Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. have a free trade agreement. Although the agreement was initially called NAFTA, it was updated to USMCA in 2018. Under the USMCA, citizens of Canada or Mexico can apply for TN Visa in order to get a professional occupation in the U.S. TN is a non-immigrant visa that allows to work on a temporary basis in the U.S. It is available for Mexican and Canadian citizens only. This kind of visa is not available for those that have a permanent resident card.
If you have the appropriate experience, education, or qualifications in one of the professions on the TN visa list, you can easily cross the border for employment in the U.S. The list of professions includes lawyers, engineers, teachers, accountants, occupational therapists and other professionals (see below).
TN Visa Degree Requirement:
General requirements for this type of visa are the following:
- To be the citizen of Canada or Mexico;
- The occupation should be in the USMCA list;
- You must have the offer of a full or part-time job from an employer in the U.S.
- The job offer should contain one of the occupations from the USMCA list;
- You must meet all requirements for education and work experience defined in your specific application;
- You must provide evidence that you intend to return back home after your visa expires.
Most occupations on the TN visa list require at least a bachelor’s degree. Some of them require a master’s degree. Some professionals may be asked to notarize their diploma if the training has taken place outside of the United States.
The spouse and unmarried under-age children of the TN Visa holder can get the derivative status or TD Visa. This status doesn’t permit any employment in the U.S.
How TN-1 visa works for Canadians
Citizens of Canada that visit the United States with the purpose of employment on an TN-1 visa must meet the following requirements:
- Proof of Canadian citizenship (a valid passport);
- Evidence of a job offer in the U.S., including the name of the company, the description of the position, work experience, and the education required.
- Pay fees ranging from $50 to $56 required, depending on whether you cross the airport or the land border in the United States.
How TN-2 visa works for Mexicans
Mexican citizens must apply for TN visa online before visiting the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. They can’t just fill out a visa application while at a border crossing point in the United States.
The TN visa status will only be granted if the period of stay is temporary.
TN Visa Extension/ Renewal
The number of TN visa extensions is unlimited. As long as you work in the U.S. and have strong ties to your home country in Canada or Mexico, you should have no problem extending the TN visa indefinitely.
TN Visa Occupation List (NAFTA/USMCA):
60 occupations in the TN list are the following:
- Animal Breeder
- Animal Scientist
- Computer System Analyst
- Diary Scientist
- Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster
- Graphic Designer
- Hotel Manager
- Industrial Designer
- Interior Designer
- Land Surveyor
- Landscape Architect
- Management Consultant
- Medical Lab Technologist
- Occupational Therapist
- Physio /Physical Therapist (baccalaureate or state license is required)
- Plant Breeder
- Poultry Scientist
- Psychologist (baccalaureate and state license is required)
- Range Manager
- Recreational Therapist
- Research Assistant (baccalaureate and U.S. job in a post-secondary educational institute)
- Scientific Technician or Technologist
- Social Worker
- Soil Scientist
- Teacher - no secondary or elementary school teaching
- Veterinarian (DVM, DMV, or state/provincial license)
- Vocational Counselor
- Writer, Technical Publications