Getting a TD Visa as Family of a TN Visa Holder

Family members of TN visa holders can come to the US along with the work visa beneficiary.

The TD visa was created by NAFTA, and is a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa issued to the spouses and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of TN visa holders.

To qualify for a TN visa, the principal applicant must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico who practices one of the professional occupations on the TN list, and be coming to the U.S. to take a job in that profession with a U.S. employer. The list of occupations is long -- professions such as accountant, architect, engineer, lawyer, librarian, dietitian, medical lab technologist, psychologist, research assistant, scientist, urban planner, and vocational counselor are among the many entries.

To qualify for a TD visa as a family member, the applicant need not be a Canadian or Mexican citizen. He or she will primarily need to show a bona fide family relationship to the TN visa holder and that he or she isn't inadmissible to the United States (such as for criminal, security, or health reasons).

Privileges and Limitations

A TD visa holder can remain in the United States as long as the principal TN visa holder remains in lawful status. There is no cap on the number of visas issued under this category each year. TD visa holders cannot seek employment in the United States.

How to Apply

To apply for a TD visa, you can either accompany the TN applicant or follow later. You would proceed directly to the U.S. border if coming from Canada, or go to a U.S. consulate if coming from Mexico, and present the following:

  1. Receipt for having prepared and submitted State Department Form DS-160 online (Mexican applicants only).
  2. Birth or marriage certificate or other proof of family relationship to the TN visa holder.
  3. Proof that you intend to return home at the end of your permitted stay, such as copies of documents showing your other ties to your home country (such as a house deed or apartment subletting contract), or a letter from your employer stating that you are expected back.
  4. Proof that the principal applicant is or will be a TN visa holder, such as a copy of his or her passport, a copy of all TN documents submitted, or a copy of the TN visa holder's I-94 entry document.
  5. Two color photos, U.S. passport-style.
  6. A passport valid for at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States.
  7. Proof of having paid the visa processing fee, the amount of which is listed on the State Department's "Fees for Visa Services" Web page.
  8. Visa issuance fee, if required of people from your country. See the "Reciprocity by Country" page on the State Department's website.

Can TD Visa Holders Get a Green Card?

No: TN visa holders must intend to return to Canada or Mexico when their work is finished, and will be ineligible to adjust status. But you could always return home and then apply for a new, immigrant visa from there. Or, if you're hoping to obtain U.S. green cards for your family so that the TN holder can continue working without interruption for the same employer, then an H-1B visa might be a better option for the principal, NAFTA applicant -- or for the TD visa holder, if qualified.

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