What Are The Suitable Criteria And Process To Get A TN Visa?

If you are a Mexican or Canadian citizen who has received a job offer in the U.S., you may be eligible to enter the United States on TN Visa status. The U.S., Mexico, and Canada entered the NAFTA, now known as the USMCA agreement. It provides expedited admission to eligible business persons from each country.

Under NAFTA, the TN non-immigrant classification allows qualified Mexican & Canadian citizens to temporarily enter the U.S. to professionally engage in business activities. TN Visa is an excellent way to live & work legally in the U.S.

Upon fulfilling the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a TN Visa from USCIS, a U.S. Port or Entry or U.S. Embassy. In this blog, we will walk you through the eligibility criteria and process for obtaining TN Visa.

Eligibility Criteria for TN Visa

To qualify for TN Visa status, your intended business activity must be listed in the profession list of the NAFTA treaty, such as a lawyer, accountant, dentist, surgeon, physiotherapist, or engineer. The following are the eligibility criteria for TN Visa:

  • Proof that you are a citizen of Canada or Mexico, such as a passport
  • Profession (Job) must qualify under the regulations
  • Must have a pre-arranged full or part-time job with a U.S. employer or a foreign employer with a U.S. entity
  • Must have the required qualifications to practice the profession

You can provide the following documentation as a job offer for TN Visa:

  • A Letter of support including your TN profession, the position offered, start date, salary, educational qualifications, length of stay, and other relevant details
  • Evidence of a Valid employee-employer Relationship

If you have any questions regarding the eligibility criteria, contact us for a consultation with our TN Visa Attorney.

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Process of applying for TN Visa

The process of applying for TN Visa status for Canadian & Mexican citizens is different. However, the requirements are very similar. For every TN Visa application, you are required to provide the following documentation & paperwork:

  • A TN Visa Support letter from your U.S. employer summarizes your job, qualifications, chosen NAFTA profession, salary, length of stay, and other necessary information.
  • Your proof of qualifications should be only Original copy.
  • Your TN Visa Application Fee

If you are a Canadian citizen, you can either:

  1. Directly apply at the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) border port of entry while entering the U.S. You must bring all the relevant documents, IDs, and information, including a letter from your employer, visa fees, and any credential evaluation.
  2. The second option is that your employer can submit the TN application on your behalf along with Form I-129 to USCIS, and you can seek entry after approval at a U.S. Port of Entry.

If you are a Mexican citizen:

You must apply for a non-immigrant visa at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate office by submitting the required paperwork along with Form DS-160 and attending the Interview. Post-interview, you will receive your visa, and then you can seek entry at a U.S. Port of Entry.

Note: Both Canadian & Mexican citizens on a Non-Immigrant status in the U.S. can use Form I-129 to change their status to TN Visa or for TN Visa Renewal/TN Visa Extension.


After reading the blog, you will have a better understanding about TN Visa, its eligibility criteria, and the application process. However, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

At Salinas Law Firm, we have one of the most experienced TN Visa Attorneys in Houston, Texas. Our TN Visa Lawyer will assist you with the entire process, from fulfilling eligibility criteria, gathering required documentation, completing paperwork, and guiding you through the Interview process.

Our TN Attorney remains available after you arrive in the U.S. for assistance regarding legal matters, change of status, and applying for a Green Card or TN Visa Extension/Renewal.

Our TN Lawyer will assist you if you want to bring your spouse and children under 21 while on TN Visa. Your children will have access to U.S. schools, colleges, and universities.

For a consultation with our TN Visa Attorney, contact us at 713.518.1711.


1. Can TN Visa Holders apply for Permanent Residence (Green Card)?

TN Visa is not a dual intent visa like other temporary visas. It means that while entering the U.S., you're communicating that you aren't trying to move to the U.S. permanently.

However, there are scenarios when the TN Visa Holder may be sponsored for a Green Card by its TN employer or marry a U.S. Citizen or a Green Card Holder while in the U.S. on TN Visa status. It makes them eligible to apply for a Green Card.

Contact us for a consultation with our TN Visa Lawyer for assistance in changing your status from TN Visa to a marriage Green Card.

2. Can you study in the U.S. being a TN Visa Holder?

You can study full-time or part-time in the U.S. while on a TN Visa. However, you must follow your original TN Visa conditions. If your TN Visa status expires before the course ends, you can return to your home country, extend your TN Visa status, or change your status to a J-1, F-1, or M-1 visa.

Salinas Law Firm TN Visa Attorney will help you change your visa status and with a TN Visa extension.

3. What happens if you lose your job as a TN Visa holder?

If you lose your job while being a TN Visa Holder, you have a 60 days grace period to find another employer/job or change your visa status, or you will be required to exit the U.S.