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Can NAFTA allow for temporary visas for professionals?

People in Miami and across the United States are paying close attention to presidential politics and the discussion regarding various agreements that the U.S. has with other countries for workers. One example is the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). With NAFTA, there are certain circumstances in which immigrants can come from Canada and Mexico with special treatment. Understanding this is important for companies and individuals who would like to have these workers come to the U.S. as well as for workers who would like to work in the U.S.

Under NAFTA, there is an option known as the TN nonimmigrant classification. With it, citizens of Mexico and Canada are able to request entry into the U.S. on a temporary basis so they can take part in business at the professional level. There are certain categories of professionals who are allowed to request this admission. They are attorneys, engineers, accountants, teachers, scientists and pharmacists.

The following people might be able to have TN nonimmigrant status: citizens of Mexico or Canada; a person who falls into the acceptable categories when it comes to the jobs they do; the position that is offered in the U.S. needs a professional under NAFTA; a part-time or full-time job has been prearranged with an employer in the U.S. - it cannot be self-employment; and the person is qualified to work in the profession.

Companies who are seeking to have a NAFTA-eligible professional work in the U.S. needs to understand the law for doing so. Those who are trying to achieve employment-based immigration and are from Canada or Mexico will have the ability to do so under NAFTA if they fall into the required categories. If there are questions about visas for professionals under this law or assistance needed with fulfilling the requirements, speaking to an attorney who is experienced in employment immigration is the first step.

Source: uscis.gov, "TN NAFTA Professionals," accessed on Aug. 15, 2016

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