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Temporary treaty workers


The TN classification is for Canadian and Mexican citizens who will perform professional assignments in the United States. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Treaty specifies the list of occupations, as well as the corresponding educational and/or licensure requirements. A TN may be valid for up to three years. For Canadian citizens, you can file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or at select ports of entry. Mexican citizens must apply for TN visas at U.S. consulates abroad, and do not have the option of obtaining a petition approval from USCIS in advance.

Dependent spouses and children of TN professionals hold TD (NAFTA Dependent) status. An extension of TN status for Canadian or Mexican citizens may be filed with USCIS, or the beneficiary may apply for a new period of TN status at a port of entry or at a U.S. consulate abroad.


Canadian and Mexican citizens who are licensed registered nurses in a province or state, or who have an interim permit to practice in the state of intended employment, can enter the United States with a TN visa or TN status under NAFTA. 36 Registered nurses are listed as one of the professionals in Appendix 1603.D.1 to Annex 1603 of NAFTA. 37 The nurse must present the VisaScreen certificate, a letter of employment describing the employer, the position, the rate of pay, and a statement that the prospective employment is temporary. The nurse must present evidence of Canadian or Mexican citizenship, as well as a license and nursing credentials. Only Canadian or Mexican citizenship is required—not birth in Canada or Mexico.

Canadian nurses are visa exempt; however, Mexican applicants must apply for a visa at a consulate in Mexico. Many Canadian nurses were licensed in the United States by reciprocity and now must take the NCLEX or CGFNS nursing exam to qualify for the Visa Screen certificate or certified statement