TN Visa Status

The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level.

The TN application does not require a lengthy petition process. The status is granted in three year incredments with unlimited renewals.

  • Qualifying Canadian nationals trained in one of a published list of professions may obtain TN-1 visa status and enter the US by applying at a port-of-entry. 
  • Mexican nationals first apply for a TN-2 visa at the US Consulate / Embassy. 
  • New applications and extensions of the TN status can also be filed using form I-129, and are processed in 2-4 months.

Hiring Process

The hiring department prepares to submit the TN Form in iBearcatsGlobal.

  1. Prepare a letter signed by the Department Head, addressed to the employee, stating:
    • the dates of the employment requested for the TN status (not to exceed 3 years in duration),
    • the salary being offered,
    • and a description of job duties which demonstrate that the job requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a specific field of study.
  2. A letter to Homeland Security describing how the employment qualifies for TN status.
  3. A check made out to the Department of Homeland Security for the I-129 application fee (if the applicant is in the U.S. and does not plan to obtain TN status at the border). If premium processing is requested, an additional check for the fee is necessary.
  1. A copy of highest diploma and related transcripts.
    If the degree is NOT from a university in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, or Australia, an evaluation of the equivalent US degree must be submitted. An acceptable evaluation should:
    • consider formal education only, not practical training experience;
    • state if the collegiate training was post secondary education, i.e., did the applicant complete the United States equivalent of high school studies before entering college;
    • provide a detailed explanation of the materials evaluated, rather than a simple conclusive statement;
    • briefly state the qualifications and experience of the evaluator providing the opinion.
  2. Personal information such as:
    • Curriculum vitae;
    • Copies of all current immigration documents (passport, visa, I-94 record) if you will not be applying for the TN at the border.
    • If applying from within the US with dependents, Form I-539 and copies of all current immigration documents (passport, visa, I-94 record) for dependents.
  3. If a license is necessary in the state where employment is located (i.e., C.P.A., lawyer, professional engineer, etc.), then provide proof of possession of a license to be able to practice in the U.S. or an explanation in your cover letter on why you do not need to be licensed

If you will not be traveling to the border / a US embassy to apply for TN status, UC International will prepare the I-129 application.

If you will be traveling to the border / a US embassy, UC International will send you instructions for check-in and onboarding.

Border Checklist

Some border crossing posts are more experienced with the TN status than others. It is always better to have too much documentation (original documents, wenever possible) than too little. You'll need:

  • Proof of Canadian/Mexican citizenship
    • original passport
    • birth certificate
  • Employment contract from US employer detailing position responsibilities and employment dates (must be temporary)
  • Evidence of academic qualifications: diploma (copy and original)
  • TN-2 visa stamp (Mexican nationals only)
  • Customs fee (Canadian nationals only)
  • Professional license or certification (if applicable)