Certain professionals from Canada and Mexico are admissible to the United States (U.S.), on a temporary basis, under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the TN-1 visa status category.
Professionals from Canada or Mexico may work in the U.S. under the following conditions:
- Applicant is a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
- Profession is on the NAFTA list in Appendix 1603.D.1;
- Position in the U.S. requires a NAFTA professional; and
- Mexican or Canadian applicant is to work in a prearranged full-time or part-time job for a U.S. employer.
In most of the listed professions, a bachelor's degree, its equivalent or higher is usually required. In addition, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expect the educational degree to be relevant to the applicant's position. The list of eligible professions also includes occupations that do not necessarily require a bachelor's degree as a minimum requirement. Some professions require a post-secondary diploma plus several years of experience.
The maximum initial period of stay for a TN-1 visa status professional is three years. Extensions of stay may be granted in three-year increments with no fixed limit on the number of extensions that may be given.
Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany the principal TN-1 visa holder (or join him/her at a later date) may obtain a TD visa status. They can be included on the application at the port of entry with the TN principal without separate filing fees and may be admitted for the same duration of stay. TD visa holders may study in the U.S. under this classification, but are not authorized for employment.
Canadian nationals may enter the U.S at any port of entry (U.S. airport or preflight clearance stations). Mexican nationals may apply at any U.S. Consulate under NAFTA without a formal petition to the USCIS.