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TN Temporary Worker Status

For Canadian and Mexican Citizens Only

The TN classification was created as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to facilitate the entry of Canadians and Mexicans to the U.S. to engage in professional activities. Only certain occupations qualify. Qualified occupations can be viewed at Appendix 1603.D.1

The period of initial admission and extension of stay that can be requested by a TN non-immigrant under NAFTA is three years.

TN Status is for "temporary" positions
Additional documents may be requested to establish if the position type and/or employee qualifies for the TN status. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of the employee's intent to depart the United States after employment as a NAFTA professional. Evidence of  family ties may be sufficient to show this intent to return to the home country. TN status could be denied if the position is deemed to be "permanent in nature" or the consular officer suspects that the employee holds a position which is inappropriate for the TN status.

Obtaining a TN status
Obtaining a TN status for Canadians differs from that of Mexican citizens and does not require the services of ISSS. To be eligible, Canadians must present evidence of nationality, at least a B.A. or a B.S. in the field or profession (included on the professional job series NAFTA list), and a job offer from an employer upon entry into the U.S. Educational credentials obtained outside of the USA or Canada will likely require an official evaluation by a credential evaluator.  The procedure for admission of Mexican citizens to the U.S. in TN status can be found in the State Department Instructions on Applying for a TN and requires an appointment at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

Dependents of TN holders are given TD status. These dependents may attend school in the U.S. but may not accept employment. 

NOTE: There are other non-immigrant visas that permit non-immigrants to work in the United States which may be more appropriate depending on the type of position. 

Please contact Elizabeth Leibach, director, Office of International Student and Scholar Services, before providing any letter of employment that would be used to assist an employee in obtaining TN status.