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The TN NAFTA visa for Mexicans and Canadians allows qualified citizens of these countries to temporarily enter the United States and engage on business activities at a professional level. Our TN visa lawyer in NJ will be able to guide you throughout the process.

This type of American non-immigrant visa is only available to citizens of Canada and Mexico due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This treaty created economic and exchange relations between both countries and the US. How much does the TN visa cost in Mexico? Am I eligible? In this article you will get answers to all of these and learn in detail everything about the TN visa and how our expert immigration lawyers in New Jersey can help you.

In this process you will have the guidance of our experienced TN visa lawyer Carolina who has over 10 years of experience. Call us, email us, or book an appointment at our Ridgewood or Newark, New Jersey offices.

An experienced TN visa lawyer by your side to Obtain The TN NAFTA Visa In 2024 

Canadian citizens are eligible to enter the US without the need for a visa, unlike Mexicans. NAFTA is the one that establishes the necessary evidence to prove if a Mexican or Canadian citizen is a professional in a qualified profession. 

Next, we will explain how to apply for a TN visa:

Please remember that all the content of the website is written for general information purposes and that in order to serve you in your specific situation, it is key that our TN visa lawyer gets to know all the factual details surrounding your case.


If you are a Canadian citizen you won’t have to apply for a TN visa at a US consulate or embassy. You can establish your eligibility for the TN category when seeking admission to the US by submitting the required documentation to the CBP at one of the country’s ports of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight check-in station.

To do so, you must submit the following information to the CBP:

  • Evidence of your Canadian citizenship.
  • Evaluation credentials (if applicable).
  • A letter from your US employer specifying:
    • The professional capacity in which you will work in the US.
    • The purpose of the job.
    • Educational qualifications.
    • Period of stay.
tn visa for canadians

If a CBP officer determines that you are eligible, you will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant. 

Alternatively, the US employer can process the petition on behalf of the Canadian citizen who is outside the US by filing Form I-129 with USCIS, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. 

Once USCIS approves the I-129, the prospective worker will need to apply to CBP for admission to the US as a TN nonimmigrant by submitting:

  • Notice of approval of form I-129.
  • Evidence of Canadian citizenship.


If you are a Mexican citizen, you will need to obtain a TN visa to enter the US. To do so, you must apply directly at the US embassy or consulate in Mexico. To do this, you will need to submit:

  • Form DS-160 online.
  • A photograph after completing the DS-160 following the photo requirements.
  • A letter of employment or contract from an employer in the US.
  • Mexican passport with a minimum validity of 6 months.
  • Proof of ability to meet applicable license requirements.
  • Proof of professional qualifications, for example; academic records, titles, records of previous employment or certificates, among others.

Once the TN visa is approved, you must apply for admission at the designated US port of entry. If eligible by a CBP officer, you will be admitted as a TN nonimmigrant.

tn visa for mexicans

How Much Does The TN Visa Cost?

  • The TN visa has a cost of $160 for its filing fee. It is non-refundable and non-transferable to another individual. Each applicant must pay this fee.
  • The USCIS application petition fee is $460 if the alien is in the US and changes from one TN visa to another visa through a change of visa status.
  • If premium processing is requested, employers may pay a fee of $2,500 when available. To do so, Form I-907, Application for Premium Processing , must be filed with USCIS.

What Benefits Does The TN Visa Have?

Among the benefits of the TN visa we find the following:

  • Is a quick visa to obtain.
  • Has a duration of 3 years.
  • Is possible to renew the period of time indefinitely.
  • Is available to employers who need to hire qualified staff quickly.
  • They are not subject to annual limits.
  • Spouses and dependents of the TN visa holder are authorized to enter the US territory.
  • For Canadian citizens, they may be able to obtain TN status from the border without a prior application to USCIS.

What Professionals Can Apply For The TN Visa?

  • Accountant – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree; or C.P.A., C.A., C.G.A., or C.M.A.
  • Architect – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree; or state/provincial license.
  • Computer Systems Analyst – Bachelor’s or licenciatura degree; or post-secondary diploma/certificate, and 3 years of experience.
  • Disaster Relief Insurance Claims Adjuster – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree with 3 years of experience in the field.
  • Economist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Engineer – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree; or state/provincial license.
  • Forester – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree; or state/provincial license.
  • Graphic Designer – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree; post-Secondary diploma/certificate, and 3 years of experience.
  • Hotel Manager – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree in hotel/restaurant management; or post-secondary diploma/certificate, and 3 years of experience in hotel/restaurant management.
  • Industrial Designer – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree; or post-secondary diploma/certificate, and 3 years of experience.
  • Interior Designer – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree or post-secondary diploma/certificate, and 3 years of experience.
  • Land Surveyor – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree or state/provincial/federal license.
  • Landscape Architect – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Lawyer (including Quebec province Notaries) – L.L.B., J.D., L.L.L., B.C.L., or licenciatura degree (5 years); or membership in a state/provincial bar association.
  • Librarian – M.L.S., or B.L.S. (for which another baccalaureate or licenciatura degree was a prerequisite).
  • Management Consultant – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree; or equivalent professional experience.
  • Mathematician (including Statistician) – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Range Manager/Range Conservationist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Research Assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution) – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Scientific Technician/Technologist – With theoretical knowledge of any of the following disciplines: agricultural sciences, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, geophysics, meteorology, or physics and and the ability to solve practical problems in any of those disciplines, or the ability to apply principles of any of those disciplines to basic or applied research.
  • Social Worker – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Sylviculturist (including Forestry Specialist) – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Technical Publications Writer – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree, or post-secondary diploma/certificate, and 3 years of experience.
  • Urban Planner (including Geographer) – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Vocational Counselor – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
tn visa benefits in the usa

Medical/Allied Professionals

  • Dentist – D.D.S., D.M.D. Doctor of Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Surgery or state/provincial license.
  • Dietitian – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree; or state/provincial license.
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)/Medical Technologist (Mexico and USA) – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree; or post-secondary diploma/certificate and 3 years of experience.
  • Nutritionist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Occupational Therapist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree; or state/provincial license.
  • Pharmacist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree; or state/provincial license.
  • Physician (teaching or research only) – M.D. Doctor of Medicine; or state/provincial license.
  • Physiotherapist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree; or state/provincial license.
  • Psychologist – state/provincial license or licenciatura degree.
  • Recreational Therapist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Registered Nurse – State/provincial license or licenciatura degree.
  • Veterinarian – D.V.M., D.M.V or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine; or state/provincial license.


  • Agriculturist (including Agronomist) – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Animal Breeder – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Animal Scientist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Apiculturist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Astronomer – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Biochemist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Biologist (includes Plant Pathologist) – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Chemist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Dairy Scientist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Entomologist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Epidemiologist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Geneticist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Geochemist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Geologist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Geophysicist (including Oceanographer in Mexico and the United States) – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Horticulturist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Meteorologist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Pharmacologist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Physicist (including Oceanographer in Canada) – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Plant Breeder – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Poultry Scientist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Soil Scientist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Zoologist – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.


  • College – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • Seminary – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.
  • University – Baccalaureate or licenciatura degree.

Keep in mind that this list changes and is updated regularly and those included are as of April 2022. For more information, you can review NAFTA section 214.6 or contact our immigration experts.

Period Of Stay And Extension 

  • The period of stay allowed for TN visa holders is up to 3 years maximum. 
  • However, if you want to stay in the US longer, you can apply for an extension of stay. 
  • If you are in the US, your employer can file Form I-129 , Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker on your behalf with USCIS.

Keep in mind that you can leave the US before the expiration date of your TN status and once abroad, you can apply for admission. To do so, you must submit the same type of application and documentation used before at the US port of entry or at the CBP-designated pre-clearance/pre-flight check-in station.

How To Extend The Period Of Stay?

The TN visa for Mexicans and Canadians allows its holders to extend their stay until the end of the admission period. To do this, you must submit Form I-539, application for extension or change of nonimmigrant status without the need to leave the country.

If a Mexican dependent wishes to travel outside the US after the TD visa extension of stay is approved, they will need to apply for a new TD visa at a US consulate or embassy before returning to the US.

The TD nonimmigrant status is the one that is granted to the dependents and companions of the TN visa holder as we will read later.


Through Form I-94, entry/exit registration, Mexicans and Canadians on a TN visa can be readmitted for the remainder of the admission authorization period. However, it is necessary that the original professional activities have not changed and that the I-94 has not expired.

If the alien no longer has a current or valid I-94 and the initial period of admission has not expired, then a new Form I-94 may be issued for the remaining validity period of the original I-94.

Dependents Of The TN NAFTA visa Holder

Spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 years of age may accompany Mexican and Canadian TN visa holders to enter the US or join them later. Dependents will receive TD nonimmigrant status, however:

  • They will not be allowed to work in the US but will be able to study.
  • Nor will they have a longer period of stay than the holder of the TN visa.
how to get a job in the united states while being illegal

In case you are thinking of working but are missing the necessary documents, visit our article dedicated to working in the United States while being illegal.

How Can Family Members Of The TN Visa Holder Apply For The TD Visa?

Family members of the TN visa holder may apply for TD status if:

  • They are Canadian citizens. They do not need a visa and must submit:
    • Proof of Canadian citizenship.
    • Proof of relationship to the TN holder, such as a marriage certificate.
    • Photocopies of the admission documentation of the TN visa holder.
    • Proof that the TN holder maintains their status.
  • They are Mexican citizens. They must apply for the visa at a US embassy or consulate and submit proof that the TN visa holder maintains their status.
  • They are not citizens of Canada or Mexico. It depends on several factors to determine if they require a visa or not. Check the website of the Department of State or contact our experts in immigration law. In this case, family members must submit:
    • Evidence of marital relationship or parent-child relationship. 
    • Evidence that the TN visa holder maintains their status.

All TN visa applicants and companions must apply for entry at a US port of entry or CBP-designated pre-clearance/pre-flight check-in station. Contact our TN visa lawyer for further information.

Is It Possible To Obtain The Green Card Through The TN Visa?

It is not possible to obtain the Green Card directly through the TN visa, since it is not a dual intent visa.

To learn more about becoming a lawful permanent resident in the US, visit our article dedicated to getting a Green Card.

How can our TN visa lawyer help you?

As we have seen, the TN visa process is certainly interesting. However, most people underestimate how to get this visa as it may seem simpler than other visas. On the other hand, other individuals worry considerably about being rejected.

It is important to have the proper preparation, knowledge of current trends, the right experience, and above all, know how to deal with border problems. The goal of the Curbelo Law firm and our lawyer is not only to prepare the TN visa application, it is to help make the process much easier and free of stressful situations.

Our experience with the TN visa for Mexicans and Canadians allows us to do this for you:

  • Assist you in collecting the requested documentation.
  • Clarify all possible options regarding your case.
  • Manage the preparation of the interview.
  • Prepare all your documents, forms, necessary letters and supporting materials.
  • Correctly classify your application and make sure it meets all possible requirements.

With us, you can rest assured, we will be with you throughout the application process both for this visa and for any other immigration procedure you require.