The TN (Trade NAFTA) category emerged from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), to facilitate the entry of Canadian and Mexican citizens to the United States to engage in professional business activities on a temporary basis. Only occupations specified in Appendix 1603.D.1 of the NAFTA can serve as the basis for TN employment. Appendix 1603.D.1 also stipulates the minimum qualifications for entry into the United States in each occupation. At Syracuse University, TN status is most often used for teaching faculty and some staff positions.
A list of requirements for each occupation and more information about the TN Visa can be found here: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/employment/nafta.html.
Obtaining TN Status
Canadian Citizens obtain TN status at the Port of Entry. Obtaining TN status requires sponsorship from Syracuse University. The hiring department must provide a “TN Letter” supporting the applicant, detailing the position offered and providing an explanation as to why TN status is appropriate. This letter is in addition to the standard offer/appointment letter provided to an employee.
Mexican citizens obtain a TN visa at a US Consulate, then travel to a Port of Entry. Mexican nationals must first apply for a TN visa to be admitted to the United States in TN status. The same TN letter is required for a TN visa.
TN Limitations of Stay
TN status is allowed for a maximum of three (3) years, but the actual period granted depends on the length of the appointment. TN may be renewed as needed, with no maximum total period of stay.
Individuals in TN status can only be employed by Syracuse University.