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TN Temporary Worker

General Information

In accordance with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) a designated group of professionals are admissible for employment in the U.S. under NAFTA without the requirement of an approved United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) petition. The nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional (TN) status allows citizens of Canada and Mexico, as NAFTA professionals, to work in the United States for up to three years. These professionals can enter the United States by providing documentation at the port of entry or U.S. consulate abroad that they will be engaged in one of the designated professions (see NAFTA Professional Job Series List). Other significant characteristics include:

  • Admitted for up to three years, but can be extended
  • No cumulative time limit but must be temporary
  • Must be on the NAFTA-specified occupations list and meet associated minimum qualifications
  • May be able to change from another status to TN in the U.S., but traveling is often easier
  • Can be employed part time
  • Significant changes in job duties or location would require re-application for TN status or filing an I-129 with immigration to amend the TN employment
  • A visa is required for Mexican citizens but not for Canadian citizens
  • Dependents, spouses and children under 21 can enter on a derivative status, TD


Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Worker has a complete listing of what the scholar will need either to apply for a visa (Mexican citizens) or to show at the Port of Entry (Canadian Citizens).

The department needs to provide a detailed letter that:

  • Affirms that the applicant's profession as it related to this job is on the NAFTA list
  • Describes the purpose of the entry
  • Describes the duties the applicant will perform while in the U.S.
  • References the anticipated length of stay including an affirmation of the temporariness of the position
  • Reviews the educational qualifications or credentials which demonstrate the applicant has professional level status
  • Describes the arrangements for compensation

Additional information about TN status (as it applies to scholars)