TN nonimmigrant classification

The 1993 NAFTA agreement created the TN nonimmigrant classification that allows Canadian and Mexican Citizens to enter U.S. to work in a professional capacity for up to three years. The TN status can be extended indefinitely in increments of up to three years.

Please keep in mind that even though TN/TD can be extended indefinitely, it is still a non-immigrant visa. Therefore, TN/TD holders should be able to prove that their stay in U.S. is temporary and they intend to return to home country upon completion of the appointment. Dependents of TN status/visa holders are issued TD status/visa. They are eligible to study in U.S. but NOT to work.

NOTE: If you have TN status and arrive in Reno, you should come to the Office of International Students and Scholars for a check-in meeting.

More information about TN nonimmigrant classification

TN nonimmigrant classification eligibility

In general, you may qualify for TN nonimmigrant status if the following conditions are met:

  • You (applicant) is a citizen of Canada or Mexico
  • Has a job offer for a full- or part-time position from a U.S. employer
  • The position requires a NAFTA professional
  • The profession is on the NAFTA list
  • You meet the qualifications for the position

In general, teaching faculty and researchers qualify for TN status.

Review list of NAFTA-qualified professions

TN classification overview: Canada and Mexico

Canadian citizens

Canadian citizens are exempt from visa requirements. They apply for TN nonimmigrant classification status at a U.S. port of entry by presenting the following documentation:

  • Employment letter outlining the job offer, including position title, responsibilities, degree requirements, salary, start date and length of stay
  • Proof of professional qualifications (copy of a degree) which match those listed in the letter
  • TN admission fee and a proof of citizenship (e.g., passport)
Mexican citizens

Mexican citizens are required to apply for TN nonimmigrant classification visa at the U.S. consulate and present the supporting documentation:

  • Employment letter outlining the job offered, including position title, responsibilities, degree requirements, salary, start date and length of stay
  • Proof of professional qualifications (copy of a degree) which match those listed in the letter
  • Visa application forms, fee and a proof of citizenship (passport)