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Trade NAFTA (TN) Status

The TN non-immigrant classification was created as part of the NAFTA Agreement to facilitate the flow of international professional employees from Canada and Mexico to the United States.

Eligibility for TN Status

The TN classification allows for full- or part-time employment in several occupational categories. Those most commonly used at William & Mary include:

  • Teachers (includes instructors and professors)
  • Researcher Assistants
  • Scientists (i.e. Biologist, Chemist, etc)
  • Scientific Technicians and Technologists

To be eligible for TN status, the employee must be either a Canadian or Mexican citizen. In addition, all positions require the minimum of a bachelor's degree in the relevant field of study. (One exception to this is the Scientific Technicians and Technologists. For this category there is no minimum education requirement; however, the employee must have relevant experience.)

Because it contradicts the non-immigrant intent of the classification, TN classification should not be used for tenure-track or tenured faculty appointments.

Typically a letter from W&M, along with supporting educational documentation are necessary when applying for TN; contact Emily Bailey for details.

Filing Fees

Filing fees may be paid by the department or the employee (if applying within the US).

If applying for TN status abroad,  no visa is needed for citizens of Canada; TN can be applied for at the US border. The fee is $50, plus a $6 I-94 fee.

Citizens of Mexico must obtain a TN visa at a US embassy or consulate.

If applying for TN status, including extensions, from within the U.S., see the USCIS website for current filing fees. TNs must be renewed every three years, but there is no statutory limit to the number of renewals.

Any questions concerning eligibility or required paperwork for the TN classification should be directed to the Reves Center for International Studies.