The TN nonimmigrant visa category, created by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), allows for the expedited processing of Canadian and Mexican professionals seeking short-term productive employment in the United States. The TN category has no annual quota limitation.
Canadian or Mexican citizens are eligible to work temporarily in the U.S. in TN status for an employer who offers a bona fide position for temporary employment included on NAFTA’s specifically designated list of occupations. The employee also must demonstrate to the satisfaction of NAFTA’s requirements for the specific occupation and an intention to depart the U.S. after the completion of the temporary employment.
Canadian citizens simply need to present their materials at a designated port of entry or pre-flight inspection to seek TN status. Mexican citizens must present their materials at a U.S. consulate to acquire TN visas prior to entering the U.S. In both cases, TN employees may receive up to three (3) years of authorized employment and stay in the U.S., with any accompanying dependents entitled to the same time in TD status. The employer sponsoring the TN employee may seek extensions in increments of up to three years, based on business need and continuing proof that the TN employee still intends to return abroad after the temporary employment concludes.
Spouses and children under 21 of the TN visa holder may travel to the U.S. in TD status. They are not, however, entitled to work authorization based on this status.