NAFTA professionals – TN visas

The provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), to which the United States, Canada, and Mexico are parties, allow certain professionals to seek temporary employment authorization in the United States on an expedited basis. Such professionals may seek admission in TN-1 status for renewable periods of up to three years at a time.

In order to gain admission to the United States in TN-1 status, an individual must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico, have a job offer in a profession listed in Appendix 1603.D.1 of NAFTA, and meet the educational/experiential requirements specified in that Appendix. NAFTA does not allow for equivalency by relying on the applicant’s combination of education and work to meet the educational requirements. There are more than 60 professional categories listed in the Appendix, including Management Consultant, Computer Systems Analyst, Scientific Technician/Technologist, Accountant, Economist and numerous other medical, scientific, and business occupations.

NAFTA Chapter 16 Appendix 1603

This is an extremely expeditious process for those wishing to work in the United States.

As well as not allowing for experiential equivalency to educational requirements, the time period for this type of visa is relatively short (i.e. one year at a time). Subsequent applications are required for renewal. In addition, the TN Visa is purely a temporary intent visa and does not allow for an application for permanent residence, based on TN status.

Canadian citizens may apply for a TN Visa at a port-of-entry, although they may apply at a Regional Service Center. The Regional Service Center option is usually only taken by Canadian citizens in cases of renewal applications. Mexican citizens must first have their employer file a petition with the BCIS Regional Service Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, which must be followed by an application for a TN Visa to a U.S. Consulate.

We can meet with you for an initial consultation to determine whether TN-1 status, as opposed to any other possibility, is most appropriate. In addition, we prepare documentation packages for clients and work with employers and employees to finalize these packages. We also advise applicants on making application at U.S. ports-of-entry or pre-flight inspection.

Speak to an immigration professional at Mamann, Sandaluk & Kingwell LLP about your US business immigration needs, and they can help you develop a customized immigration strategy tailored for your specific circumstances and US visa needs!

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