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TN Visa for USMCA Professionals

A TN visa, short for "trade NAFTA", allows Mexican and Canadian citizens in certain professions to enter the U.S. temporarily. The visa application process for TN visas is quicker than other types of visas. And Canadian citizens do not need to apply in advance. SimVisa by can smooth the way for your TN visa.

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    • Step 1: Initial Consultation with SimVisa

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    • Step 3: SimVisa Prepares Application Package with Evidence

    • Step 4: A SimVisa Attorney Reviews Your Application Package

    • Step 5: SimVisa Submits an Application to USCIS For You

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    • Step 1: SimVisa collected information and documents from you through our online portal

    • Step 2: SimVisa fills out your forms and prepares your supporting documents

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All You Need to Know

Chicago TN Visa Lawyers

TN visa requirements are strictly limited to individuals who can prove they are NAFTA professionals. Since it is a non-immigrant visa, applicants must also have a contract or employment letter from a United States employer. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection services can deny an application, even if you meet all the criteria on paper if you fail to present the required documentation.

A TN visa lawyer helps Mexican and Canadian citizens hired by U.S. companies:

  • Determine their eligibility for TN visas;
  • Assemble their applications;
  • Respond to any application denials.

We are dedicated to finding the right solution to your immigration issue and guiding you through the visa application process.

TN Visa Support for Clients Across the U.S.

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SimVisa serves all applicants across the U.S. Contact us to discuss the options for a Canadian or Mexican citizen entering the U.S. for work.

What Is a TN Visa?

The TN visa was created by NAFTA. This international agreement was created to promote free trade relationships between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. To facilitate cross-border employment, the nations created visas, such as the TN visa, so people with certain professional qualifications could move into other countries to work temporarily.

These visas only get granted to professionals with a job or job offer letter with a business in the U.S. The visa allows you to enter the U.S. for up to three years as long as you work for the company. If you change jobs or get laid off, your visa will no longer be valid, and you must either leave the U.S. or reapply.

If you receive a TN visa, you can also apply for your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old to accompany you.

Who Is Eligible for a TN Visa?

immigration lawyer tn visa

TN visas allow people in certain professions to enter the U.S. from Mexico or Canada.

To receive a TN visa, you must:

  • Hold Canadian or Mexican citizenship;
  • Meet the professional qualifications for a NAFTA professional;
  • Have a job or a job offer from a United States employer in your listed profession.

If you are not a Canadian or Mexican citizen, you cannot apply for a TN visa even if you live in Canada or Mexico. Permanent residents of those countries must apply for different visas.

List of Qualified Professions

The North American Free Trade Agreement list of professions includes:

  • Accountants
  • Architects, including landscape architects
  • Information technology professionals
  • Engineers, scientists, and technicians
  • Lawyers
  • Mathematicians and economists
  • Dentists, pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and veterinarians
  • University professors

This list is not exhaustive. Many other jobs also qualify as TN professions.

TN Visa Application Requirements for Canadian Professional

Canadian citizens eligible for TN visas do not need to apply for visas at a U.S. embassy before their trip. If you and your family members all hold Canadian citizenship, you can apply for your TN visa directly at the port of entry, including Canadian airports and land crossings on the U.S. – Canada border.

To apply at the port of entry, you must have documents proving:

  • Canadian citizenship;
  • Current or prospective employment in the U.S.;
  • Professional qualifications for the job you were hired to perform in the U.S.;
  • Eligibility for licensing in the U.S., if necessary for your job.

You must also fill out an application form for the TN visa.

TN Visa Requirements for Mexican Professional

tn visa immigration lawyer

Mexican citizens eligible for TN visas must apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy before their trips. Unlike Canadians, Mexican citizens cannot apply for TN visas at a port of entry.

When entering from Mexico, you must provide:

  • Proof you are a Mexican citizen;
  • A passport-size photo;
  • A letter or contract from your U.S. employer proving you have or will have a job in a NAFTA profession;
  • Documents, like a diploma or transcript, proving your professional qualifications;
  • Documents showing you can meet any licensing requirements in your profession.

You must file your application and supporting documents at a U.S. embassy. The TN visa process for Mexican citizens includes an in-person interview with an officer at the embassy. After your interview, the U.S. State Department will determine your TN status.

Additional Documentation or Qualifying Requirements

Your TN visa status can be denied even if you meet the requirements on paper. Denial can happen when your documents leave out an important detail. Therefore, you should provide complete documentation.

Your employment contract or letter should describe:

  • Type of job
  • Start and end dates
  • Whether the position is a full or part-time job
  • Location
  • Pay
  • Reason you need to enter the U.S.
  • Job duties you will perform
  • Your professional or educational qualifications

The documentation proving your job qualifications can include:

  • Diploma
  • Transcript
  • Professional license
  • Certificate
  • Letter from a prior employer

You also need to pay a non-refundable fee. This fee pays for the TN application process. You will not receive a refund if your visa gets denied.

Licensure Requirements

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You only provide licensing documentation if you need it to practice your profession. Thus, doctors and architects need proof. Engineers do not. You can supply a license or a letter from a licensing board allowing you to practice.

This review only determines if you can perform the job you listed. It does not replace any local applicable license requirements.

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

A TN visa is a non-immigrant visa. This means your stay in the U.S. is only temporary. You can remain up to three years before your TN visa status expires.

You have two options for remaining beyond three years. First, you can remain in the U.S. and apply for an extension of stay before your TN status expires. The TN visa status can get extended for an additional three years.

Second, you can leave the U.S. before your TN status expires. You can then reapply for a visa before you reenter the country. This new TN visa will come with an additional three-year term.

TD Status for Dependents

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When Canadians entering the U.S. can apply for TN visas at the border, their spouses and minor unmarried children do not need visas as long as they are citizens of Canada. If their dependents are non-citizen residents of Canada, they will need visas to accompany TN visa holders.

However, citizens of Canada with non-citizen dependents will need to apply for their visas in advance. They cannot apply at the border.

All dependents accompanying citizens of Mexico entering on TN visas must also have visas. In other words, all spouses and unmarried minor children entering from Mexico must have visas, whether they are citizens or non-citizen residents of Mexico.

Dependents who need a visa will apply for TD visas. These visas are available for:

  • TN holders' spouses;
  • TN holders' dependent children under 21 years old.

Holders of TD visas can attend school in the U.S., but they cannot work in the United States. Thus, spouses or children of TN holders must either refrain from working or apply for a different type of visa.

TN Visa Petition Process

Canadians have two options for applying for a TN. They can apply in advance of arriving at the border. To do this, you will fill out an application and attach all your documents to support your claim. USCIS will examine the application and let you know your TN status. TN applications filed before you reach the entry port will minimize the risk of getting denied at the border.

Canadians can also apply at the entry port. To do this, you need to bring all of your documentation with you to the border. The border agent will make an immediate decision, but this decision could be a denial.

Mexicans only have one option. They must apply in advance and complete an interview with a consular officer.

In all of these cases, you must supply:

  • A completed TN application;
  • Your employment contract or offer letter;
  • Documents proving your professional credentials;
  • Proof of your Mexican or Canadian citizenship.

USCIS or the State Department must be satisfied that you have non-immigrant intent to grant visas. Showing non-immigrant intent is easy on the first application and renewal. But when visas are renewed indefinitely, it becomes harder to show your stay is only temporary.

How Can SimVisa Help with a TN Visa?

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SimVisa helps TN visa applicants by providing:

  • Initial consultation to discuss your situation and assess your eligibility to become a TN holder;
  • Advice and counsel about the benefits and drawbacks of each option for entering the U.S.;
  • Document preparation to prepare your application and gather the documents you need to support your assertions;
  • Document review to ensure your application was prepared accurately and completely to minimize the risk of delay or denial;
  • Submission of your application and follow-up to monitor your application status and respond to any inquiries from immigration officials;
  • Legal support, including providing updates, answering questions, and helping you prepare for any immigration interviews;
  • Approval assistance in getting visas for your dependents and entering the U.S.

When you hire SimVisa, you will have an experienced practitioner who knows how to deal with immigration officials and a trusted advisor to guide you through the complicated immigration process.

SohYoon Atac
Co-founder of SimVisa with over 17 years of experience in immigration law.


  • Juris Doctorate - Chicago Kent College of Law
  • Bachelor's Degree - The University of Chicago
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Why Choose SimVisa's TN Visa Lawyers?

SimVisa provides an experienced attorney to help you with your entry into the U.S.

We provide:

  • Advice and counsel explaining the legal options for entering the U.S. legally;
  • Professional preparation of the application and supporting documents;
  • Representation before immigration services to deal with any denials or requests.

Contact us to get started on your paperwork to enter the U.S. as a NAFTA professional.

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What Our Clients Are Saying


Read the reviews below to see what our clients have to say.

Sinziana Constandache

I absolutely recommend Mrs Atac and her team! They were wonderful in helping me get my green card and my citizenship and made the entire process go as smoothly as possible. They got everything that needed to be done together- so much paperwork and documents, and answered all my questions- no matter how small; they would reply right away and that have given me peace of mind about any concern that I had. The staff is absolutely amazing and I would 10/10 recommend

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Iibrahim Teke

My attorney SohYoon and her assistant Vanessa were really helpful. They walked me through all through all the process step by step. Definitely recommended

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Icen Arsin

Very courteous, professional and competent legal team. They take the time to understand your specific situation. They support and follow through.

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Martin Kerver

Always professional to any of our questions we had. Highly recommended.

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Avnit Bambah

Great firm help me with Citizenship and I got it in timely manner.

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Heejoo Smith

Great immigration service! I got my green card within 4 months!

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Cirkovic Pedja

Agile and swift. All the best PJ

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FAQs About TN Visa

Our clients have a lot of questions. Here are the answers to some of those most frequently asked.

Can a TN Visa holder open a business?

It depends on the TN holder's role in the business. A TN holder cannot participate in business activities such that the company becomes a form of self-employment. But a TN holder can invest in a closely-held company as a passive investment.

Can a spouse of a TN Visa holder work?

No. When spouses enter on TD visas, they are not authorized to work. If they want to work in the United States, spouses must apply for visas other than TD. The same rules apply to minor dependent children of TN holders.

Can a TN Visa holder change employer?

Yes, but the TN holder must reapply for TN status. With any change in employment, including a change in employer or a loss of employment, TN holders can either request their new employer to file a petition or they can leave the U.S. and re-enter on a new TN.

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Contact Your TN Visa Lawyer Today!

SimVisa has extensive experience helping professionals enter the U.S. on NAFTA visas. Contact an immigration lawyer to discuss your TN visa issue.