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TN Visa for NAFTA Professionals

In 1994 the U.S., Canada and Mexico passed NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) into law.  Provisions of this treaty created the ability of numerous professional workers from either of these U.S. partner nations under the treaty to work in the U.S. for three years or more.  The great benefit of a TN visa is that the U.S. employer extending a job offer is not required to complete a labor certification application to prove that the employee will not be taking the job of a U.S. worker.  This is because the NAFTA treaty ostensibly created a single job market for all three countries for individuals in these professions (each of these require a bachelor’s degree unless otherwise noted here): GENERAL

  • Accountant
  • Architect
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster
  • Economist
  • Engineer
  • Forester
  • Graphic Designer
  • Hotel Manager
  • Industrial Designer
  • Interior Designer
  • Land Surveyor
  • Landscape Architect
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian
  • Management Consultant
  • Mathematician
  • Range Manager or Range Conservationist
  • Research Assistant
  • Scientific Technician or Technologist (knowledge of agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology or physics and the ability to apply that knowledge to research)
  • Social Worker
  • Technical Publications Writer
  • Urban Planner
  • Vocational Counselor

MEDICAL

  • Dentist
  • Dietitian
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist or Medical Technologist
  • Nutritionist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physician
  • Physiotherapist or Physical Therapist
  • Psychologist
  • Recreational Therapist
  • Registered Nurse
  • Veterinarian

SCIENTIST

  • Agriculturalist
  • Animal Breeder
  • Animal Scientist
  • Apiculturist
  • Astronomer
  • Biochemist
  • Biologist
  • Chemist
  • Dairy Scientist
  • Entomologist
  • Epidemiologist
  • Geneticist
  • Geochemist
  • Geologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Horticulturist
  • Meteorologist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Physicist
  • Plant Breeder
  • Poultry Scientist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Zoologist

TEACHER

  • College
  • Seminary
  • University

Procedure to Apply for a TN Visa Canadian citizens can apply directly at a U.S. port of entry for TN status with proof of citizenship, employer and job information and their professional credentials.  Mexican citizens are required to file an application for a visa with their local consulate or the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and present their passport, employer and job information, professional qualifications, proof of experience working in the profession, and filing fee. Spouses and minor children who are unmarried are permitted to obtain derivative status and to receive a visa to travel to the U.S. with the principal visa holder. A three-year extension of the original TN visa status can be requested as long as the original conditions which supported the initial application’s approval remain in place or other conditions which qualify the applicant in fact exist.  The law does not limit the number of extensions a TN visa holder can apply for and as long as she maintains nonimmigrant intent, indefinite extensions may be approved.

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