TN Visa for Professionals who are Nationals of Canada and Mexico

TN is a temporary, nonimmigrant status available in increments of up to three years to certain Canadian and Mexican citizens. TN status is employer specific and is available for specific qualifying professions only. TN dependents are classified as “TD” and are not eligible for employment. The procedures for Canadians and Mexicans to obtain TN status are different. Canadian citizens are not issued visa stamps and instead are admitted to the United States in TN status when they present appropriate documentation to immigration inspectors at the U.S. port of entry. Their TN status is then noted on the Form I-94 arrival record and/or admission stamp in the passport. Mexican citizens must obtain TN visa stamps before being admitted to the United States with the TN notation on the Form I-94 arrival record and/or admission stamp in the passport. All international scholars must register with the ISchO.

Who Qualifies

MIT employment-based sponsorship for TN status may be available for salaried positions on the (1) academic staff; and 2) for certain sponsored research positions at the Postdoctoral Associate level and above, whose predominant responsibility is conducting direct research. Among positions that do not qualify for MIT sponsorship are technical, library, management, and support staff appointments.

Under immigration regulations, TN status is available only to individuals in certain professions, as enumerated in an appendix of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which replaced the NAFTA free trade agreement. TN status is not appropriate for indefinite employment, as it is a nonimmigrant status which requires the applicant to have the intent to return to the home country.

As with all academic and sponsored research staff appointments for foreign nationals, ISchO will help determine the appropriate visa and will assist with TN applications. The provision of a letter of offer, employment, or appointment from any MIT unit, office, department, laboratory, or center is considered TN “sponsorship” and should not be issued without first consulting an advisor in ISchO.

Page updated August 2023