What is NAFTA?

The North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico became effective on January 1, 1994. Having been designed to bring down tariffs and to increase international competitiveness, it will eventually create the world's largest market which will be comprised of 370 million people and 6.5 trillion dollars of production from the "Yukon to the Yucatan."

What does this mean to U.S. employers?

NAFTA is now allowing four categories of temporary entry. They are as follows:

  1. Visitors for Business, B-1:
    Citizens from Canada or Mexico who wish to engage in business activities such as marketing, sales, research and design etc. for the benefit of their foreign enterprise shall be granted temporary entry without employment authorization. Note: Certain requirements will differ depending on the country involved.
  2. ( see also our B-1/B-2 Visa page )
  3. Traders/Investors, E-1/E-2:
    Canadians or Mexicans who are seeking to carry trades and goods between territories, or are seeking to provide services or advice to the operation of an investment that the person or person's enterprise has been committed, shall be granted temporary employment.
  4. (see also our E-Visas page)
  5. IntraCompany Transferees, L-1:
    Persons who are seeking to provide managerial/executive services or services which involve special knowledge to an enterprise at which they are employed (or are affiliated with) may be eligible for temporary employment.
    Note: Such persons must be employed continuously at the particular enterprise within a three-year period prior to the date of application.
  6. (see also our L-1 Visa page)
  7. Professionals, TN (which stands for "Treaty NAFTA"):
    Persons in this category must have at least a B.A. to qualify (depending on their profession.) These application procedures will also differ depending on which country the person is from. Mexican citizens will be required to file an I-129 form and a Labor Condition Application, and only 5,500 Mexicans can enter under this particular category per year. Self-employed business persons are not eligible for this status. Entrance may also be denied under this category if the applicant's entry might adversely affect labor dispute settlements.

Determining the appropriate visa category will greatly depend on the details of the person's background and the duties proposed in the U.S. Employers seeking more information are welcome to contact the offices of Capriotti & Associates.

The following professions will qualify under the TN status:

* Accountant
* Architect
* Computer Systems Analyst
* Disaster relief insurance claims adjuster
* Economist
* Engineer
* Forester
* Graphic Designer
* Hotel Manager
* Industrial Designer
* Interior Designer
* Land Surveyor
* Landscape Architect
* Lawyer ( including Notary in the province of Quebec )
* Librarian
* Management Consultant
* Mathematician ( including Statistician )
* Range Manager/ Range Conservationist
* Research Assistant (if working in a post-secondary educational institution)
* Scientific Technician/ Technologist
* Social Worker
* Sylviculturist ( including Forestry Specialist )
* Technical Publications writer
* Urban Planner ( including Geographer )
* Vocational Counselor

Medical / Allied Professions

* Dentist
* Dietitian
* Medical Laboratory Technologist ( Mexico and the US )
* Nutritionist
* Occupational Therapist
* Pharmacist
* Physician ( teaching or research only )
* Physiotherapist / Physical Therapist
* Psychologist
* Recreational Therapist
* Registered Nurse
* Veterinarian


* Agriculturist ( including Agronomist )
* Animal Breeder
* Animal Scientist
* Apiculturist
* Astronomer
* Biochemist
* Biologist
* Chemist
* Dairy Scientist
* Entomologist
* Epidemiologist
* Geneticist
* Geochemist
* Geologist
* Geophysicist ( including Oceanographer in Mexico and the US )
* Horticulturist
* Meteorologist
* Pharmacologist
* Physicist ( including Oceanographer in Canada )
* Plant Breeder
* Poultry Scientist
* Soil Scientist
* Zoologist


* College
* Seminary
* University

Note: All of the above listed professions have specific educational requirements, with a bachelor's degree usually being the minimum.

U.S. Employers who are interested in obtaining more information may contact Capriotti & Associates.

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CAPRIOTTI & Associates International Law
Immigration · Nationality · Consular Process
North America & Europe
P.O. Box 2792 · Portland, OR 97208-2792
Fax: 1-503-223-3886 · Voice: 1-503-221-1600

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