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TN NAFTA Professionals (Canada)

The TN visa created by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level.

The professionals who are eligible to seek admission with a TN visa are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. You may be eligible for TN nonimmigrant status, if 1) you are a citizen of Canada, 2) your profession qualifies, 3) the position in the United States requires a NAFTA professional, 4) you have a prearranged full-time or part-time job with a U.S. employer, and 5) you have the qualifications of the profession.

As a Canadian citizen, you are not required to apply for a visa with a U.S. consulate or even file a petition with USCIS. You can apply for admission of a TN visa at a U.S. port of entry. In order to do so you must provide: 1) proof of Canadian citizenship, 2) a letter from your prospective employer detailing items such as the professional capacity in which you will work in the United States, the purpose of your employment, your length of stay, your educational qualifications, and 3) a credential evaluation.

If you are eligible following inspection by a CBP Officer, then you will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant and receive an I-94, as evidence of your admission. The period of stay is for 3 years, after which you must obtain an extension. Extensions are for 3 years and there is no limit to the number of extensions a TN holder may receive. You may apply at a port of entry using the same application and documentation procedures required at the time of your initial entry.

Any spouse and/or children under the age of 21 wanting to join the TN visa holder may be eligible. They must demonstrate a bona fide spousal or parent-child relationship. Dependents do not have to be citizens of Canada, but they must contact the American embassy or consulate that serves their area. Spouses and children cannot work, but are permitted to study.

Any spouse and children of a Canadian citizen do not need visas, but they must provide: 1) proof of Canadian citizenship, 2) proof of relationship to the TN nonimmigrant, such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate, and 3) photocopies of the TN entry documents, at the port of entry.