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TN Status: NAFTA Treaty

This is another option for some Canadian and Mexican professionals. Although the areas in which one can qualify for this status is limited, it can be a quick way to enter the US for those who qualify, especially Canadian citizens. The application process for Canadians who are entering the US to work in a profession covered by NAFTA may be completed at the border. The Canadian citizen presents the following:

  1. Proof of Canadian citizenship, such as a birth certificate, passport, or certificate of naturalization (Canadian Landed Immigrants are not eligible for TN status)
  2. Evidence that the US employment is in an area covered by NAFTA; generally this means a letter from the employer outlining specific duties to be performed, the dates of employment (up to 1 year) and the salary offered
  3. Evidence that the individual has the credentials required-diplomas, transcripts, etc.
  4. A filing fee

Mexican citizens must be pre-approved by INS to receive this status. The application is filed on form I-129 with fee, and this will take 4-6 weeks or more.

Among the University related professions that qualify for TN status are the following:

  • Accountant
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Economist
  • Engineer
  • Librarian
  • Mathematician
  • Research Assistant
  • Scientific Technician
  • Biochemist
  • Biologist
  • Chemist
  • Geochemist
  • Geologist
  • Geophysicist (incl. Oceanographer)
  • College Teacher

Specific details on educational and experience qualifications for this status vary depending upon the profession. These should be obtained from International Student and Scholar Services.