The TN visa is a visa program which is designed for the citizens of Canada and Mexico. A TN visa is a temporary work visa specifically for citizens of Canada and Mexico with a job offer in a professional occupation in the U.S. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) stipulates the professional occupations and minimum qualifications or alternative credentials required to be eligible to apply for a TN visa. Self-employment is not permitted on a TN visa.
TN Visa Entitlements
A TN visa entitles the holder to live and work in the U.S. temporarily. A TN visa is usually granted for an initial period of 3 years after which extensions may be sought and granted.
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may apply for the applicable derivative visa (TD visa) to join their spouse or parent in the U.S. Accompanying spouses and children are entitled to study in the United States but are not entitled to undertake any employment without obtaining an appropriate work visa.
TN Visa Requirements
In order to be able to qualify for a TN visa to work in the U.S., the applicants must be a citizen of either Canada or Mexico and must have a temporary job offer of employment in a designated professional occupation from a U.S. employer.
The professional occupation must be on the NAFTA Professional Job Series List which currently includes occupations such as accountants, engineers, lawyers, medical and allied health workers, scientists and teachers. Furthermore, the applicant must meet minimum educational requirements or alternative credentials specific to their profession. TN visa applicants like all other applicants in every other U.S. visa category may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.