If you are a citizen of Canada or Mexico, you are legally allowed to work in the United States. This is because of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, that provides any citizen of North America to qualify for a TN non-immigrant status working permit. However, you can only apply for this type of permit if your career falls into the approved jobs. Some of these professional fields include engineers, accountants, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. In addition, you also have to have a job secured by the time you apply for this permit. You cannot simply show up in the United States and say you plan on getting a job in one of those fields when you get here. When your TN non-immigrant status is approved, you are permitted to initially stay in the United States for three years. Once that runs out, you can always apply for an extension of stay in order to continue your job.
One of the most important things to know about the TN non-immigrant status working permit is that while Canadian citizens do not need a visa upon entry, Mexican citizens do. If you are a Canadian or Mexican citizen and your spouse or parent has obtained a job in the United States, you are eligible to come to the U.S. with them. In order to do this, Canadian citizens must show proof that they are related to the person who is going to work here. Mexican citizens do not need the same proof as Canadian citizens, but they do need to show that their relative is maintaining their TN status and continuing to work at the approved job that they arrived in the United States for. Family members of the employee will need to extend their stay as well if they plan on remaining in the United States after the three year period of initial stay.
The Sesini Law Group is an experienced immigration law firm serving Wisconsin. If you have questions regarding your specific case, please contact our law firm to set up an initial consultation.