Immigration Center of
Ekaterina Mouratova, PA

NAFTA Professionals (TN Visas)

TN Visas are important travel documents that citizens of certain nations may need to obtain in order to gain employment in the United States. This specific type of visa is available only for the citizens of Mexico and Canada. The following piece discusses important information about the TN visa and offers instruction on what steps need to be taken to obtain the travel document.

The United States government awards TN visas (more formally referred to as NAFTA Professional Non-Immigrant visas) to Canadian and Mexican citizens who will be employed in special occupations that are listed in the NAFTA Treaty. 

What Basic Eligibility Requirements Must Prospective Applicants Meet?

The primary requirement a potential TN visa holder must possess is citizenship in either Canada or Mexico. In addition, several stipulations are mandated, including:


  • That the applicant’s profession must be included on the NAFTA list. 
  • That the specific job he or she will be employed in requires a NAFTA professional.
  • That the prospective visa holder’s employment position (full or part-time) has been prearranged and he or she plans to start working upon the entity to the US.
  • That the applicant holds at least a Bachelor’s Degree (with a few exceptions).

Do Specific Requirements Differ Between Canadian and Mexican Citizens?

The short answer is yes. In certain cases, possession of a TN visa might not be needed for Canadian citizens to enter the United States and work in a NAFTA-based position. That being said, there are several conditions under which this specific visa would be required. Individuals unsure of their status should consult with an immigration lawyer who can offer advice based on each individual case’s specific circumstances. Typically, Mexican citizens must possess a TN visa to be granted entry into the United States for the purpose of gaining NAFTA-related employment.

The Application Process

Potential visa holders must first visit a United States Embassy or Consulate and complete Form DS-160. Once the form is filled out, applicants will need to schedule an interview with Embassy or Consulate officials. Certain individuals are exempt from the interview process (usually determined by age). During the interview, applicants will need to present the following documentation:


  • A valid passport.
  • A visa fee payment receipt.
  • Papers proving the applicant has a pre-arranged job offer and details about the job.
  • A diploma or certificate that illustrates the applicant has met the minimum educational requirements necessary for the job in question. 


Most TN visas remain valid for three years. 

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