The provision in the NAFTA agreement is only valid to Canadian and Mexican professionals who are seeking to work in the US. Also known as TN Visa it carries with it a few requirements, which must be met by any individual wishing to qualify and work in the US.

  • The first requirement is that you must be a citizen of NAFTA and your profession must be recognized under NAFTA agreements.
  • The alien seeking the visa must possess the specified criteria meeting the profession.
  • Thirdly, the alien who is applying must  have the capacity and qualifications for the work seeking and must be hired by the US employer.

Individuals coming to the US under this classification are treated as non-immigrants and are issued a TN Visa status. Anyone applying for TN Visa must check with the US embassy in Canada or the Canadian Embassy in US for the list of professions recognized by NAFTA.

Self-employment is not recognized by NAFTA as per the Appendix 1603.D.1 agreement. However a business person applying for a temporary entry under provisions in the Appendix may only be allowed when they are offering training functions that are related to the NAFTA job vacancy advertised by the US Company.

Working in US is now a dream-come-true if you qualify for the ‘TN’ Visa under the NAFTA agreements. Remember you only qualify if you are a Canadian citizen and have proof of citizenship and the job you are applying for is actually listed under NAFTA. You must also be travelling to work for a US employer whether on a temporary or permanent agreement.

Requirements for granting TN visa

To obtain TN work visa in the USA TN applicant must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico and must have a job offer for a period of time in the professional area.  The profession must be on the list of professional licenses (provisions in the NAFTA), which currently include such jobs as an accountant, lawyer, doctor or other health worker, teacher or scientist. In addition, the applicant must have attained the minimum education level required for performance of the profession.

Rules for TN visa

TN visas give the holder the right to live and work temporarily in the United States. TN visas are usually granted for three years and can be extended. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age can apply for a derivative visa (type TD) to join his/her spouse / partner in the USA. These spouses/partners/children are allowed to study in the United States, but are not allowed to be employed without a proper work visa.

Additional resources

Green Card via employment
More about TN Visa
Becoming a U.S. Citizen

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