In order to get a TN visa, the applicant must have an offer of employment from a U.S. company to work in a profession which usually requires a degree (also called a licenciatura) or a state or provincial license.
The process for applying for the visa is different based on whether the applicant is a Canadian or Mexican citizen, however there are some similarities. For both situations, the requesting employer must write a letter describing the position as temporary and professional, as well as detail the business activities, length of stay, credentials of the applicant, and arrangements for pay. The applicant must also provide a copy of their credentials.
Although the maximum length of stay for this visa is three years, it is indefinitely renewable. The employer may file an I-129 Petition to extend the TN’s status within six months of the stay expiring and petition for an additional three years. If this is not possible, or the TN would rather return to their home country, the TN can reapply for a new visa at the consulate (Mexicans) or apply at the border again on re-entry (Canadians).
- An advantage of this visa is that spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may accompany the TN as dependents in TD status. TDs may attend school but cannot work.
- A disadvantage of this visa is that this is a nonimmigrant visa. If a TN wants to stay in the United States permanently by applying for an immigrant visa, they may have issues proving nonimmigrant intent when they acquired their TN status.