The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the U.S. to engage in business activities at a professional level.
You may be eligible for TN nonimmigrant status, if:
Unlike Mexican citizens, Canadian citizens are generally eligible for admission as nonimmigrants without a visa. The TN category, a nonimmigrant classification, simply reflects this general exemption from the visa requirement. NAFTA governs which evidence is required to prove whether a Canadian or Mexican citizen is a professional in a qualifying profession.
You can find a complete list of professions with minimum education requirements and alternative credentials here: https://www.nafsa.org/_/file/_/amresource/8cfr2146.htm
If you are a Canadian citizen, then you are not required to apply for a TN visa at a U.S. consulate. You may establish eligibility for TN classification at the time you seek admission to the U.S. 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. You must provide the following documentation to the CBP officer:
A Canadian who resides in a third country with a non-Canadian spouse and/or child(ren), and who plans to enter the U.S. as a NAFTA professional with family members, will need a TN visa in order for the family members to be eligible to apply for derivative TN nonimmigrant visas.
If you are a Mexican citizen, then you are required to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. as a TN nonimmigrant. You should apply for a TN visa directly at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico. You must complete Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. The visa service fee for the TN category is $160.00. Once you are approved for a TN visa, you may apply for admission at certain CBP-designated U.S. ports of entry or at a designated pre-clearance/pre-flight inspection station.
Any accompanying of “following to join” spouse and child(ren) under the age of 21 may be eligible for TN nonimmigrant status. Spouses and children are: