TN NAFTA Professionals

The TN nonimmigrant classification allows qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level due to the North American Free Trade Agreement which created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. Examples of the types of professionals who are eligible for TN status are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists and teachers.

To become eligible for TN status one must:

  • 1) be a citizen of either Canada or Mexico,
  • 2) be in a profession that qualifies under the regulations,
  • 3) have a prearranged full-time or part- time job with a United States employer, and
  • 4) have the qualifications to practice in the profession in question. Canadian citizens are often eligible for admission as nonimmigrants even if they do not have a visa while Mexican citizens do not hold the same luxury.


A Canadian citizen may establish eligibility for TN status at the time they seek admission to the United States by providing the required documents to the United States Customs and Border Protection officer at certain ports of entry or at a designated preflight/preclearance inspection station. The documents that must be provided to the officer include:

  • 1) proof of Canadian citizenship,
  • 2) a letter to the individual’s prospective employer that details items such as professional capacity in which the individual will work, the purpose of employment, the length of stay, and educational qualifications,
  • 3) credentials evaluation along with application fees.


A Mexican citizen who wishes to obtain TN status must obtain a Visa to enter the United States. The individual should apply for the TN directly at a United States embassy or consulate in Mexico. Once the individual is approved for the TN visa, they may apply for admission at certain ports.

The period of stay which is usually allowed is up to three years. If the individual with TN status wishes to remain in the United States beyond their initial period of stay without departing from the United States, they can seek an extension of stay. An individual may also depart from the United States prior to the date of the status expiration and then go through the process again.

Any dependent who is accompanying the holder of TN status and is a spouse or a child under the age of 21 is eligible for TD status themselves. Dependents are not allowed to work in the United States, but they are permitted to study. The dependent individuals are also not granted TD status for longer than the TN status.


For more information regarding NAFTA Visas, and the process of obtaining an NAFTA Visa, please contact the Law Office of Jeffery Bennett via phone: 816-759-2776 (English), 816-759-2777 (Spanish); or via email: