may also apply to extend their status without the need to travel abroad.

If you are a Mexican TD dependent wishes to travel abroad following approval of any such extension of stay and expiration of the TD visa, the family member will be required to apply for a new TD visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate before being permitted to return to the United States in TD status.

Schedule a Consultation Today

At the Law Office of Gary J. Kim, we take great pride in the personalized attention we provide to each of our clients.  We understand how challenging the process can be, and we will work with you through every step to help you through. To schedule your free initial consultation, call us at (213) 427-6262 or contact us online.