Monterey Institute of International Studies

TN Professional

Information for individuals coming to the Monterey Institute in the TN Visa Program.

TN Visa Information

The TN visa program is the immigration component of The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which enables Canadian and Mexican citizens to be admitted to the United States to engage in "business activities at a professional level" in certain occupations, for one or more specific employers (provided that each employer applies for a separate TN visa). Permanent residents, including Canadian permanent residents, are not eligible for the TN visa.

TN status may be granted for an initial period of up to three years, and this status may be extended indefinitely in three-year increments.

  1. The profession must be on the list of qualifying positions
  2. The individual must have at least a bachelor's degree or appropriate credentials demonstrating status as a professional
  3. The individual possesses the requisite educational background and experience for that position.
  4. The individual must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico
  5. The individual must have a prearranged job that is not self-employment

ISSS can assist the hiring department in making the determination whether the TN visa is appropriate for an employee. The TN visa is a temporary visa category and is not appropriate for permanent positions

Exchange Visitors who are subject to the two-year home country residence requirement (212(e)) cannot change their nonimmigrant status from J-1 to TN while in the U.S. However, former Exchange Visitors who are subject to 212(e) are eligible to enter the U.S. under TN status. Each temporary entry or extension of TN status is available in three year increments with no clearly defined maximum number of entries or extensions. TNs cannot have the intent that they want to live in the U.S. permanently. TNs are liable for Federal tax withholding as nonresidents until they qualify to be taxed at a lower rate under the Substantial Presence Test. However, even as nonresidents, IRS permits TNs to claim dependents as exemptions; TNs are also subject to FICA withholding tax.