Qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens may seek temporary admission to the U.S. under the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement to accept full-time employment with the University, to engage in activities at a professional level in one of the professions or occupations covered under NAFTA Specialty Occupations (Appendix 1603.D.1)

TN status is for Canadian and Mexican nationals who are engaged in temporary professional activities as defined by NAFTA. For an overview of the TN status, please visit the State Department website.

The TN classification primarily to employ Mexican and Canadian citizens in temporary research and teaching positions.  The TN status can only be used for Mexican and Canadian citizens employed in a profession that appears on the NAFTA List of Professions.

The TN status can be an advantage over the H-1B as it is generally less expensive to obtain and can be extended indefinitely.  However, unlike the H-1B, it can only be used for specific professions and it cannot be used to employ faculty or staff in a permanent position, such as the position of tenure-track professor.  Finally, the TN status is appropriate for otherwise qualified part-time positions on campus whereas the general policy for the H-1B status is that employees be full-time.


  • Must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico
    • Citizens of Mexico must obtain a visa stamp at a Consulate or Embassy
  • Must be employed by UMass Amherst
  • Must have required educational level for position authorized through NAFTA and proof of this to be provided to Customs and Border Patrol upon entry to the U.S.
  • Employment must be temporary in nature
  • TN status may be granted for as long as the employment offer specifies, up to 3 years, and may be extended in increments of up to 3 years. Please note that long-term or permanent employment should be discussed with the IPO in advance to determine appropriate visa options.


  • Dependents in TD status do not have work authorization
  • Cannot obtain employment outside UMass Amherst unless authorized to do so by USCIS or CBP