<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Everything You Need to Know about a TN 1 Visa (Updated 2020)</span>

Are you a Canadian who has a job offer in the US or is looking to work in the States? Perhaps you’re an American employer who may need to expand your search for the perfect candidate internationally. Maybe you already have the perfect person lined up! You just need to get the proper paperwork filed. 


Since 1994, the North America Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, has governed trade between three countries. Certain provisions under NAFTA also allowed the United States, Canada, and Mexico to “trade” workers under certain circumstances. Some people were eligible for what was known as a TN 1 visa.


With the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) set to come into effect in 2020, you might be wondering what will happen to the TN visa program. If you’re a worker, you’re curious if this affects your ability to acquire a visa and to work in the US or Canada. If you’re an employer, you may be concerned this will impact your ability to employ the talent you need.


No matter your situation, understanding the TN visa program and how it operates under USMCA is key. Here’s everything you need to know about a TN 1 visa in 2020.


What Is a TN1 Visa?


Under NAFTA, Mexico, Canada, and the US agreed to share employees. The deal addressed, in part, concerns about people moving across borders illegally and working in places they’re not qualified to work.


NAFTA’s provisions were designed to make it easier to share employees, especially highly qualified professionals. NAFTA recognized that the right person to hire may not always live in the US, so companies may need to look beyond borders to find the ideal employee.


There was some concern the new USMCA would either do away with the TN 1 visa or make significant changes that would impact employers’ ability to find the right people. The good news is the TN visa program is staying in place under the USMCA. This will continue to allow engineers, scientists, and other highly qualified professionals to move and work across borders.


Who Is Eligible?


Until USMCA is in force, the three countries have agreed to keep the TN visa program from NAFTA intact. Even when USMCA comes into effect, employers and employees shouldn’t notice too much of a difference. The text of USMCA largely preserves the rules as found in NAFTA.


What does this mean for eligibility requirements? The employee must be a citizen of Mexico or Canada. They must work in a specified area and be able to show their credentials. If the job falls outside of USMCA’s list or the person doesn’t have the qualifications, they won’t be able to obtain a TN1 visa.


It’s important to note the TN 1 Visa is not an immigration visa, meaning the person cannot stay indefinitely in the United States or obtain citizenship. That makes the TN 1 a great choice for temporary assignments. A TN 1 can be issued for one to three years.


How Do You Get One?


All three countries are expected to keep the requirements and processes for getting a TN visa largely the same as they were under NAFTA. Canadians with a job offer in one of the qualifying fields can bring the required paperwork to the border. You don’t need to visit an embassy first, like you would with other visas.


What paperwork do you need to bring? There’s a specific form. You must bring a letter from your employer, outlining the job offer. You’ll also need proof of your educational background. Your employer’s letter should include some of that proof.


Still Not Sure?


Getting a TN 1 visa can seem relatively simple, but you want to be sure you’re doing things the right way.


There are many resources online. Start with official governments sites, like the ones offered by the US government.


You might also want to talk to an immigration lawyer or an employment lawyer, particularly if they have a background with international employment. Another good option is a PEO. Since they deal with cross-border employment situations on a regular basis, they can provide guidance.


Getting a TN1 visa doesn’t need to be stressful. In fact, it can be quite easy! Talk to the professionals today and discover if the TN1 visa is right for your situation.


What US Companies Need to Know about Paying Employees in Canada