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TN status is a type of employment authorization based on terms and conditions set out in the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (UCMCA, formerly NAFTA). TN status is available to citizens of Canada and Mexico who are seeking to enter the US to engage in pre-arranged business activities in certain professions. To qualify:

  1. The person must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico
  2. The person must have a pre-arranged offer to engage in a business activity, within a profession listed in Chapter 16, Appendix 2 of the USMCA
    • Self-employment is not permitted in TN status
  3. The person must have the educational and professional credentials required for the profession, as indicated in Chapter 16, Appendix 2 of the USMCA

Among the TN professions especially common in higher education settings are the following:

  • College / university teacher
  • Scientists and scientific technicians
  • Medical / allied professionals, including veterinarians
  • Librarians
  • Computer Systems Analysts

Multiple Professions: Depending a person's primary job duties, an individual may need to establish eligibility for more than one TN profession at the same time. For example, a person whose professional duties are substantially divided between college teaching and scientific research may need to document eligibility for both the TN college / university teacher and TN scientist professions. Sponsoring departments should consult with the International Center for more details.


TN Status is granted for the length of the business activity up to a maximum of three years. It may be extended indefinitely in increments up to three years at a time (see extension information below).

Benefits and Restrictions

  • TN employment may be part- or full-time
  • TN status is employer-specific; the TN professional is only permitted to work for the TN sponsor
  • A TN employee may have more than one employer, but each employer must request separate TN authorizations for the employee


TN employees may be accompanied by a spouse and/or unmarried minor children under 21; dependents are granted TD status. TD family members are not permitted to work in the US, but may engage in part- or full-time study.

Department Processes for Requesting TN Professionals