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Frequently Asked Questions

Trade NAFTA (TN Visa) Questions

Basic requirements for a TN?‘’

An alien must possess the necessary credentials to be considered a qualifying professional under this category. Generally, a Bachelor’s degree or higher is usually required to be considered a professional in the TN category. Furthermore, the alien must intend to depart the U.S. upon completion of his authorized status. As a result, if the alien applies for permanent residence while he is in TN status, he will have difficulty in obtaining renewal of his TN status. Mexican nationals are required to have TN visas before they may be admitted to the U.S. in this status, whereas Canadian nationals need only apply with the USICS at the border and bypass the visa requirement.

1.Can I enter the U.S. on a tourist visa (or a visa waiver), then switch to a work visa once I am offered a job?
According to the regulations, a tourist visa is for just tourism. There are other good reasons to enter on a tourist visa, but the good reason should always be fully disclosed to the officer issuing the visa. If you enter the U.S. as tourist, then receive an unforeseen job offer, you may be able to show that entering to work was not your initial intent. If the officers are convinced that you entered with no intention to find employment, they should ultimately approve the new visa and stamp it.

But, if they are not convinced of your original intention to enter as a tourist only, they may deny the visa on the grounds that they suspect fraudulent intent connected with obtaining the tourist visa.

2. What is the difference between TN & H-1B visa?
TN is similar to H-1B except there is no statutory limitation on stay such as exists for H-1B. Further, TN to begin with like H-1B can be granted for three years. TN generally covers a broader range of job categories. However, unlike H-1B, there should be no intent to immigrate. Doctrine of dual intent is inapplicable to TN.

3. Is self-employment permitted to TN Visa holder?
No. TN visa holder may not be self-employed in U.S. However, a person owning an interest (even controlling) in the Canadian company who has entered into a contract with the U.S. Company to perform management consultancy may be granted TN status.

4. What is the requirement of documents for TN?
Documentation must include proof of citizenship, employer’s letter offering the job and detailed duties to be performed, copies of all educational transcripts, diplomas/degrees and the professional activity to be engaged in.

5. What visas are available to TN’s spouse and children?
Spouses and unmarried children will get a TD visa. They shall not accept any employment in the U.S. unless they are otherwise authorized.


The information contained on this site is offered only for general informational and educational propose and does not constitute a legal advice or opinion. All efforts are being made to keep this information current, but it may not be guaranteed that it applies to your specific case, and should not be relied upon or acted without seeking the advice of qualified attorney.