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TN ("Trade North America") classification is only available to qualified citizens of Canada and Mexico through the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The proposed employee must be offered from a sponsoring U.S. employer a professional position provided on the NAFTA Professional job list.
THE PROPOSED EMPLOYEE'S CREDENTIALS
The proposed employee must be able to present evidence that they possess the appropriate related academic credentials (or in some cases, the professional years of experience). An original diploma or formal transcript is commonly the accepted form of evidence.
Evidence of Canadian or Mexican citizenship in the form of a passport is also required.
CANADIAN AND MEXICAN PROCEDURESAlthough the regulations provide for similar standards of eligibility for both Canadian and Mexican nationals applying for TN classification, the procedures to obtain classification are very different.
Canadian nationals may apply for TN status at the U.S. Port of Entry. Mexican Nationals must follow a petition process similar to the H-1B process (including completion of the Labor Condition Application). Mexican Nationals are required to apply for the initial TN visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate abroad. Both Canadian and Mexican nationals in the U.S. may file extensions of stay with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. However, Canadian nationals have the option of also applying for extensions (revalidated TN visas) directly at the U.S. Port of Entry.
SPONSORING U.S. EMPLOYER
The sponsoring U.S. employer must prepare a letter attesting to a bona fide job offer and the necessity of professional credentials to perform the duties of the proposed job position. Generally, the letter should include a detailed description of the proposed job duties, a description of the sponsoring employer's operations and the salary. The letter usually includes a description of the employee's qualifying credentials. Evidence of the sponsoring employer's ability to pay the stated wage and of the employer's business operations must be provided.
A TN visa is valid in one (1) year increments and has no limit on the number of times it may be renewed for an employee. However, it is required that the TN employee intends to return to their country of nationality. This generally makes the filing of an immigrant visa petition a violation of the nonimmigrant requirement.
Family members are eligible to accompany TN principal spouses for the duration of the principal's status, but are not permitted work authorization.