NAFTA Visas (TN)
The TN Visa was created after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 to facilitate the temporary movement of qualified professionals from Canada, Mexico and the United States.
As of January 1, 2004, the procedures were simplified for Mexicans by removing the requirement for petitions and labor conditions applications. Mexican citizens should apply for TN visa at U.S. Embassy – Mexico City or at any U.S. Consulate.
The employer in the U.S. must provide to the applicant a Letter of Employment in the United States. The letter must indicate that the position in question in the U.S. requires the employment of a person in a professional capacity, consistent with the NAFTA Chapter 16, Annex 1603, Appendix 1603.d.1.
Qualifications for a "TN" visa
A citizen of a NAFTA country may work in a professional occupation in the U.S. provided:
- the profession is recognized under NAFTA; and
- the alien possesses the specific criteria for that profession; and
- the prospective position requires someone in that professional capacity; and
- the alien is going to work for a U.S. employer.
NOTE: A "carta de pasante" is not a degree for NAFTA purposes. Neither is a Mexican “diploma” considered to be a degree. Rather, only a Mexican “titulo” is considered a degree for NAFTA purposes.
If all of these conditions are met, then a TN may be issued.
NOTE: Spouses and unmarried, minor children of principal aliens are entitled to a derivative status visa, but they are unable to accept employment in the United States. Aliens entering under this classification are considered non-immigrants and granted TD visa status.
Please click here for a list of professions recognized under NAFTA.
The Letter of Employment must include information and evidence regarding all of the following:
A. Requesting Employer
- The letter must indicate that the position in question in the U.S. requires the employment of a person in a professional capacity, consistent with the NAFTA Chapter 16, Annex 1603, Appendix 1603.d.1.
- The applicant must present evidence of professional employment to satisfy the Consular Officer of your plans to be employed in prearranged business activities for a U.S. employer(s) or entity (ies) at a professional level. Part-time employment is permitted. Self-employment is not permitted. An employment letter or contract providing a detailed description of the business activities may be provided from the U.S. or foreign employer, and should state the following:
- Activity in which the applicant shall be engaged and purpose of entry;
- Anticipated length of stay;
- Educational qualifications or appropriate credentials demonstrating professional status;
- Evidence of compliance with DHS regulations, and/or state laws; and
- Arrangements for pay.
- Although not required, proof of licensure to practice a given profession in the U.S. may be offered along with a job offer letter, or other documentation in support of a TN visa application.
B. Applicant’s Credentials/Qualifications
- Applicant’s Name (include first, middle, paternal last, maternal last names)
- Date and place of birth
- Nationality (copy of passport)
- Copies of prior visas (all classifications)
- Type of Degree and field of study (include copy of degrees, diplomas, certificates of completion; and accreditation of foreign academics and credentials by a recognized evaluation service)
- Education and Experience Vitae/Membership in Professional Organizations, Licenses (describe fully-separate sheets may be required)
C. Proposed Employment
- Job Title
- Qualifying profession in which the applicant will be engaging (from the NAFTA Professional Job Series List)
- Detailed description of proposed employment
- Location of proposed employment
- Full or Part-time (specify no. of hours per week)
- Proposed wages per hour/week
- Justification for employee with applicant’s profession and duration of proposed employment (explain justification)
- Type of licensure required for proposed employment (note: compliance enforcement is the responsibility of local or state authority and lack of licensure is not a basis for visa refusal)
NOTE: The requesting employer should provide supporting documentation for the information included in the employment letter whenever practical. Incomplete information or lack of evidence may delay completion of the review or the refusal of the application. We may request other evidence as deemed necessary.
Below is the format of a sample petitioner’s job offer letter:
CITY, STATE, ZIP
Non-Immigrant Visa Section
Mexico City, Mexico
Re: Petition for TN/TD Nonimmigrant Visa Application
Petitioner: Company Name and phone number of petitioner
Full name of applicant (i.e. two first names and two last names)
DOB of applicant
Phone number of applicant
Position: (Position Title, which must be on the NAFTA list of professions)
Dear Sir or Madam:
I. Petitioner: Name of Petitioner
(Petitioner Profile is the general company background information)
II. Position: Position Title
(Position description includes duties, definition of degree and/ or experience required for the position)
III. Beneficiary: Name of Applicant
(Beneficiary Profile describes applicant’s qualifications, including education degrees and/ related work experience)
IV. Terms of Employment:
(Describes salary to be paid, length of contract – in months or years – and other terms of employment)
Conclusion paragraph (Summary of major points of the petition)
If you are a dependent of a TN visa holder applying later without the principal applicant, please bring the following for your interview:
- Copy of TN visa from principal applicant
- Copy of TN principal applicant’s employment letter
- Passport and any prior U.S. visas
- Marriage Certificate
- Birth Certificate for children