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TN Category

Pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), this category temporarily permits Canadian citizens and Mexican Citizens to work in the U.S. for up to three (3) year intervals, as long as their profession is listed on Schedule 2 (enclosed) and the applicant possess the necessary credentials for the position.  The TN may be extended up to three (3) year increments with no limit to the total period of stay as long as our intentions are to keep the applicant in the position temporarily.

Management and the proposed (or existing) employee must complete Dornbaum & Peregoy’ s Questionnaires and forward them to Dornbaum & Peregoy.  These forms provide Dornbaum & Peregoy with the necessary information to complete the TN petition.

Family members accompanying TN applicant will receive a TD category when entering the U.S.  They may not be employed in this category, but may seek employment with any company to obtain TN or other status to work.

There are three (3) ways to process a TN petition:

To apply for a TN, a U.S. Company must provide the candidate with a support letter setting forth the proposed position title, requirements, description of duties, and salary.  In addition, the company must explain the reasoning, based on the candidate’s background and experience, for hiring the individual into the “temporary” position.

A Canadian citizen may take the letter with supporting documents to the airport or border upon entering the U.S.   The Customers and Border Protection (CBP) Officer will review the documentation and provide the individual with TN status for up to three years.

A Mexican citizen must present the letter and supporting documents to the U.S. Consulate in Mexico.  The Consulate will review the documentation and provide the individual with TN status for up to three years.

If an extension of the TN visa status is required, the Canadian citizen can choose to travel to Canada to obtain the extension when re-entering the U.S., or arrangements can be made to file an extension with USCIS.  A Mexican citizen can present the extension material to the U.S. Consulate in Mexico; or arrangements can be made to file an extension with USCIS.

TN NAFTA Professionals

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level.

Among the types of professionals who are eligible to seek admission as TN onimmigrants are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. You may be eligible for TN nonimmigrant status, if:

Eligibility Criteria for Canadian Citizens

If you are a Canadian citizen, then you are not required to apply for a visa with a U.S. consulate or file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can request admission as a TN nonimmigrant at a U.S. port of entry, and you must provide the following documentation:

If you are eligible following inspection by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer, then you will be admitted as a TN onimmigrant. Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record, will be evidence of your admission

Eligibility Criteria for Mexican Citizens

If you are a Mexican citizen, then you are not required to file a petition with USCIS. However, you are required to obtain a visa to enter the United States as a TN nonimmigrant. You should apply for a TN visa directly at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico. See the Department of State link to the right “Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Worker.”

Once you are approved for a TN visa you may apply for admission at a United States port-of-entry. If you are eligible following inspection by a CBP Officer, then you will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant. Form I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record, will be evidence of your admission.

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

Up to 3 years

If you wish to stay beyond the time indicated on Form I-94, you must seek an extension of stay. If you are in the United States, your employer may file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with USCIS. For more information see the “Extend Your Stay” link to the right.

Note: You may apply at a port of entry using the same application and documentation procedures required at the time of your initial entry.

Family of TN Visa Holders

Any accompanying or following to join spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible for TD nonimmigrant status. They must demonstrate a bona fide spousal or parent-child relationship to you. Dependents do not have to be citizens of Mexico or Canada, but they must contact the American embassy or consulate that serves their area for information on how to apply for a visa. Spouses and children cannot work while in the United States, but they are permitted to study.

Canadian Citizen’s Dependents

Any spouse and children of a Canadian citizen do not need visas, but they must provide the following documentation at the port of entry:

Mexican Citizen’s Dependents

Any spouse and children of a Mexican citizen must apply for the TD nonimmigrant status at an American embassy or consulate.

Dependents Following to Join

If any spouse and children are following to join the TN nonimmigrant, then they must show a valid Form I-94 as proof that the TN nonimmigrant is maintaining his or her TN nonimmigrant status.


A professional position is one that requires the minimum of a Baccalaureate degree for entry into the profession. Unlike with the H-1B category, experience cannot be substituted in lieu of a degree. However, there are several job categories that have alternate requirements to a degree.

The following are the professions eligible for TN status, as listed in NAFTA, along with the requirements for entry into the position:




Canadian Citizens are eligible to apply for TN status at either a U.S. Consulate or at a Port of Entry, or the TN can be petitioned for via the USCIS Nebraska Service Center. All Mexicans apply for TN status must apply directly with USCIS.

TN status is issued in increments of one year and can be extended indefinitely.

It should be noted that unlike other work authorized categories such as the H-1B and the L-1, there is not duel intent with regards to the TN. An individual can be denied TN status is there is a petition pending for permanent residence.

TD status is available to spouses and unmarried children under the age of twenty-one (21), issued for the same time period as the TN beneficiary.TD nonimmigrants are not work authorized.

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