Get to know about the TN visa to US.


According to the agreement between US, Canada and Mexico there is a list of jobs which are included in the NAFTA agreement and only Canadians and Mexicans are eligible for these TN jobs in US. They are allowed to live and work in US and given TN status. Pre-approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service is not required for issuing a TN visa to a foreign national. At the US consulate or embassy the TN visa applications can be submitted directly.


The valid visa issued is valid for three year period. Before the current status expires the TN workers can apply for additional three years to renew their status. Repeated renewal is possible but difficult since justification for renewal becomes harder. Workers coming to the US who do not intend establish permanent residency in US is issued the visa and these workers cannot apply for green card based on TN status. So while renewing the TN visa the foreign national’s temporary need to be in the U.S needs to be documented. It’s more difficult to sufficiently document the temporary need when the person stays longer in the US for the same employer.


Dependent family members of a TN worker are eligible for dependent visa status much like other visa classifications for foreign workers. Only the spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of a TN worker may accompany the TN worker to the U.S. in trade dependent status. The spouse and children of the TN employee do not require being Canadian or Mexican citizens as in the case of the TN worker to apply for TD status. For example, a Canadian citizen applying for TN status is married to a Chinese citizen. The Chinese citizen spouse would not qualify for TN status but is eligible for TD status as a dependent family member. He or she is eligible for TD status as long as the dependent family member can document a bona fide dependent relationship with the TN worker.

It’s important to remember that TD status held by the dependent family member allows him/her to study in the U.S. but is not allowed to work. A different visa status should be obtained that allowed him or her to be employed. For example, it is common for both spouses to hold TN status.


• Canadian or Mexican citizens use it for temporary professional employment

• An application is made directly at the U.S. consulate or embassy since USCIS pre-approval is not required

• Multiple times renewal of the TN visa with a validity of three years is possible

• Dependent spouse and minor children are eligible for TD status which allows for study but not work.

• TN visa status is not eligible for simultaneously pursuing a Green Card application or as a substitute for permanent residency

• For a TN visa holder to apply for a green card the applicant should change to the status with which he can become a green card holder. By filing Form I-539 he/she can change status.

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