TN Admissions for Citizens of Mexico

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allows certain Canadian and Mexican professionals to qualify for TN nonimmigrant classification in order to provide professional services in the United States. The documentation and process steps needed for TN admission are different for citizens of Canada and those of Mexico.

Before a citizen of Mexico becomes eligible to apply for admission to the United States in TN status, he or she first must apply for a TN visa at a U.S. consulate outside the United States. After obtaining a TN visa, a citizen of Mexico may apply for admission in TN status at a U.S. Class A port-of-entry, at a U.S. airport handling international traffic, or at a U.S. preclearance/pre-flight station.

TN visa issued to a citizen of Mexico by a U.S. consular officer is valid for a maximum of one year. The TN visa validity limitation is required by the U.S. Department of State’s reciprocity schedule. The validity of the TN visa, however, does not determine the period of time that a Mexican TN nonimmigrant alien may be admitted in TN status.

A citizen of Mexico with a valid TN visa may be admitted for a period of up to three years in TN status.

Determining the Appropriate Period of Admission:

A citizen of Mexico may be admitted to the United States in TN status for up to three years, provided that the individual’s passport will remain valid throughout this period and the individual is otherwise admissible.

The period of initial admission for citizens of Mexico in TN status should be for the full period of intended employment, up to a maximum of three years. The intended period of employment should be indicated in a letter or similar statement supporting the TN application for admission and signed by the prospective employer. If the period of employment will exceed the validity of the TN visa, the applicant for admission still may be admitted up to three years regardless of the expiration date of the TN visa, provided that the individual’s passport will remain valid throughout this period and the individual is otherwise admissible.

Examples help to illustrate the appropriate period of admission for a TN nonimmigrant alien.

Example #1: A citizen of Mexico may present a TN visa valid for a period of one year accompanied by a letter from the prospective employer indicating that the intended period of employment is for a period of three (3) years. The Mexican nonimmigrant alien may be admitted for a period of three (3) years, provided that the individual’s passport will remain valid throughout this period and the individual is otherwise admissible.

Example #2: A citizen of Mexico may present a TN visa valid for a period of one week after the date of application for admission accompanied by a letter from a prospective employer indicating that the intended period of employment is for a period of three (3) years. The Mexican nonimmigrant alien may be admitted for a period of three (3) years, provided that the individual’s passport will remain valid throughout this period and the individual is otherwise admissible.

Example #3: A citizen of Mexico may present a TN visa valid for a period of one week after the date of application for admission accompanied by a letter from a prospective employer indicating that the intended period of employment is for a period of one (1) year. The Mexican nonimmigrant alien may be admitted for a period of one (1) year, provided that the individual’s passport will remain valid throughout this period and the individual is otherwise admissible.

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