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TN Visas / NAFTA
Treaty National Visas are available for Canadian and Mexican nationals in accordance with the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). A TN is similar to H-1B category but there is no specific maximum time limit on total period of admission. TN visas are available for one year at a time for professionals with a minimum of a Bachelorís degree of foreign equivalent. Unlike the H-1 category experience generally cannot be used to obtain equivalence to bachelorís degree. An important exception is the management consultant category where five years experience in management consulting or a related field. NAFTA sets forth the requirements for designated professionals. Licenses must be obtained when required to practice the profession.
Self-Employment is not permissible. There is no dual intent doctrine so that TN must show that they are not intending immigrant even though there is no time limit on the number of years for renewal.
On January 1 2004 the Department of Homeland Security published an interim rule which eliminated the need for Mexican TN professionals to file a visa petition, with an appropriate labor condition. The annual quota limiting the number of TN visas for Mexican Nationals was also eliminated.