Minnesota TN Visa Treaty NAFTA Professionals Attorney


Qualified citizens of Canada and Mexico are permitted to apply for temporary entrance into the United States in order to partake in professional level and business events and activities through the “TN” classification.  The TN classification was designed to make admission to the United States easier for certain Canadian and Mexican professionals seeking temporary employment status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

 Does my profession make me eligible to apply for the TN Visa?

Employment under the TN classification must be listed under Appendix 1603.01 to NAFTA.  Also, the employee must hold the credentials listed in the requirements.  Professions listed under the NAFTA Appendix 1603.01 include, but are not limited to:

Accountant                                                    Lawyer

Architect                                                        Librarian

Computer Systems Analyst                        Management Consultant

Dentist                                                            Mathematician

Economist                                                      Pharmacist

Engineer                                                         Research Assistant (post-secondary school)

Forester                                                           Scientist

Graphic Designer                                          Social Worker

Hotel Manager                                               Sylviculturist

Industrial Engineer                                       Teacher

Interior Designer                                           Technical Publications Writer

Land Surveyor                                                Urban Planner

Landscape Architect                                      Vocational Counselor

What are the eligibility requirements?

While NAFTA will govern what evidence is required to support whether or not a citizen of Canada or Mexico is in a qualifying profession, you might be eligible to apply for the TN classification status if you meet the following criteria:

  • If you are a legal citizen of Canada or Mexico;
  • If your profession qualifies under the regulations;
  • If the position in the United States requires a NAFTA professional;
  • If you have a prearranged full-time or part-time job with an employer in the United States (excludes self-employment); and
  • If you have the qualifications to practice in the profession in question.

TN Visa under NAFTA (Requirements for Mexican Citizens)

Citizens of Mexico are required to first obtain a visa prior to entering the United States under the TN nonimmigrant classification.  Once they obtain an approved visa, they may then apply for the TN Visa at a United States embassy or consulate in Mexico.  After receiving an approved TN visa, they may proceed to apply for admission at site-specific U.S. ports/CBP stations of entry designated for pre-clearance and pre-flight inspection where eligibility for admission under the TN classification will be determined by a CBP officer.

An employer in the United States may file the I-129 Petition on their behalf as long as it is accompanied by the following supporting documentation:

  • A statement from the employer with a full description of the nature of the duties the beneficiary will be performing, the anticipated length of stay, and the arrangements for pay or reward;
  • Proof that the beneficiary meets the education and/or alternative credentials for the activity;
  • Proof that all licensure requirements, where applicable to the activity, have been satisfied;
  • Proof of Mexican citizenship; and
  • A certification from the Secretary of Labor that the petitioner has filed the appropriate labor condition application or labor attestation for the specified activity.

TN Visa under NAFTA (Requirements for Canadian Citizens)

Generally, Canadian citizens are exempt from the visa requirement and are eligible for admission into the United States as nonimmigrants without first obtaining a visa.  Canadian Citizens are not required to apply for the TN visa at a United States Consulate.  They may establish their eligibility for this classification at the time they seek admission to the United States by presenting the required documentation to a United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at designated US ports of entry/CBP stations designated for pre-clearance/pre-flight inspections.  Canadian citizens must provide the following supporting documentation:

  • Proof of Canadian Citizenship;
  • Letter from their prospective employer detailing items such as the professional capacity in which they will be working in the United States, the purpose of the employment, the period of stay (specific length must be provided), educational qualifications; and
  • Credentials evaluation, together with any fees that may apply.

TD Nonimmigrant Visa (Family)

The TN Visa holder’s spouse and minor children may be eligible to accompany the primary visa holder and apply for a TD nonimmigrant status.  Minor children must be unmarried and under the age of 21 years.  The accompany spouse and minor children must be granted TD status for no more than the period of stay granted for the primary TN Visa holder.  While spouses and minor children are not authorized to work while in this nonimmigrant classification, they are allowed to study.

Do my family members need to obtain a Visa?

Family members who are citizens of Mexico must first apply for a TD nonimmigrant visa at an American Embassy or Consulate and provide evidence that the TN nonimmigrant is maintaining their nonimmigrant status.  Dependents who are citizens of Canada are not required to obtain a visa, however they must provide the following supporting documentation:

  • Evidence of Canadian citizenship;
  • Evidence of relationship to the TN nonimmigrant, such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate;
  • Photocopies of the TN nonimmigrant’s admission documents; and
  • Evidence the TN nonimmigrant is maintaining his or her TN nonimmigrant status.

What if my family members are not citizens of Canada or Mexico?

Dependents who are not citizens of Canada or Mexico must provide evidence of a bona fide spousal or parent-child relationship with the TN nonimmigrant; and evidence the TN nonimmigrant is maintaining their TN nonimmigrant status.

If you are unsure whether or not your accompanying dependents require a visa, it is important to seek verification from the United States Department of State about the requirements, rules, and regulations.  Unsure of where you should begin? Consulting an experienced immigration attorney can help point you in the right direction.  Call us at 952-361-5556 (or fill out the free case evaluation form below) to schedule your free consult today.

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