TN Visas – for Citizens of Canada and Mexico

Finding the right candidates to fill professional roles in your company can sometimes be difficult. Many US citizens are unwilling to relocate, which can leave you scrambling to fill in-demand jobs. For many companies, importing talented professionals from Mexico or Canada has been an effective solution. Thanks to the TN NAFTA Program, companies can bring in temporary professionals to meet their needs without too much difficulty. Understanding who qualifies for this type of Visa is very important.

Professional Occupations for TN Visa

The first thing you need to evaluate is the job you are looking to fill. The TN NAFTA is specifically set up for professionals in certain types of jobs. Additionally – TN visas only apply to naturalized citizens of Canada or Mexico – permanent residents do not qualify for the TN visa. Proof of either education in the field or workplace experience (preferably both) will be necessary to qualify for the visa.

The following are some of the most common professions that qualify for a TN NAFTA. For a comprehensive list of qualifying positions, click here:

  • Accountants
  • Engineers
  • Attorneys
  • Scientists
  • Teachers

Hiring Healthcare Professionals with the TN Visa

For a comprehensive look at healthcare immigration, download or complimentary Guide for Healthcare Employers.


An FMG from Canada or Mexico who is going to work in the U.S. in a research or teaching position may be a perfect candidate for a TN visa. Please note that to qualify for the TN visa, the total amount of time providing patient care should make up less than 10% of their duties. A TN is generally approved for an initial 3 year validity period and can be extended.

Nurses and Allied Health Professionals

The TN visa for Canadian and Mexican citizens is available for the following professions:

  • Dentist
  • Dietitian
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)/Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States)
  • Nutritionist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist
  • Recreational Therapist

To qualify for a TN visa, the candidate must:

  • Hold a valid passport from Canada or Mexico;
  • Obtain a Visa Screen credentials assessment from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) International or the appropriate credentialing organization. The certificate will show the candidate has passed language proficiency exams and holds the necessary education and licensure for the position.
  • Hold full, unrestricted and permanent license to practice in the state they will be employed; and
  • Possess a job offer from a U.S. employer in the qualifying position.

TN Visa Eligibility Requirements

Other than coming to work in an approved profession and meeting the licensure requirements for that profession, the eligibility requirements are not difficult to meet. The employee must be a citizen of either Mexico or Canada, and coming to the US as a nonimmigrant. The employees must also have a firm job offer from a US company.

Length of Stay

Another thing that businesses must keep in mind when considering this option is that the employees can’t be planning to immigrate to the country. This means that these visas are a temporary solution. The initial amount of time that they are approved for is three years, but they can file for extensions beyond that.

How to Apply

Mexican citizens are required to apply at a US consulate or embassy, but this requirement does not apply to Canadian citizens. In both cases, you need to present proof of citizenship and an approval notice from the USCIS (Form I-129).

If you need help with the legal paperwork for individuals you are hoping to bring to the country using this visa, or would like to craft an immigration strategy that includes the TN visa, we would be happy to assist. Please contact us today for more information.