The citizens of Canada and Mexico are permitted to work in the United States under the NAFTA Professional, or the TN visa, which is the non-immigrant visa. NAFTA stands for North American Free Trade Agreement which allows the creation of the specific relationships with respect to trade and economy between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Under the NAFTA, more that sixty occupations are enlisted which are basis for the one of the important qualifying criteria. Based on these professional occupations, a temporary or a non – immigrant visa is granted to work in the United States. This visa is valid for three years at a given time.
The applicants for this visa must clear the following eligibility criteria:
- It is mandatory for the applicant to be a citizen of either Canada or Mexico. However, the permanent residents of both Canada and Mexico are not permitted to apply under this category.
- The applicant’s profession must be present in occupations list brought out by NAFTA.
- The job vacancy in the United States should be in need of a professional listed as per NAFTA.
- The applicant must have a job in the United States, prior to applying for the visa.
- The applicant must have the relevant academic qualification for his profession.
However, the applicant is not permitted to engage in self – employment activities. Additionally, he must provide all the relevant documents. This is very specific regarding the documents of his employment offer. The applicant must submit his employment letter from his employer in the United States which clearly states the requirement of a NAFTA listed professional. Engaging in a part – time job is also permitted.
The employment letter should clearly mention the following aspects:
- Details of the contract along with a clear outline of the job responsibilities that the applicant would be involved in.
- The main objective for entering the United States.
- The expected duration of stay.
- Credentials for the job justifying the professional status of the applicant.
The other documents should include the evidence of the educational qualifications, proof of the relevant and the total work experience and necessary licensures, if required. Some of the documents have to be submitted by the employer as well. Also, documents regarding the financial status of the individual are also important to submit, apart from others.
The applicant’s spouse and children are also permitted to accompany the applicant. The children would be permitted if they are below 21 years of age and not married. They may be granted a derivative Trade Dependent visa or the TD visa. However, an additional bona fide has to be submitted proving the relationship to be genuine. Also, it is not mandatory for the dependents to be the citizens of either Canada or Mexico. The spouse and children would be permitted to study but cannot engage in any form of employment.
After the duration of three years, the applicant can file for an extension. There is no specific limit on the number of extensions that an applicant can file. An extension could be filed by filing the Form I – 129 Petition if the applicant is in the United States. Another way is to apply at the port of entry and follow the same procedure which was done initially.
However, it is best to contact an Immigration and Visa Specialist who can guide the applicant on the same.
Ajay Sharma is an immigration expert who provides his valuable advice to people seeking immigration in countries like Canada, Denmark, USA, Australia and many others. With years of experience under his belt, he is the principal immigration consultant of ABHINAV.com, which is in business since 1994. Over the years, Abhinav has continually stood the test of time and has helped its clients in accomplishing their relocation dreams to foreign lands, successfully and smoothly.