How Long Does a TN Visa Take to Process?

As per the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) certain citizens of North America are allowed to work in the USA. But for this, they need to be from either Mexico or Canada.  The next requirement is getting a TN visa.

However, it requires an entire application and other details to be approved. Even then you might have to wait for a long time as your application is being processed. Let us see how long it will take for a TN visa to be processed.

Experts at will be happy to help you throughout the application, and it will help your chances of getting the visa application approved.

Who Are NAFTA Professionals?


NAFTA guidelines are very different from those of nonimmigrant workers. The idea behind this trade agreement was to boost business and trade between the three countries. It makes sure that the approved people found employment and contributed to the development of the US industries.

Since you are reading this article, you already have an idea about who NAFTA professionals need to be. There are certain professions that are approved under NAFTA. Before applying, you should see if you fall under these 60 categories or not. NAFTA professions include architects, industrial designers, lawyers, economists, mathematicians, social workers, hotel managers, and zoologists.

What is a TN Visa?

After fulfilling all the NAFTA credentials, you can successfully go for a TN visa. The reason why this is extremely popular is because of the numerous advantages you will get as a professional in the USA. There is no upper limit to the number of applications that can be approved in a year. It helps make anyone interested in working in the US in a professional capacity eligible for it.

Another reason it will be worth applying for is the extensions. If you are successfully working in your new environment, then there is no limit to the number of times you can extend it. While other visas have a limit, TN visa does not. As long as you are employed, you can work in the US. We have already mentioned some of the official NAFTA professions.

Another drawback is that you cannot apply for American citizenship. The intent for the candidate to return to their home country is important. If you try to obtain permanent citizenship in the USA while holding a TN visa, you can face serious legal charges against you.

Know the Requirements


There are different details related to the processing of a TN Visa, depending on the candidature. Apart from these, there are many legal requirements that a citizen needs to fulfil or before applying for a visa. These include the following:

  • The applicant should qualify as a NAFTA Professional
  • All educational requirements should be met
  • The applicant should not list his occupation as self-employed
  • The employment opportunity should be pre decided before applying for a TN Visa

TN-1 and TN-2

While TN-1 is meant for Canadian professionals, TN-2 corresponds to Mexican professionals. There are different rules in place for Canadian and American Mexican citizens that need to be followed accordingly.

For Canadian Professionals:


There are definite benefits of applying for a TN visa, especially if you are working in a professional capacity. A TN visa becomes extremely important in case the professional wants to bring their spouse and children into the US along with them. All the dependents would need separate visas that specify their nonimmigrant status in such a case.

Here is everything you need to have before applying for a visa:

  • Proof of your citizenship status
  • Statement of purpose, a letter from the employer detailing your employment in the US and the time for which you will be required to stay
  • Proof that you satisfy all the credentials
  • Fees or the receipt for it

For Mexican Professionals:

In contrast to Canadians, the entry of Mexican citizens is not allowed in the US without a nonimmigrant or TN visa. Only after their visa is approved can they move into the US.

What will be the Processing Time for a TN Visa?


Depending on whether you submit the application physically or send it by mail, the processing time will change accordingly. When you apply at the port, the processing time happens simultaneously, so you will only need to wait for some hours before you get the result for your application.

The processing time for a TN visa will also vary depending on whether you pay the fees for quick processing or not. If you go for the premium processing treatment, you can know whether your application was accepted or not in just 15 days.

Otherwise, it might take you as long as six months to hear back from the officials. By paying for the premium process, you are just speeding up the timeline but are not increasing your chances of getting your visa application approved.

Whether or not your application is approved still depends on your credentials and your professional capability. In case you did not hear back from the USCIS in 15 days, even after paying for the premium processing, you are liable for a refund. Your application will then be processed in the normal time frame in such a case.

Cost for a TN Visa

Before you go to submit your application, you will need to consider the costs and whether you will be able to pay them. In contrast to other work visas for international citizens, something for the TN visa is comparatively less expensive. Depending on whether you are submitting the fee online or offline, you will have to pay less and more, respectively.

The Takeaway

A TN Visa only concerns Canadian and Mexican citizens. It is related to these three countries and to the trade relations between them. If you want to ease your difficulty with the application process, we recommend seeking professional help. The processing time can become a big deterrent, but even that can be solved by paying extra and getting the application processing sped up.