What is a TN Visa?
The U.S. entered into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico in 1993. This treaty allows both, Mexicans and Canadians citizens, enter the U.S. to conduct professional activities. This treaty does not include any other country, so to qualify under NAFTA, a person must be either a Mexican or Canadian citizen. Permissible activities and professional occupations allowed are defined by NAFTA. NAFTA treaty provides a list of professions that qualify for TN classification.
Can you provide examples of qualifying TN categories?
A non-exclusive list of allowed categories for professional occupations under NAFTA includes:
- Management Consultants
Can I enter as a business visitor?
Yes. If a visitor is otherwise eligible, a business visitor can enter the US under NAFTA provisions provided they meet regulatory requirements regarding payment, citizenship, and reason for their visit.
Can I enter in L status under NAFTA?
Yes. Multinational Executives, Managers, and Specialized Knowledge workers can enter the U.S. under NAFTA provisions. The advantage Canadians have under this classification is that a Canadian applying for L status can do so directly at a Class A port of entry without first filing a petition with USCIS and paying $1000 for Premium Processing to obtain a response in 15 days.
Can I enter in E status under NAFTA?
Yes. A Mexican or Canadian foreign national can enter in either as a treaty trader (E-1) or as a treaty investor (E-2).
Both USCIS and the Dept. of State allow foreign nationals to obtain treaty trader status (E-1) under NAFTA to carry on substantial international trade.
Both USCIS and the Dept. of State allow a foreign national to obtain treaty investor status (E-2) under NAFTA for investing large amounts of money in the U.S. for business purposes.
What about family members?
Admissible accompanying or following to join spouses and dependent children under 21 can enter the live in the US but not work during the same time period as the principal foreign national with a TN work visa under NAFTA. The nationality of a spouse or child is not material. Only spouse of a foreign national in L or E status can work. Family is allowed to bring domestic help if they meet certain regulatory requirements.
How can we help you?
We will assist you in ensuring that your E or L business is structured in manner that complies with applicable regulations. We will also provide guidance to help you obtain the supporting documentation you will need to prove that you qualify as a NAFTA professional. We will prepare all immigration or consular documentation necessary to properly submit your case. We will review all supporting documentation and point out strengths and weaknesses in your case.
To learn if a TN visa is right for you, please contact Immigration Attorney Maria M. Cordon to schedule an immigration consultation.