TN1 Visa

The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) makes temporary employment in the U.S. easier for certain Canadian and Mexican workers. NAFTA created a new visa category, “TN,” for eligible Canadian and Mexican professional workers and also affected terms of admission for Canadians admitted to the U.S. under other nonimmigrant classifications.

TN employment must be in a profession listed in Appendix 1603.0.1 to NAFTA and the TN employee must possess the credentials required. There is no annual limit on TN-1 admissions from Canada. There is a yearly cap for Mexican TN professionals of 5,500 admissions.

For more information on the requirements for Professionals under NAFTA, including a list of qualifying professions, please see the U.S. Department of State’s web page: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs


Dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of TN professionals are entitled to TD status with the same restrictions as the principal. Dependents may be students in the U.S., but may not be employed under the TD status.

TN Canadian under NAFTA

The TN classification applies to a Canadian citizen seeking classification as a professional temporarily under the North American Free Trade Agreement. The TN-1 is not available to non-citizens who reside in Canada. Normally, the candidate must also hold a Bachelor’s degree (or higher.)
(Note: The TN-1 is also available to Mexican citizens, but with more restrictions. This section is dedicated to Canadian citizens who want to find a job in the U.S.)
TN Canadian Citizens do not require an I-129 petition if the worker is currently outside of the United States. Canadian Citizens use this form only to apply for a change of status, extension of stay, or change of employment. Canadian citizens need not obtain TN-1 consular visas, and may apply directly at Class A U.S. ports of entry. They must provide:

  • A statement from the employer with a full description of the nature of the duties the beneficiary will be performing, the anticipated length of stay, and the arrangements for pay or reward;
  • Evidence that the beneficiary meets the education and/or alternative credentials for the activity;
  • Evidence that all licensure requirements, where applicable to the activity, have been satisfied;
  • Evidence of Canadian citizenship.

Under NAFTA, High Tech Engineers, Hardware and Computer Systems Analysts may be granted TN-1 if they hold a Baccalaureate degree or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate and have three years’ experience. BCIS issues the TN-1 directly to the candidate/employee, who applies directly to BCIS at one of several specific BCIS offices. The applicant must present $50 (US), Birth Certificate/Passport, and a letter from the prospective employer containing the following:

  • The professional activity to be engaged in (as listed in NAFTA).
  • A brief job description.
  • The anticipated length of stay.
  • The education qualification or appropriate credentials which demonstrate that the candidate employee has professional level status (Bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for most occupations, unless otherwise specified – see above.) Degrees, diplomas, or certificates received by the applicant from an educational institution not located within Canada, Mexico or the United States must be accompanied by an evaluation by a reliable credentials evaluation service that specializes in evaluating foreign educational credentials.
  • An assurance that the candidate employee complies with all applicable state laws and/or license requirements for the occupation to be engaged in (this issue must be addressed in the employer’s letter).
  • The arrangement for remuneration for services to be rendered.


Contact ADV:
Phone: 416-502-2545