It is important to keep in mind the range of options available within the United States immigration system. Employers in search of qualified professionals may not have to look far from our borders to fill their needs. Certain Canadian and Mexican citizens are eligible for TN visas if they have employment in the U.S. With that in mind here is a refresher for the TN nonimmigrant program. Anyone with questions about this or other related issues should feel free to contact our office here in Dublin.
The TN classification came out of the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA), which created a unique relationship between the United States, Canada and Mexico. Part of that process was to allow certain professionals who are citizens of one country to enter territories of the others to accept employment.
There are several employment or work related visas are available, such as - L-1, B-1, E-1. Another is TN, which applies to citizens from Canada and Mexico who wish to enter the U.S. They must have a pre-arranged position with a U.S. employer and be qualified for a NAFTA-approved profession.
NAFTA lists more than 60 positions as being eligible for TN. Professions such as
Engineer, Pharmacist, Computer Systems Analyst, University Professor and Veterinarian are among those that qualify. NAFTA also outlines the education/experience requirements for each profession.
The TN application for Canadian professionals can initially be completed at a port-of-entry. Proof of citizenship must be provided, along with establishing qualifications for the profession as well as giving a description for the profession. A letter from the prospective employer, diplomas and transcripts will be needed. The visas are granted for up to three years.
Mexican professionals must apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate within
Mexico. They are not required to file a petition with the USCIS but they are required
to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. as a TN nonimmigrant. Once the Mexican professional has been approved for the TN visa they are able to apply for admission at a port-of-entry.