On December 17, 1992, the Presidents of the United States and Mexico, and the Prime Minster of Canada entered into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

North American Free Trade Agreement

  • NAFTA, as it relates to immigration, intended to facilitate the movement of U.S., Canadian, and Mexican business persons across each country’s border through streamlined procedures.
  • Chapter 16 of NAFTA, entitled “Temporary Entry for Business Persons,” provides for the temporary entry of business persons among the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Implementation of NAFTA

  • United States Public Law 103-182 (the NAFTA Implementation Act) implemented the U.S. immigration provisions of NAFTA on January 1, 1994.
  • The U.S. immigration-related provisions of NAFTA are similar to those contained in the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement (CFTA), which was suspended after the implementation of NAFTA.

Four NAFTA U.S. Nonimmigrant Visa Classifications

NAFTA permits investment, trade, and professional commerce services to take place among the U.S., Canada and Mexico. There are four NAFTA nonimmigrant visa categories in U.S. Immigration Law:

  • Temporary Visitors for business (B-1 Visa)

  • Treaty trader and Investors (E Visas)

  • Intra-company transferees (L Visa)

  • Treaty National Professionals (TN Visa)

Revised Oct. 29, 2013