TN: Canadian and Mexican Nonimmigrant Visas

TN: Canadian and Mexican Nonimmigrant Visas

What Is TN Visa Nonimmigrant Visas for Canadians and Mexicans?

The TN visa is for TN NAFTA Professionals. The visa itself permits qualified Canadian and Mexican professionals a temporary entry into the United States. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was created for a joint relationship between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The TN visa was established by NAFTA to allow economic and trade relationships to happen between the three countries.

In most circumstances, a citizen of another country who wishes to enter the United States must obtain a visa. Types of visas include nonimmigrant visas for temporary reasons/stays or an immigrant visa to gain permanent residency. Both the TN1 visa and TN2 visa are nonimmigrant visas made specifically for TN visa professions.

The attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C., have obtained TN visas for both Canadian and Mexican citizens through NAFTA professional workers. Our experienced Chicago immigration lawyers are prepared to help you navigate the TN visa process for professional workers from bordering countries.

NAFTA Eligibility for Professional Workers

In order to qualify for this visa, the applicant must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico. Additionally, the position in which you are entering the United States must be listed on the approved NAFTA TN visa professions list. Prior arrangements must be made between the employer and qualified nonimmigrant seeking a visa for work.

TN Visa Professions

The official TN visa job list is under appendix 1603.D.1 of NAFTA chapter 16.  Most TN visa jobs require a bachelor’s degree as an entry-level requirement. There are also some positions that require additional experience on top of having a degree. The TN visa jobs list shows each of the requirements for the corresponding position including additional licensing, certificates, memberships, and more. Some examples of qualifying positions from the TN visa profession list include:

  • Accountant
  • Architect
  • Disaster relief insurance claims adjustor
  • Dentist
  • Dietician
  • Economist
  • Engineer
  • Forester
  • Graphic designer
  • Geneticist
  • Land surveyor
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian
  • Mathematician
  • Medical professional
  • Pharmacist
  • Research assistant
  • Social worker
  • Silviculturist
  • Technical Publications Writer
  • University professor
  • Zoologist
  • And many more

How to Apply for TN Visa

There are three to four parts to the TN visa application process: completing the nonimmigrant visa application, submitting your photo, interviewing with the U.S. embassy or consulate, and potentially submitting further documents if required by the consulate.

1. Complete the Non-Immigrant Visa Application

All non-immigrant visa applicants must fill out Form DS-160, Non-Immigrant Visa Application. This form includes several questions regarding their background as well as the purpose of their visit to the U.S.

Submitting Form DS-160 costs $190. Additional fees may apply depending on the relationship between the U.S. and the foreign national’s home country.

2. Photo

You will be required to upload your photo after completion of the visa application. If you are applying in Mexico, a photograph is not required. The photo requirements must be in color, taken within the last 6 months, taken in full-face view facing the camera, and taken in front of a plain white/off-white background.

3. Interview with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate

Foreign nationals between the ages of 14 and 79 who apply for a non-immigrant visa must interview with an official at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country or country of residence. Schedule this interview as soon as possible to avoid long wait times. Your interview can be scheduled at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

4. Additional Documentations

The NAFTA office may require additional documentation in order to qualify you for the TN visa. Proof of licensure and accurate credentials may be requested.

TN Visa Requirements

To apply for the TN visa, Canadians and Mexican citizens need to be eligible to be a NAFTA professional. For general TN visa requirements, regardless of TN categories, applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of Canada or Mexico
  • Have a position on the TN visa professions list
  • Work in a position in the United States that requires a NAFTA professional
  • Have a prearranged employer where you work full or part-time
  • Be qualified with stated qualifications and certifications

There are two TN visa categories: TN1 for Canadian citizens and TN2 for Mexican citizens. 

Requirements for TN1 Visa for Canadian Citizens

A NAFTA Professional (TN) visa is required for a Canadian Citizen who resides in a different country with a non-Canadian spouse and/or child, who also plans to enter the U.S. as a NAFTA professional. This is required because for the spouse/children to enter, they will have to apply for a nonimmigrant visa in which the TN visa is the prerequisite.

You may also obtain a TN visa Canada by going through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service as an . Your employer may petition for a Form I-129 on your behalf. If you take the alternative route of applying via Form I-129, the required documents for the TN1 visa include:

  • Credible documents for employment including degrees and letter of from future employer
  • Proof of Canadian citizenship

To enter the United States, you must present your TN petition packet and original documents at the airport before coming to the U.S. When you are approved you will receive your I-94 card for official admission into the U.S.

Requirements for TN2 Visa for Mexican Citizens

A NAFTA Professional (TN) visa is required to request admission into the United States. You apply for your TN visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico.

Unlike the TN1 Visa Canada, the TN2 visa process will have you take your TN packet to the U.S. consulate. The U.S. consulate will then issue you a stamped passport. You will receive your I-94 card when you officially enter the United States.

How Long Does It Take to Process a TN Visa?

The initial TN visa processing time can be reviewed and processed within several months with the standard form of processing. If you pay extra for premium processing, the TN visa processing time takes 15 business days.

Wait times for interviews vary depending on what time of year you apply and where the U.S. Embassy or Consulate is in your home country.

Cost of a TN Visa

Each form of the TN visa has its own costs. In comparison to some nonimmigrant visas, the cost of TN visa applications is inexpensive.

  • Submitting Form DS-160 costs $190. Additional fees may apply depending on the relationship between the U.S. and your home country.
  • Form I-129 costs $460. TN1 visa applicant employers need to fill out Form I-129, Petition for a nonimmigrant worker. A Form I-129 is not required to apply for a TN visa at the U.S. Consulate. This is an alternative route for obtaining a TN visa if you are a Canadian citizen
  • Premium Processing Form I-907 costs $2,500 when filing Form 1-129 for a TN1 visa. If you are doing premium processing for another visa, speak with your immigration lawyer about variant costs for Form I-907

How Long Does a TN Visa Last?

TN Visas are valid for up to three (3) years. If you and your employer would like for you to stay longer, you can reapply indefinitely. Your employer can extend your TN visa by filing Form I-129 on your behalf.

TN1 visa and TN2 visa periods of stay are specific for the employer who hired you. If you would like to switch employers, you will have to reapply for a new TN visa.

Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney Today

At Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C., we provide individuals, families, and employers the legal representation they need to navigate the process of obtaining non-immigrant visas.

Our attorneys have over seven decades of combined experience in U.S. immigration law. We’ve helped guide numerous clients through the complicated process of gaining Canadian and Mexican visas in the U.S. Contact a member of our team today at 312.444.1940.

We're looking forward to hearing from you!