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As per the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) employing qualified Canadian and Mexican nationals on temporary basis is made easy by creating a separate category of visa for them. There is no annual limit on TN – 1 visa however employment must be restricted to professions listed in Appendix 1603.0.1 to NAFTA and must satisfy all required qualifications.

Examples of qualified professions are accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacist and teachers. Visa applicants must have the required qualification of the profession and prearrangement with a U.S. employer to provide with a job. Self-employment is not permitted.

Criteria for Canadian Citizens and Mexican Citizens are different.

Canadian Citizens

If you are a Canadian citizen, then you do not need to apply for a TN visa at the U.S. Consulate. You can directly seek admission at the border by showing CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) your eligibility for TN visa and presenting the necessary documents. The CBP officer will usually ask for a letter from your prospective employer where the employment is described.

In the alternative, the prospective employer may file Form I-129 on behalf of the Canadian citizen. On approval, the prospective employer may apply to CBP for admission of the non-immigrant.

Mexican Citizens

If you are a Mexican citizen, then you are required to apply for the TN visa from a U.S. Consulate. If you are granted the visa, then you must apply to the CBP and if eligible you may enter the U.S.

TN Visa is initially granted for up to three years. Extensions are granted without leaving the country by filing I-129 by your employer.

Spouses and children under the age of 21 years may accompany TH visa holder on TD visa however they are not allowed to apply for work authorization while in the U.S. but are allowed to study.

We, at the Law Offices of Aditya Surti, LLC can help you in applying for change of status/ extension/adjustment of status to a different visa. To schedule your appointment contact us at 201-518-6642201-518-6642 (Jersey City Office), 732-750-1269732-750-1269 (Woodbridge Office). You can also email us at