Visas for NAFTA Professionals: the TN Professional Visa for the U.S.

In 1994, the nations of the USA, Canada, and Mexico implemented an agreement called the North America Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA for short. This created one of the world’s largest free trade zones, and paved the way for strong economic growth and prosperity for all three nations. In order to facilitate the movement of qualified professionals within the territory of the free trade zone, a TN professional visa was created for immigration to the USA. This is available for citizens of Canada and Mexico only.

What is the visa?

This visa is for qualified professionals from Mexico or Canada that want to work in a professional occupation in the USA. In order to qualify for this visa you need to meet several criteria:

  • The profession must be recognized by NAFTA
  • You must go to work for a U.S employer
  • You must fit all of the specific criteria for the position

With this visa you will be able to work in that position legally in the United States, and help to increase the economic productivity of the nation.

Obtaining the visa

In order to qualify for this visa, as a citizen of Canada you must request TN status at the U.S Port of Entry. You must bring documentation, and provide proof of your qualifications and employment records. On top of that, you must provide a letter from the prospective US employer and pay a fee of $50. It is important to note that you won’t obtain a visa, but instead receive TN status with U.S Customs and Border Protection. Extensions of the visa can be done by your employer at the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, or by returning to Canada to re-apply at the port of entry with the same documents as the first time.

What else is important?

It is important to note that if you are married or have children, your spouse and children are eligible for a visa to stay with you, but not eligible to seek employment.

NAFTA was implemented in order to foster economic growth and prosperity. By giving qualified professionals more freedom of movement with simplified visa programs, it allows workers to find gainful employment and companies to find the people they need. If you have the qualifications, then let Mirian Law help you through the difficult visa process.