The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created unique economic and trade relationships between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Because of this agreement, certain Canadian and Mexican citizens can qualify as NAFTA professionals and seek temporary entry to the United States for prearranged business activities by applying for a TN visa.
You may be eligible for TN nonimmigrant status if:
- You are a citizen of Mexico or Canada
- You have a prearranged job with an employer in the U.S.
- The U.S. position requires a NAFTA professional
- Your profession qualifies under the regulations
- You are qualified to practice in the specified profession
Professions that may qualify you to seek TN nonimmigrant status include scientist, attorney, pharmacist, teacher or professor, and engineer. However, the process is different for Canadian and Mexican citizens.
Canadian citizens are not required to apply for a TN visa prior to seeking entry into the United States. There are two methods of obtaining TN nonimmigrant classification, outlined below.
Establish Eligibility at Time of Admission
You may request TN nonimmigrant status as you are seeking admission into the U.S. instead of applying for a TN visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy ahead of time. In order to do this, you must have all necessary documentation to present to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at a designated port of entry or inspection station.
The documentation you are required to provide includes:
- Proof that you are a Canadian citizen
- A letter from your prospective employer. This letter must outline the purpose of your employment, your qualifications, how long you will be in the United States, and the professional capacity in which you will be employed.
- If applicable, evaluation of your credentials
- Any related fees
Prospective Employer Files a Petition
The second option is for your prospective employer to file a petition on your behalf before you enter the United States. The required document the employer must submit is Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker.
If your potential employer petition is approved by USCIS, you must provide the following documentation at a port of entry or inspection station:
- Proof that you are Canadian citizen
- USCIS Approval Notice for Form I-129
- Copy of Form I-129 and all documentation that was submitted along with the petition
Mexican citizens cannot establish TN nonimmigrant eligibility at a port of entry. Instead, you must have obtained a TN visa before seeking admission into the United States. You may do this by applying for the TN visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy in Mexico.
You may seek admission into the U.S. with a Customs and Border Protection officer at a port of entry or inspection station only after you are approved for the TN visa. You will be admitted to the U.S. with TN nonimmigrant status if you are eligible for admission according to CBP.
How We Can Help
Youngblood & Associates will help to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements as a TN NAFTA professional. Depending on your qualifications and nationality, we will advise you on how best to seek TN nonimmigrant status. Whether you are applying for a TN visa outside of the U.S. or preparing your documentation to establish TN classification at a port of entry, the Youngblood & Associates team will provide the best guidance, support, and representation throughout the process of seeking temporary entry to the United States.
Not sure what you need?
Call our office today at 931-274-7811 to schedule your FREE first consultation or complete a service inquiry form to get your process started today.