Information for Hiring Departments and Current/Prospective TN Employees
TN (Trade-NAFTA) is a visa status available to Canadian and Mexican citizens to work in the U.S. on a temporary basis in a professional-level job under provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Who is eligible for TN status?
The TN visa category requires that the applicant:
Some of the TN categories most applicable in a university setting include the following:
Because of the temporary nature of TN employment, TN is not an appropriate visa status for tenured or tenure-track faculty.
Although the regulations do not limit the total number of years you may remain in the U.S., TN is a temporary, nonimmigrant status. You must establish to the satisfaction of USCIS that the employment opportunity is both temporary and short-term.
TN for Canadian Citizens entering the U.S. in TN Status
Canadian citizens are exempt from the requirement to obtain a visa; instead, Canadian citizens apply directly with an immigration officer at the time s/he wishes to enter the U.S. A Canadian citizen without a TN visa can apply at a U.S. port of entry with all of the following:
More information for Canadians about entering the U.S. in TN status:
TN for Mexican Citizens entering the U.S:
Mexican Citizens - Applying for a TN Visa - Required Documentation
Mexican citizens may apply at consular sections around the world for a NAFTA professional (TN) visa. As part of the visa application process, an interview at the embassy consular section is required for most visa applicants. Interviews are generally by appointment only. As part of the visa interview, a quick, two-digit, ink-free fingerprint scan can generally be expected. The Embassy Consular Section website where the visa will be applied for should provide information on how to schedule an interview appointment, pay the fees and any other instructions.
Each Mexican applicant for a TN visa must submit the following forms, documentation, and fees:
Additionally, as non-immigrants, applicants must demonstrate that:
For more information on obtaining a TN visa in Mexico:
U.S. Embassy in Mexico
Or find your consulate
Extension of TN status
There is no limitation on the number of years an individual may be in TN status. However, it is necessary to establish that the position is temporary.
An extension of TN status can be obtained in two ways:
Please see the Department of State’s information on the TN, the Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Visa
The entire list of TN professions and respective degree requirements may be found on the NAFTA Appendix 1603.D.1 list of professions.
The employer in the U.S. must provide to the applicant a Letter of Employment in the United States. The letter must indicate that the position in question in the U.S. requires the employment of a person in a professional capacity, consistent with the NAFTA, Appendix 1603.D.1 list of professions.
The applicant must present evidence of professional employment to satisfy the Consular Officer of your plans to be employed in prearranged business activities for a U.S. employer(s) or entity(ies) at a professional level. Part-time employment is permitted. Self-employment is not permitted.
An employment letter or contract providing a detailed description of the business activities may be provided from the U.S. or foreign employer, and should state the following:
Please see the template for Term Faculty Appointment on the Statewide Labor and Employee Relations website
Please see the template for Staff Term Appointment letter or Research Associate Term Appointment letter on the Statewide Labor and Employee Relations website