The TN North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) visa is often compared to the H-1B visa. They are both temporary and common for professionals seeking to work in the United States. However, the TN visa has some important benefits, which can make it an attractive alternative for Mexican and Canadian nationals. For both Mexican and Canadian nationals, the benefits include:
1. Capacity to Work in the US: You may work in a professional capacity in the United States for either a US company or Mexican or Canadian company doing business with a US company.
2. Indefinite Renewal: The initial approval period of a TN visa is up to three years. After this approval, your employer may choose to renew your visa if you wish to stay in three year increments. This can be done indefinitely. The H-1B has a limit of six years, including renewals.
3. TD Status Available for Dependents: The dependents of TN professionals have the option of living in the US on a TD visa while the TN visa holder is working in the US.
4. Low Application Fee: Canadian nationals need to only pay 50 USD if they apply at the border, or 110 USD if they apply at a US Consulate. Mexican nationals need to pay 110 USD at a US Consulate. By comparison, an H-1B visa has the following breakdown for fees:
500 USD - Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee
325 USD - Fee for filing Form I-129 with USCIS
750 USD - Additional fee if petitioning company has 25 or fewer employees, it is 1500 USD if the company has more than 25 employees
1225 USD - Optional fee for Premium Processing
5. No Quota: Although there are exceptions, H-1B applicants are subject to an annual cap of 65,000 approvals annually. There is no such cap for TN applicants.