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TN Fact Sheet

U.S. Immigration Status for Citizens Of Canada And Mexico

For Professions Listed In The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (Now the USMCA)

A. Introduction

On January 1, 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created the Trade NAFTA (TN) category for certain Canadian and Mexican professionals. Even though the NAFTA was replaced by the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) in 2020, all of the TN provisions from the NAFTA were retained in the USMCA.

B. Benefits

While a TN petition may be submitted to USCIS (and Premium Processing is available), the major benefit of TN status for Canadian and Mexican citizens are the streamlined application procedures at ports of entry for Canadian citizens and U.S. Consulates for Mexican citizens. Other benefits include no limit on the number of extensions of status or applications for readmission (applied for in three-year increments), as well as no cap on the total number of TNs that may be granted annually. This last benefit becomes even more important when the annual cap on H-1Bs is reached. Moreover, there are some professions that are eligible for TN status even though they do not meet the criteria for H-1B status.

C. Professional Categories

TN status is available only for the professional categories listed in the NAFTA (now the USMCA).

Examples of qualifying professional categories for TN status and requirement(s):

  • Accountant (Bachelor’s degree, C.P.A, C.A., C.G.A, or C.M.A.)

  • Computer Systems Analyst (Bachelor’s degree; or post-secondary diploma/certificate plus 3 years’ experience)

  • Economist (Bachelor’s degree)

  • Engineer (including Software Engineer) (Bachelor’s degree or state/provincial license)

  • Graphic Designer (Bachelor’s degree; or post-secondary diploma/certificate and 3 years’ experience)

  • Lawyer (including Notary in the province of Quebec) (L.L.B., J.D., L.L.M., B.C.L., or membership in a state/provincial bar)

  • Management Consultant (Bachelor’s degree or 5 years’ experience in consulting or related field)

  • Research Assistant (working in a post-secondary educational institution) (Bachelor’s degree)

  • Scientific Technician/Technologist (work in direct support of professionals in chemistry, engineering, geology, geophysics, meteorology, physics, astronomy, agricultural sciences biology, or forestry; possession of theoretical knowledge of discipline; and possession of the ability to apply principles of discipline to basic or applied research)

  • Scientist (including Biochemist, Biologist, Chemist, Geochemist, Pharmacologist) (Bachelor’s degree)

  • Teacher (College or University) (Bachelor’s degree)


Contact Savitz Law today for more information on obtaining TN Status or for answers to questions you may have. We are here to help you navigate the world of US immigration law.

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