TN for Canadian and Mexican Citizens

Who qualifies for TN status?

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created 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 in prearranged business activities for U.S. employers. TN is a temporary, employer-specific, non-immigrant status. All TN requests for Georgia Tech employment must be processed by Global HR, and the employing must initiate all TN requests.


Georgia Tech sponsorship for TN status is available for the following employment categories:

  • Postdoctoral Fellows
  • Regular Research Faculty
  • Regular, Non-Tenure Track Teaching Faculty

TN Status is not appropriate for long-term employment; it is a nonimmigrant status which requires the applicant to have the intent to return to their home country.

Canadians and Mexicans may be eligible to work in the United States as NAFTA professionals under the following conditions:

  • Applicant is a citizen of Canada or Mexico; * Profession is on the NAFTA list;
  • Position in the United States requires a NAFTA professional; 
  • Applicant will work in a prearranged full-time or part-time job for an employer (see Required Documentation). Self-employment is not permitted;
  • Applicant has the qualifications, meeting the specific requirements, education, and/or experience, of the profession.
  • With some exceptions, each profession requires a baccalaureate degree as an entry-level requirement. If a baccalaureate is required, experience cannot be substituted for that degree. In some professions, an alternative to a bachelor's degree is listed. For some professions, experience is required in addition to the degree. For a complete list of professions with minimum education requirements and alternative credentials, see Appendix 1603.D.1 of NAFTA Chapter 16.


The TN process should be initiated by the department as early as possible to avoid delays in employment start dates or gaps in employment authorization.

Canadian Citizens

Canadian citizens are not required to apply for a TN visa at a U.S. consulate, but must establish eligibility for TN classification at the time they seek admission to the United States by presenting required documentation to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at certain CBP-designated U.S. ports of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station. The following documentation must be presented to the CBP officer:

  • Proof of Canadian citizenship;
  • Letter from the Georgia Institute of Technology detailing items such as the professional capacity in which the individual will work in the United States, the purpose of employment, length of stay, and educational qualifications; and
  • Credentials evaluation (if applicable), together with any applicable fees.
Mexican Citizens

Mexican citizens are required to obtain a visa to enter the United States as a TN nonimmigrant. Mexican citizens must apply for a TN visa directly at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico. After the TN visa is approved, the individual may apply for admission at certain CBP-designated U.S. ports of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station.

Processing Time: ‚ÄčVermont Service Center
Form Fee
Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker  $460
Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing (optional, guarantees adjudication or request for additional evidence in 15 days)  $1,225

In lieu of filing a petition with USCIS, the TN employee can travel to Canada/Mexico obtain or extend their TN status.

Maintaining Status/Employer Compliance

Changes in Employment

All changes in employment for a TN employee must be reported to Global HR before the change occurs. The employing department should complete the Notification of Changes in Employment e-form in iStart. If further action is necessary, the department will be notified.

Extension of status

Employees in TN status that need to remain employed by the Institute beyond the initial period of stay without first departing from the United States, must seek an extension of stay. The employing department must initiate the request for file an extension with Global Human Resources. Extensions must be timely filed to avoid any gaps in employment authorization.

Alternatively, the employee may depart from the United States before the date their status expires, and then, once abroad, you may apply at a CBP-designated U.S. port of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station using the same application and documentation procedures required at the time of the initial application for admission as a TN nonimmigrant.

Other Information

Dependents: Spouses and unmarried children (under the age of 21) are permitted to have TD status for the duration of the primary status holder. Individuals in TD status are not permitted to engage in employment. Individuals may engage in full- or part-time study.