The TN category is special category of non-immigrant status created under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for qualifying professionals who are nationals of Canada or Mexico. Aliens qualified to enter the U.S. under this category may work for a company located in the U.S. for a temporary period. Moreover, they may also work for a Canadian or Mexican company in the U.S. when those companies are engaged in projects with U.S. based companies. The initial time limit for a TN professional to work in the U.S. is three years with possible extensions of stay for another three years. The TN visa is not dual intent, meaning TN visa holders may not adjust to permanent resident status.
An alien must possess the necessary credentials to be considered a qualifying professional under this category. Generally, a Bachelor's degree or higher is usually required to be considered a professional in the TN category. Furthermore, the TN visa is not a dual intent visa, meaning that the alien must intend to depart the U.S. upon completion of his authorized status.If the alien applies for permanent residence while he is in TN status he will have difficulty in obtaining renewal of his TN status. Mexican nationals are required to have TN visas before they may be admitted to the U.S. in this status, whereas Canadian nationals need only apply with the USCIS at the border and bypass the visa requirement.
In 2008, the USCIS extended the renewal period of a TN visa from one year to three years.
(Updated 10/10/2012 by AG)
For more information on the TN category, please click one of the following links: