A Trade NAFTA (TN) visa is a non-immigrant employment visa for Mexican and Canadian professionals employed in certain professions who wish to work in New Jersey and other US states. The professions include lawyer, research doctor, dentist and engineer, among other skilled positions. It is a straightforward US work authorization that is valid for three years with the unlimited ability to renew every three years.
What is TN Status?
The TN, or the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, is a much faster path than other types of employment visas. This manner of entry into the US job market is ideal for employers due to the relative ease of locating workers coupled with the streamlined application process.
To qualify, the applicant needs a firm job offer with a US company or a foreign company located in the US. The employer must submit a letter of support that details the position, such as job duties, salary and other relevant facts. The TN candidate must submit documentation of his or her qualifications such as with a degree. Lastly, candidates must pay an application fee.
The Canadian citizen can also have his employer submit a TN application along with Form I-129 to the US citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). After the application is approved, the Canadian can seek entry at a US port of entry. There are a few additional steps for citizens of Mexico. After completing the application, they need to submit the paperwork to a US embassy or consulate along with form DS-160. Afterward, they will be given a date to interview in person and receive a Visa number if approved.
The TN visa is making a Difference
Mexican and Canadian non-immigrants already in the US, and in a TN profession, can file an I-129 to adjust their status. While the TN employee can live and work in the US, the TN spouse is only able to live in the US. This may not be an issue for all TN-status workers, but others may work around this. For example, the family may decide to live along the US border so that the TN professional can commute to work every day. By maintaining a residence in their own country, the spouses can continue to work in their relevant countries. The TN visa is making a tangible difference in the US economy and in people’s lives.