Document Type

Border Policy Brief

Publication Date



Human Mobility


In 1994, pursuant to NAFTA, the TN (for “Trade NAFTA”) labor-mobility provision was established. The TN concept was intended to meet the goal of “facilitating temporary entry on a reciprocal basis and of establishing transparent criteria and procedures for temporary entry” amongst the three NAFTA countries. For Canadian citizens seeking temporary work of a professional nature in the U.S., TN status created an alternative to the H-1B program, which was established in 1990. The process of gaining TN status was meant to be simpler than that of acquiring H-1B status, and no cap on the number of TN workers was imposed. The parties to NAFTA also sought to “protect the domestic labor force and permanent employment in their respective territories,” and consulted labor experts to help devise the list of professional categories eligible for TN status (as well as the required qualifications of such professionals).




4 - Fall

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

United States--Boundaries--Canada; Canada--Boundaries--United States

Geographic Coverage

United States; Canada


Technical reports





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