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TN visa - TN visa requirements

NAFTA stands for North America free trade agreement and it was created to maintain trade and special economic relations for the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The TN visa allows qualified Canadian and Mexican qualified workers to obtain temporary entry into the United States and occupy themselves professionally in business activities.

Professionals like accountants, lawyers, Pharmacists, Engineers, Scientists, and teachers are eligible to apply for a TN visa only if they meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a citizen of Canada and Mexico
  • The profession must be under the regulations 
  • Must have a prearranged part-time or full-time job from a U.S employer
  • Must have the qualification for practicing the job


Qualified Canadian citizens are eligible to work in the United States as a non-immigrants without TN visa, but they need to meet certain requirements and documents at the CBP ( Custom and border protection ), and the qualified Mexican citizens need a TN visa and have to apply at US consulate or embassy in Mexico only. 

Qualified Canadian citizen ( TN – 1 ) VISA

For Canadian citizens, you need to apply for the TN – 1 visa to enter the united states and one must not exceed the initial 3 years stay.

If you are a Canadian citizen then you do not require to apply for a TN visa but you must meet the eligibility requirement by presenting the required documentation at the time of seeking admission as a TN non-immigrant at CBP ( custom and border protection ). 

The documents required at the customs and border protection are proof of Canadian citizenship and the Approval Notice from USCIS for Form I-129.

Qualified Mexican citizens ( TN – 2 VISA )

If you are a Mexican citizen, then you need to apply for the TN visa or TN – 2 for entering the United States on a non-immigrant status. One can apply for a US TN visa directly at the US consulate or embassy in Mexico. 

Once you have been granted the TN visa, you can apply for admission at certain U.S CBP-designated ports of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station.

For more information on CBP, you can check it on their websites.

Up to 3 years is allowed initially with a TN visa for qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens and one can extend their stay while staying in the US. The employer can fill out the form of I-129 on your behalf.

Visa for the dependents of the TN nonimmigrants

A spouse and children under the age of 21 are eligible to accompany the TN visa holder.  The person who is accompanying the TN nonimmigrant visa holder is not allowed to work in the United States but they are allowed to study. The period of stay for the dependant is equal to the TN visa holder. 

Spouses or Dependents who are not citizens of Canada and Mexico must show proof of bona fide spouse or parent-child relationship with the TN nonimmigrant. 

Spouses or Dependents who are citizens of Canada do not need visas but they need to show proof of Canadian citizenship and their relationship with the TN nonimmigrant. 

Spouses or Dependents who are citizens of Mexico must apply for the TD nonimmigrant visa at the US embassy or consulate in Mexico.

If the TD nonimmigrant wants to extend his/her stay in the United States, the TN nonimmigrant should apply for the extension and then the TD nonimmigrant can apply for the extension as well.

If your paid employment ends before your I-797 Approval Notice or I-94 Record expires, you may be eligible for a grace period of up to 60 days. The grace period could allow you to change your status or move to another employer.