A Complete Guide to the TN Visa Program

The TN visa program is a special visa program for working professionals in qualifying industries from Mexico and Canada. The Trade National (TN) Visa program is not a journey to citizenship for these individuals, but it does offer some immense opportunities. 

Professionals that commonly utilize this program include lawyers, accountants, engineers, veterinarians, scientists, and more. 

The TN Visa program was created as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The program has several requirements but is only open to Mexican and Canadian citizens. It gives them the opportunity to work and learn in the United States for up to 3 years, but extensions are routinely granted based on need. Immediate family members like spouses and unmarried children are usually allowed to accompany foreign professionals who come to the United States under this special visa program.   

Here’s what you need to know. 

TN Visa Program Requirements

There are 4 main requirements for this special visa program. First, the foreign citizen must work in a profession allowed under the program regulations. Second, they must be filling a position within the United States which requires a NAFTA professional. The foreign citizen must have pre-arranged employment with an organization or company in the United States. Unfortunately, self-employment is not an option. Lastly, citizens must have the necessary qualifications and experience to practice their chosen profession under the program.

Special Visa Application Process for Canadians

To participate in this program, working professionals from Mexico and Canada must meet the program requirements and follow all applicable laws. Canadian citizens can typically travel freely between Canada and the United States without a visa, so they do not need to re-apply. They can typically establish their eligibility for the special program at certain ports of entry if they have the necessary documentation and pay the fee.

Employers of a Canadian citizen who is already in the United States may also apply for the program on behalf of their worker. The employer must submit a Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  

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Special Visa Application Process for Citizens of Mexico

The application process for this special visa is a little different for citizens of Mexico. The process includes completing and submitting the proper forms to the appropriate agencies along with the required photo identification. They must then schedule and complete an interview with their local consulate or embassy and pay the non-refundable application fee. Mexican citizens will want to have gathered proof of their education and work experience along with a letter of employment from a U.S. company before their interview. 

Get Help Navigating the Process

Immigration laws are continually changing, and multiple visa programs are available for migrant workers. To ensure compliance and simplify the process, it helps to partner with a great team of immigration attorneys like those at Farmer Law. Not only can they present you with all available visa program options, but they can also help you navigate the process legally. Different requirements for citizens of different countries are only one of the complexities of the comprehensive process surrounding immigrant workers in the United States. Working with a team of industry professionals can help you navigate the legal system smoothly and legally to fill your current job openings and keep your company staffed.