The Trade NAFTA (TN) category was developed as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to facilitate the entry of Mexican and Canadian citizens to the United States for employment on a temporary basis. The nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional TN status allows citizens of Mexico and Canada to work in the United States as NAFTA professionals. Permanent residents of Canada or Mexico are not able to apply to work as a NAFTA professional.
Both Canadian and Mexican citizens can be admitted to the United States in TN status in increments of up to 3 years. Extensions of stay may also be granted in increments of up to 3 years.
Professionals from Mexico and Canada may work in the United States under the following criteria:
- The applicant must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico;
- Profession is on the NAFTA list;
- Position in the U.S. requires a NAFTA professional;
- Mexican or Canadian applicant is to work in a prearranged full-time or part-time job for a U.S. employer (see documentation required). Self-employment is not permitted;
- Applying professional Mexican or Canadian citizen possesses the qualifications of the profession.
There is no limit to the number of times a Mexican or Canadian citizen can be granted TN status, provided stay remains temporary nonimmigrant. On Oct. 1, 2012, USCIS began accepting applications filed on behalf of Canadian citizens who are outside the United States and seeking classification as a TN nonimmigrant.
Applicants may continue to apply for TN status with CBP at a port of entry while applying for admission to the United States.
For more information, please refer to the U.S. State Department's Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Worker page.