TN status was created under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement as a way to facilitate the entry of Canadian and Mexican professionals in specific occupations into the U.S. For Canadian and Mexican professionals who qualify for this classification, this is an excellent short-term employment based classification to consider. An advantage of this classification is that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services does not need to pre-approve these applications. TN applicants can apply directly with the U.S. consulate (Mexicans) or at the U.S. port of entry (Canadians). TN status is granted in periods of up to three years and is renewable.
TN status is employer and job specific. However, it is possible for someone to have more than one employer sponsor them for TN status concurrently.
In order to qualify, both the position and the individual must meet certain criteria.
The position must:
- Be in one of the occupations listed in the Treaty
- Be temporary (tenure-track positions should pursue H-1B status)
The individual must:
- Be a Canadian or Mexican citizen
- Must possess the minimum qualifications needed for the occupation (typically this means baccalaureate or licenciatura degree in the appropriate field and any required licensure by the occupation)
- Intend to leave the U.S.