Neuronal migration and axon guidance constitute fundamental processes in brain development that are generally studied independently. Although both share common mechanisms of cell biology and biochemistry, little is known about their coordinated integration in the formation of neural circuits. Here we show that the development of the thalamocortical projection, one of the most prominent tracts in the mammalian brain, depends on the early tangential migration of a population of neurons derived from the ventral telencephalon. This tangential migration contributes to the establishment of a permissive corridor that is essential for thalamocortical axon pathfinding. Our results also demonstrate that in this process two different products of the Neuregulin-1 gene, CRD-NRG1 and Ig-NRG1, mediate the guidance of thalamocortical axons. These results show that neuronal tangential migration constitutes a novel mechanism to control the timely arrangement of guidance cues required for axonal tract formation in the mammalian brain.