The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed among the US, Canada and Mexico in 1994, established that the citizens of Canada and Mexico could come to America to pursue their business activities. But there was set a condition that only the professionals of certain fields can be eligible to get TN nonimmigrant visas and for temporary time periods only.
The professionals who come up to the eligible criteria of NAFTA include accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. The other eligibility criteria include:
- Your professional should qualify under the regulations set in the TN visa.
- You should be a citizen of either Canada or Mexico.
- The position you are coming to work on should require a NAFTA professional.
- You must be fully and partially employed by some US employer.
- You should be fully qualified and capable to pursue your professional activities.
The Canadian citizens do not need to apply for the TN visas in US consulates as Canada enjoys visa exemption from America. However, being a Canadian professional, you will have to provide certain documentation to the officials of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) established at all US entry port. The documentation will include:
An appointment letter from your US employer stating your purpose of visit, details of job offered to you, your professional duties that are to be paid in the US, your period of stay and description how you qualify for the said job.
Credential evaluation coupled with the application fee.
If the CBP officials find you eligible, they will let you in and if not, you will have to go back and ask your employer to file a petition for the TN visa by filling the Form I-129.
Once the USCIS approves the petition, you will again move to the CBP office and provide the proof of your Canadian citizenship along with the approval notice of your Form I-129. For safe side, you must keep with you a copy of the approved form to prove your eligibility.
If you are Mexican citizen, you primarily need a TN nonimmigrant visa to enter the US. You are directly apply for this visa at the US consulate located in your area. The rest procedure is same as the Canadian citizens follow.
The initial period of stay on the TN visa is 3 years, however, your employer can apply for the visa extension by submitting a fresh Form I-129. The extension can be allowed or denied depending upon you previous record in the US and your professional capacity.
The other way is that you depart from the US before your visa expiry date and then redo the entire procedure to reenter America.
Whether your spouses and children wish to accompany you and they will join later, they are required to obtain TD visas. The dependents are not permitted to work, but they can do their studies wherever they want.
Thus, the TN and TD visas classifications offer a number of opportunities to the Canadian and Mexican professionals and their families to stay in the US and make earnings along with seeking studies.
Since the date of the signing of NAFTA, the citizens of Canada and Mexico are at great ease as they are easily travel to their neighboring country to pursue their professional careers and make livelihood for them and their families. On the other hand, the US employers of the above mentioned fields can easily get highly skilled and well qualified professionals under the TN visa classification which is offering great advantages at both ends.
Since last two decades, a number of professionals both from Canada and Mexico have been able to make inroads to America, contributing millions of dollars to the economy of the super power along with sending big remittances to their homelands.
If you are a citizen of Canada or Mexico, you have a lot of opportunities waiting for you in America. You must step up to avail those opportunities and build up strong and bright careers for you. Come up and apply for your TN visa today provided you consider yourself capable enough in your field and that you can really make a different in your profession.