What is a TN visa?

TN status or TN visa (Trade NAFTA) is a special non-immigrant classification in the United States that offers expedited work authorization to a citizen of Canada or a national of Mexico, created as a result of provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement that mandate simplified entry and employment permission for certain professionals from each of the three NAFTA member states in the other member states.

A Canadian citizen or Mexican national with a job offer in certain defined professions and who meets the minimal education requirements for each defined profession can work in the United States, for up to three years. The permit potentially may be renewed indefinitely.

Canada’s corresponding NAFTA work permit for US citizens and Mexican nationals is sometimes unofficially also referred to as a TN status or TN visa, although this name is technically only a creation of US law.

It bears a similarity, in some ways, to the US H-1B visa, but also has many unique features.