TN Visa Eligibility for Mexican Citizens Has Expanded to Four Years – An Overview by the NPZ Law Group

Mexican Citizens applying for a nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional (TN) classification can have now have work permits that last four years by paying a greater fee. This new option prevents the hassle of getting a TN work permit that would otherwise last only one year after a TN visa approval process of three years. Thus, this article offers an overview of this option.

History of the TN Visa

The TN visa has allowed Mexicans and Canadians to enter the United States and work in specific professional fields according to the North American Free Trade Agreement since 1993. In 2020, the Treaty was altered and re-named the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) with no significant changes to TN visa status and the TN visa obtaining process.

Mexican and Canadian Citizens have access to TN Classification, allowing them to work in the US for an employer. TN visas currently have no cap on the total number of visas available, and visas for over 60 professions are available. Thus, some Mexicans and Canadians use TN status as alternatives to H-1B visas when those are unavailable.

TN visas enable eligible individuals to enter and work in the US for a maximum of three years at a time. However, TN visa holders may be able to extend their status for additional periods of three years with no strict maximum limitation. Dependents of the visa holders, i.e., their spouse and children under 21 years, may enter the US under TN-dependent (TD) status, but the dependents cannot work under that status.

Difference in the Process of Obtaining a TN Visa for Mexicans and Canadians

The process of obtaining a TN Classification is different for Mexicans and Canadians. It’s quicker and simpler for Canadians, as they can apply directly at United States preclearance and preflight stations or Class A ports of entry without needing to apply at a U.S. Consulate Office abroad. This way, Canadians can expedite the process with a processing time between one to three hours. Canadians also do not have to go to the Consulate to apply for TN visas.

The process can take longer for Mexicans. Mexican Citizens must apply for a TN visa at a United States Consulate. Mexicans could only get one-year TN visas from 2010 to 2022. As a result, even TN status holders who had visas issued for three years would need to apply for a new TN visa frequently if the visa holder traveled internationally. Moreover, in some cases, CBP officers would wrongly issue I-94s for the visa validity period only. However, the Department of State’s change in the reciprocity tables now permits Mexicans to pay a $382 fee to apply for a TN visa that lasts for four (4) years. This new option differs from the one for a one-year visa with a $104 application fee. These fees are an additional expense to the $160 nonimmigrant visa application (MRV) fee.

If you have any questions about how the immigration and nationality laws in the United States may impact you or your family members or if you want to access additional information about the United States or Canadian immigration and nationality laws, please feel free to get in touch with the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can send us an email at or you can call us at 201-670-0006 (extension 104). In addition, we invite you to find more information on our website at