West Ridge at night

NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement creating 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.  

Mexican citizens are required to apply for and receive the TN visa.  Canadian citizens will not apply for the visa but must request the status during the U.S. port of entry interview, whether during pre-flight clearance or when clearing the U.S. immigration checkpoint at the time of U.S. entry.  The TN status may be granted in increments up to a total of 3 year at a time.


UAF is your only authorized employer unless documentation from a second employer was presented concurrently with the approval of the TN status.  TN status is employer and employment-specific and is governed by the terms and conditions of your contract letter and workload assignment when you received TN status.  As such, your employment cannot change until the authorization is updated through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service or departure from the U.S. and re-entry with the new documentation.

Changes of Address:

Changes of address must be submitted directly to USCIS using form AR-11.  This form may be filed electronically through the USCIS website.

U.S. Tax:

If you are in the U.S. in H-1B status for 183 days within your first calendar year, you are considered a resident for U.S. tax purposes.  University policy, in accordance with IRS regulations, is to treat all individuals beginning employment in H-1B status as residents for U.S. tax purposes with limited exceptions.  Additionally, you are subject to U.S. FICA (social security and Medicare) taxes.

Travel Outside the U.S.:

If planning to return in TN status to resume employment, you will need to have all documents when you arrived the first time.  You should have a current contract if employment is continuing after the first year.

Mexican citizens will need to have a valid TN visa to return.  If it is necessary to apply for a new visa, be sure to have all documentation to present during the visa appointment, including the current contract letter.

Canadians wishing to resume TN status may be readmitted to the United States for the remainder of the period authorized on Form I-94, without having to present TN supporting documents (employer letter and credentials) and without paying the $50 fee, provided that the original intended professional activities and employer(s) have not changed.  If the original Form I-94 has been lost, the TN would have to present alternate evidence (e.g., the prior fee receipt and a letter from the employer) to be readmitted and reissued a Form I-94 under this provision. 

The passport should also be stamped and annotated “TN” with the authorization end date.  It is always best to travel with all documents presented during the initial entry, unless the employment is changing.

TN – Dependents have TD status

Study:  There are no restrictions on study for spouses or children.
Employment:  There is no employment authorization for spouses or dependents.