Pacheco Couceiro: Immigration Attorneys


Law Office of Marco Pacheco & Alfonso Couceiro

TN Visas

NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement. It creates special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional (TN) visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico, as NAFTA professionals to work in the United States. Permanent residents, including Canadian permanent residents, are not able to apply to work as a NAFTA professional.

Requirements for Canadian Citizens

Canadian citizens usually do not need a visa as a NAFTA Professional, although a visa can be issued to qualified TN visa applicants upon request. However, a Canadian residing in another country with a non-Canadian spouse and children would need a visa to enable the spouse and children to be able to apply for a visa to accompany or join the NAFTA Professional, as a TD visa holder. To apply for a visa, please see the requirements under the section Mexican Citizens- Applying for a TN Visa- Required Documentation.

Requirements for Mexican Citizens

Since 2004 the procedures were simplified for Mexicans by removing the requirement for petition approval and for the filing of a labor condition application. Mexicans are no longer subject to numerical limitation for these professionals. However, Mexican citizens still require a visa to request admission to the United States.

Mexican Citizens – Applying for a TN Visa – Required Documentation

Mexican citizens may apply at consular sections around the world for a NAFTA professional (TN) visa. As part of the visa application process, an interview at the embassy consular section is required for most visa applicants. Interviews are generally by appointment only. As part of the visa interview, a quick, two-digit, ink-free fingerprint scan can generally be expected. The waiting time for an interview appointment for most applicants is a few weeks or less, but for some embassy consular sections, it can be considerably longer.

The Required Fees

Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee – Each applicant for a visitor visa must pay a nonrefundable nonimmigrant visa application processing fee.

Visa issuance fee – Additionally, if the visa is issued, there will be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable. If there is a fee for issuance of the visa, it is equal as nearly as possible to the fee charged to United States citizens by the applicant’s country of nationality.

Additional Documentation or Qualifying Requirements

Additionally, applicants must demonstrate that they are properly classifiable as NAFTA Professional for TN visa, under U.S. law by:

Education Requirement – The applicant’s employer must submit proof that the applicant meets the minimum education requirements or has the alternative credentials set forth in NAFTA agreement, chapter 16 appendix 1603.d.1. Evidence of professional qualifications may be in the form of degrees, certificates, diplomas, professional licenses, or membership in a professional organization. Degrees, diplomas, or certificates received from an educational institution outside the United States, Canada, or Mexico must be accompanied by an evaluation by a reliable credentials evaluation service specializing in evaluating foreign documentation.

Work Experience Requirement – Documents proving the applicant’s experience should be in the form of letters from former employers. If the applicant was self-employed, business records should be submitted proving that self-employment.

Licensure Requirements

Requirements for NAFTA professional do not include licensure. Licensure to practice a given profession in the United States is a post-entry requirement subject to enforcement by the appropriate state or other sub-federal authority.


Spouses and children (unmarried children under the age of 21) who are accompanying or following to join NAFTA Professionals (TN visa holders) may receive a derivative TD visa. Applicants must demonstrate a bona fide spousal or parent-child relationship to the principal TN visa holder. Dependents do not have to be citizens of Mexico or Canada. Spouses and children cannot work while in the U.S. They are permitted to study.

Canadian Citizen

Spouses and children do not need visas, but they must have the following documents at the port of entry:

Proof of Canadian citizenship:

Proof of relationship to the principal applicant, such as marriage certificate and birth certificate; and

Photocopies of entry documents of the principal applicant.

If the spouse and children are not Canadian citizens, they must get a TD nonimmigrant visa from a U.S. embassy or consulate. They must contact the U.S. embassy or consulate that serves their area for information on how to make visa applications.

Mexican citizen spouses and children must apply for TD nonimmigrant visas at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

Spouses or children following to join must show a valid I-94, thereby providing proof that the principal TN visa holder is maintaining his/her TN visa status.

Period of Stay and Extensions

The maximum period of initial admission into the U.S is three years. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants extensions of stay in time amounts of one year. There is no limit on the number of years a TN visa holder can stay in the United States. However, the TN visa status is not for permanent residence.


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Business Information

Oficina en USA : (956) 541-4141
Oficina en Mexico: (81) 4160-0333
Emergencia: (956) 442 – 4678
Monday - Friday : 8:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday: Emergency Calls Only
Sunday: Emergency Calls Only

Brownsville Office


907 Rio Grande St., Austin, TX 78746

Mexico Office

San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon 66270

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